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The Biblical Art of Sadao Watanabe

January 7 - February 22, 2014

From January 7 - February 22, the Center Art Gallery at Calvin College presents BEAUTY GIVEN BY GRACE: The Biblical Art of Sadao Watanabe. Born in 1913, Sadao Watanabe was baptized at 17 and devoted his life to depicting stories of the Bible in a visual language understandable to the Japanese. Finding inspiration in the mingei (folk arts) movement, he worked with his wife to produce each stencil and print on handmade paper. These intricately patterned images, in a variety of styles and formats, offer a panoramic view of the Bible beginning with the Garden of Eden in Genesis and concluding with angelic trumpeters at the end of time in Revelation. Watanabe’s stencil prints can be found in the permanent collections of the British Museum, New York’s Museum of Modern Art, The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the National Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo, and the Vatican Museum of Modern Religious Art.

BEAUTY GIVEN BY GRACE is a Christians in the Visual Arts (CIVA) traveling exhibition, which includes 45 original momigami and washi prints from the collections of Sandra Bowden and John A. Kohan. For more information on this traveling exhibition or to purchase the book, please visit CIVA.

Special thanks to Northeast Interior Systems, Inc. for support of this exhibition and to Sandra Bowden, Bert and Julie Bowden and Lavina Hoogeveen for additional loans of artwork and kimonos.

Image credit top: Sadao Watanabe, Flight to Egypt, Hand colored kappazuri stencil print on momigami wrinkled paper, 1987
Image credit above: Sadao Watanabe, Noah's Ark, Hand colored kappazuri stencil print on washi handmade paper, 1979


Gallery Talk

Thursday, January 30 - 6pm (Center Art Gallery)
With Sandra Bowden, John Hesselink and John A. Kohan
Reception to follow in the West Lobby with refreshments and Japanese themed food.

Calvin Symposium on Worship

Thursday, January 30 - Saturday, February 1
The Worship Symposium brings many opportunities to discuss art, and the integration of worship. Sandra Bowden and John A. Kohan will be presenters during the Worship Symposium. For information on their sessions, please visit the Worship Symposium website or consult the program.

Bowden Interview

Read the interview, "Sandra Bowden on Biblical Artist Sadao Watanabe" on the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship website.