The United Lutheran Seminary will host the unveiling of “For All The Saints…” by artist Ophelia Chambliss at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 21, 2020, at The Church of the Abiding Presence on the Gettysburg campus of United Lutheran Seminary at 61 Seminary Ridge, Gettysburg, PA 17325.
A 45-minute artist lecture and a reception will follow the unveiling. The event is free and open to the public.
The 16 portraits are of historical, cultural and Christian change makers, including Daniel A. Payne, an alumnus of ULS predecessor institution the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg. Payne is one of the first African-Americans to graduate from a seminary in the US and a founder of the AME church. In addition, there are portraits Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Bishop Oscar Romero, Dorothy Day, Mother Theresa, and Harriet Tubman among others.
Chambliss is an adjunct instructor at Penn State University, Harrisburg. She teaches media discourse analysis, visual rhetoric, photography, media and society, communication theory, and visual communication. She is a commissioner with the Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission, which aligns with her interests in combining her visual art, and the concern for representation in public spaces with her academic background in visual communication and semiotics. More information on Chambliss is available at her website, https://www.opheliachambliss.com/.
“I do not consider myself to be a portrait artist, and there are a number of artists out there who could have done an amazing job with the likeness of the individuals in this series,” Chambliss said. “But I do consider myself an artist that can capture the essence, and heart of a project, and then interpret that message into something that speaks to a need, and I think that is what I have done here.”
The project began as a gift from St. John’s Lutheran Church of Highland in Pittsburgh to honor Pastor Bill Diehm, a graduate of ULS predecessor institution the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg in the class of 1981. Diehm retired last year. He suggested that the gift be used to enhance the worship life of the ULS community. The chapels on both campuses are beautiful in their own right, but the time in which they were built did not support a culture of diversity or highlighting saints and spiritual leaders from non-European backgrounds. The 16 paintings will help enhance the narrative provided by the stained glass windows in both worship spaces so that anyone who comes to either campus for worship will have a much fuller experience of God’s ongoing narrative in the world.
Eight pieces are to remain in the Gettysburg chapel while the other eight will be taken to the Philadelphia chapel at a later date. The pieces will then be rotated between campuses on an annual basis.
If you have any questions regarding this event, please contact the staff member below.