Members of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church (OLPH) gathered after each mass on Sunday to marvel at the talents of the members of their church at their first art fair.
Twelve artists exhibited a variety of mediums from photography to flower pressing to iconography.
Margaret Shapiro, who organizes special events for OLPH, said she knew that there were many artistic people in the church and thought an art exhibition would be an engaging way to bring the community together without costing any money.
“People have used this event as a way to gather and greet old friends but also as a way to appreciate the talents of the other parishioners,” Shapiro said. “Rather than just put doughnuts and cookies out and hope people come over, this is a way to stimulate conversation. The talents that these people are showcasing are gifts from God, and for example the photographs are images of God’s glory.”
Richard Karl, a deacon with OLPH, exhibited some of the nature photographs he has taken over the years. Karl said that showcasing his art has allowed him to make conversation with people in greater depth than he normally would.
“This is a great opportunity for people to share what they love,” Karl said. “I’ve met and talked with people who also love photography and art. People that I would hardly share more than a hello with I’ve actually gotten to talk to this morning and find some common ground.”
Roger Haring exhibited his landscape photographs and pressed flowers after he heard about the art fair in the church’s weekly bulletin.
“The church is renowned for having art, so having art shows like this is definitely a feasible way to engage the community,” Haring said. “In my humble opinion, there are many ways to express yourself, and in today’s world of hearing people’s words and soundbites there are no words required in art to convey a message.”
Stephen Whelan stopped by the art fair after mass to view the talent of his fellow churchgoers and said he enjoyed discovering the different talents of people he saw at church each week.
“I was happy to see that a lot of the art pieces had to do with the faith,” Whelan said. “There are a lot of arts performance here at the church throughout the year and to see visual arts being promoted like this is awesome. Visual arts are a great way to express who you are and to see the artists express their faith through their art is to see an expression of the soul.”