Translucent Flower: Macro Photo, 12.4.2019

I laminated three flowers that our six year old gardened this year, and was surprised to see that several months later the flowers had become translucent which was fascinating to see in a macro photo. 

עבדי (My Servant) 8x6" - Completed 11.20.2019: Drawing - Ink Pen

This piece was created for Awaken's Advent Art Series in 2019 to go along with our series "Hidden," on elements that are not normally focused on in the advent story.

For my piece I focused on Luke 2:19 (cf Luke 2:51) where Luke notes that Mary "treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart" when hearing what the shepherds heard about Jesus from the angels. Commentator Joel B. Green notes in his commentary on Luke about responses to the display of the supernatural that [while many on the scene respond with amazement which may not be equivalent to faith and gives no guarantee a correct understanding will be reached] and goes on to say:

"This is the response of the undifferentiated crowds in 2:18, but not of Mary. For her, more reflection is needed in order to appreciate fully the meaning of this concurrence of events, and her pondering is with a view to hitting on the right meaning of these things. Even in the presence of those exalted and direct affirmations of the identity of the newborn child, then, contemplation of what God is doing in and through these events continues."

In summary, Mary actually thought about what she was seeing and hearing and didn't just rush into an amazement that may have quickly faded after the fact. There have been countless brilliant and contemplative women since the dawn of time, but rarely was this acknowledged in the time that the New Testament was written so these statements are important and should be recognized.

My drawing shows a literal treasure chest with Mary's name (in Greek) on it, in a room which has Luke 2:10-11 on the left wall, Colossians 2:9-10 on the right wall, and on the back wall Isaiah 53:11-12, with the word עברי (my servant) large in the middle. עברי in the Isaiah passage is referring to the Suffering Service interpreted in Christianity to be Jesus, but I'm also using the word outside of Isaiah 53:11 to refer to Mary who was also serving God and chosen of God for giving birth to Jesus.

Luke 2:10-11
And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

Colossians 2:9-10
For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity dwells in bodily form. And you have been made complete in Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority.

Isaiah 53:11-12
After the anguish of His soul,
He will see the light of life and be satisfied.
By His knowledge My righteous Servant will justify many,
and He will bear their iniquities.
Therefore I will allot Him a portion with the great,
and He will divide the spoils with the strong,
because He has poured out His life unto death,
and He was numbered with the transgressors.
Yet He bore the sin of many
and made intercession for the transgressors.

Reconciliation Tree: Approx 3' Tall - Carbon steel rebar wire, aluminum wire, copper wire, wax, September 2019

The roots of the tree which combine the types of wire are meant to represent diversity in our roots as human and our common ancestry, the trunk of the tree which has the types of wire separate symbolizes the recognition that racism has severely divided humanity, and the branches were the types of wire again intermingle symbolize the goal of reconciliation through the redeeming blood of Jesus, represented by the red wax poured over the tree.  The red wire running in the center of the tree from top to bottom represent the thread of God's presence. 

Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn - just after midnight, 8/13/2019

17th Street between 6th and 7th Ave in Brooklyn, two blocks away from where I lived for 8 years, has small sections of bike and walking paths that I've found absolutely magical - I'm not sure why, but the feeling is quite powerful.  These photos attempted to capture some of the feeling of the area. 

Lighting Over St. Paul, 7.1.2019

There are some unfortunate rain drops on the lens in some of these photos as it was pouring rain the entire time that I was taking the photos. 

Ärta’s Tree: Perinatal Bereavement Tree Sculpture for New York Methodist Hospital - Brooklyn, NY. 27" Tall, with 32 Candle Holders - finished 4.14.2019.

This tree sculpture will be used in perinatal bereavement services at New York Methodist Hospital in Brooklyn, NY.  Parents who have had a fetal demise will be able to light a candle to be placed on the tree during the service.