Portraits speak

Senior's art show tells stories of faith

Photo with no caption
By Sherri Gardner Howell
Publisher
Blount Today

Jonathan Howe not only put brush to canvas for his senior art show at Maryville College, he put pen to paper and heart to soul.

"A New Creation" opened with a reception for students, family, faculty and friends at the Fine Arts Center at Maryville College, kicking off a two-week exhibit of the senior’s art show. The show features 20 pieces including stylized posters that accompany each work.

Jonathan’s show is different and thought-provoking as well as being artistically pleasing. He hopes this won’t be his last showing of "A New Creation."

"I would like to take this to other venues to exhibit," Jonathan said. "It has a message that I want to share through my work."

The message, like the title, is drawn from II Corinthians 5:17: "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come."

"It is about people who have given their lives to Jesus and the work he has done in their lives," Jonathan said. "Each person wrote down their testimony, and I designed the posters to accompany each painting."

The stories are powerful. Jonathan’s portraits of the subjects bring the message to the viewer’s heart as they read each one’s story of struggle and triumph. His portraits are done in oils, but he says he also likes to work in acrylic, pastels, pen and ink.

Jonathan said it has taken him approximately 18 months to get the body of work ready for the show. "I give the glory to God and want to show people that Jesus is alive and working in people," Jonathan said. "I have been blessed with a gift of art, and I want to show people Jesus through that gift."

Caroline S. Roberts came to the show to support Jonathan, she said, and to get another look at her portrait. "This is the first time I have seen this big one," she said of a drawing of her next to her oil portrait. "It’s a little disconcerting at first, but I am so happy to be able to be a part of this. Jonathan heard my story at church and wanted to include me. He took photographs and worked from them. I think he did a wonderful job."

The show is free and open to the public. It will be on exhibit through April 20 at the Fine Arts Building at Maryville College.

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