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illustration
sculpture
calligraphy
textiles
architecture
stained glass
metalwork
portraits
Arts in the Episcopal Diocese of New Jersey

 

Celebrating beginnings
16 October 2004, ECVA New Jersey Inaugural Dinner and Exhibit

Athena Gassoumis speaks about her work.
Athena Gassoumis speaks about her work.
Photo by Dot Cellini

On Thursday evening, September 16th, a new chapter of the Episcopal Church and Visual Arts was born in Trenton, New Jersey, in the Diocese of New Jersey. Eighty-two people -- artists and art supporters -- attended our inaugural dinner and exhibit. The evening began with a delightful reception. The entire crypt of Trinity Cathedral, Trenton was lined with the work of 38 artists from all over the Diocese.

Painting on display
Painting by Eileen Kennedy
Photo by Dot Cellini

There were paintings, etchings, Ikebana flower arrangements, pottery, photographs, vestments, and beadwork. Color was everywhere, found in everything from metal, clay, and wood to paper, canvas, and fabric. The room glowed with golden light, punctuated by the bright hues of art and the sounds of lively conversations. Drinks and hors d'oeuvres were served during the exhibit.

At 7pm, people made their way up the stairs to the parish hall for the dinner. The tables were set with white tablecloths, burgundy cloth napkins, and a centerpiece of dusky red chrysanthemums circled by white votive candles.

Suzanne Schleck
Suzanne Schleck
Photo by Dot Cellini

Bishop George Councell offered grace, and a delicious meal of salmon, salad, rice, green beans was served buffet-style. An array of fabulously delicious gourmet desserts were created by Kir Rodriguez of the French Culinary Institute.

Our speaker was Krystyna Sanderson, a free-lance fine art photographer who lives in New York and is the membership chair of the national ECVA. Her most recent book, Light at Ground Zero, is a collection of her photographs of St. Paul's, New York City, in the days after the World Trade Center disaster.

Krystyna Sanderson
Krystyna Sanderson
Photo by Dot Cellini

Her informative and inspiring talk about ECVA's mission and vision interested all. Athena Gassoumis, a photography artist from our diocese, then spoke very personally about her photographs and their place in her spiritual journey. The Reverend Phillip Carr-Jones, also from our diocese, talked movingly in a very different way about his welding work.

Art by Philip Carr-Jones
Art by Philip Carr-Jones
Photo by Sue Legnani

Then Ruth Councell, the Chair of Episcopal Church and the Visual Arts in New Jersey, shared her thoughts about how ECVA New Jersey might go forward. She mentioned artist gatherings, the hope for regional events in our vastly spread-out diocese, and the possibility of an exhibit at next year's Diocesan Convention on the theme of New Life. She announced that ECVA New Jersey's own website is now under construction, courtesy of designer Cynthia McFarland.

Ruth Councell, her painting, and the bishop.
Ruth Councell, +George Councell, and Ruth's art.
Photo by Sue Legnani

Our inaugural event was en evening where connections were made and friendships sparked. A spirit of joy and enthusiasm prevailed. All are looking forward to an enlivening of the arts in the Diocese of New Jersey.

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