“For All The Saints…” Portrait Series to be Unveiled at United Lutheran Seminary in Gettysburg
Contact: Martin Zimmann
The United Lutheran Seminary celebrates the virtual unveiling of “For All The Saints” by artist Ophelia Chambliss on August 1, 2020 at 7:00PM with a special video interview on the ULS YouTube channel. The paintings are currently in The Church of the Abiding Presence on the Gettysburg campus of United Lutheran Seminary. These portraits were commissioned in September of 2019 but were not available until the pandemic forced the closing of the seminary in March of this year.
The sixteen 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 United States and a founder of the AME church. The series also includes portraits of 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. Read more about the artist.
“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.
The exhibit will be rotated between the Gettysburg and Philadelphia campuses of United Lutheran Seminary to benefit the broader community.
A special 11 x 17 commemorative poster is available from ULS. A suggested donation of $15 to offset production and mailing expenses.
Go to our GIVE page and choose the “other category” on the donation page, writing “poster” in the space provided.