The visual arts play a tremendous role – and responsibility – in our liturgical and spiritual life, and the artisans who bring their tremendous gifts to this high calling and vocation are to be celebrated! The wonderful people presented here are all friends and colleagues, who have blessed me with their bringing their “lens” to many of my recorded and printed music collections with GIA Publications, and also, the books that I have authored in recent years with Clear Faith Publishing. So scroll down, and become more familiar with these amazingly gifted artists, and find out more about their work by linking up with their websites. God bless them all!
Important Note: Please respect and honor these artists – many of them who support themselves and their communities through their creative work – by NOT downloading the images you see below to your computer for your own use. All of these creations are under copyright. For more information, as to how to order and obtain copies or prints of these creations – go to the websites you find below. Thank you. DH
Brother Mickey McGrath, OSFS
Brother Mickey grew up and still lives in the greater Philadelphia area, and has come to be one of the most popular painters, illustrators and storytellers in the Catholic “visual” world. He has taught in many settings – both in academia and at conferences, retreats, and workshops throughout the United States and other parts of the world. A religious brother in the Oblates of St. Francis DeSales, he now operates his “Bee Still Studio” in Camden New Jersey. Many of Mickey’s artistic renderings, stories, cards and year calendars are published by World Library Publications, Clear Faith Publishing, and available also from Trinity Stories. Mickey’s “fans” include people from across the globe. include many spiritual seekers, both young and old; and several of his original art works have won many awards. I have been so blest to have Mickey create two original works of art for the covers of two my books with Clear Faith Publishing: My Heart is Ready and Now We Remain: A Path of Prayer for Holy Week.
“Christ the Teacher”
“Now We Remain”
My longtime friend, Dan Kantor, is most certainly the classic renaissance man: he is an extremely talented musician, composer and author, as well as being highly skilled graphic designer and business strategist. Many of you know him as the composer of the iconic Christmas song, “Night of Silence” and other pieces from GIA Publications; but his graphic design work has been the visual voice of numerous music collections that I have created and developed, as well as for other liturgical composers (far too many to mention!). The CD covers for my projects that have been highly acclaimed include No Longer Strangers, Where the River Flows, We Give You Thanks, Alive in Christ Jesus, Reach Toward Heaven. Star Child, Echo of Faith, Glory Day, Before I Was Born, Living Spirit, Holy Fire; Throughout All Time and God is Here. His book, Graphic Design and Religion was published in 2007 by GIA, and is a must read for those passionate about the visual arts in spirituality. He is also a crossword puzzle enthusiast, and his own crossword constructions have appeared in the New York Times.
From “Holiday Cards”
“Alive in Christ Jesus”
Julie Lonneman, a freelance illustrator, lives and works in Cincinnati, Ohio where she maintains her own studio. Her illustrations on themes of spirituality and social justice have appeared in magazines such as America, Sojourners, and St. Anthony Messenger, and have graced the covers of numerous books and newsletters. She is the author of Clip Art for Sundays and Solemnities, published in 2003 by Liturgy Training Publications of Chicago. Julie is a regular contributor to the monthly ecumenical worship resource Celebration, and for eight years supplied their weekly Sunday graphics. In 2007 she completed an art library of over 260 fresh and engaging lectionary-based images for Augsburg Fortress Press. An amazingly versatile artist, Julie works in many media and styles, but she is best known for her black and white scratchboard images and her colored pencil illustrations. I commissioned Julie to design brand new images for my book with Clear Faith Publishing, Blessed are the Merciful, that I created for the Jubilee Year of Mercy.
“The Conversion of Saul”
“Blessed are the Merciful”
Brother Robert Lentz, OFM
Robert Lentz is a Franciscan friar whose innovative icons are known throughout the world. He is a member of Holy Name Province, and is stationed in Silver Spring, Maryland at Holy Name College. Besides painting many hours each day, he teaches apprentices, writes, and conducts workshops on art and spirituality throughout the United States. Brother Robert is active in promoting dialog between Muslims and Christians. He is also committed to the indigenization of Byzantine iconography in the various cultures embraced by the Church. His icons reflect his experiences among the poor in this country and in the Third World, as well as his Franciscan and Russian roots. They are filled with bright colors and often depict contemporary subjects. While always striving to remain true to the essence of Byzantine iconography, he adapts traditional conventions in order to minister better to the emerging Church. I am especially moved by his beautiful renderings of contemporary “saints” and prophets in the church, and I chose his powerful icon of Henri Nouwen for the cover of my book for the hours, Welcome Faithful Presence, published by Clear Faith Publishing. His icons remain transcendent expressions of the ancient Christian Tradition, and they invite us into communion with God and the saints.
“Christ at Maryknoll”
“Welcome, Faithful Presence”
Sister Yoo Soo Kim, MM
Yoo Soo Kim was born in 1953 in Ko Chang, South Korea, youngest in a family of seven. In 1975, she graduated from Chosen University with a degree in Fine Arts and began her career as a public school art teacher. She came to Maryknoll, New York in 1983 to complete her preparation to become a Maryknoll Sister. In Hawaii, Sister Yoo Soo has taught Sacred Dance at Chaminade University in Honolulu. Besides Sacred Dance her art includes photography, oil painting, traditional Korean paper cutting, water colors, ceramics, flower arranging and the Korean tea ceremony. Her art work has been exhibited by the Korean Art Association of Hawaii. Of her art, Sister Yoo Soo says, “I always express my contemplation through my art work. That is my understanding of God.” Also a gifted dancer, Sister Yoo Soo invites people to wholeness through prayerful sacred dance in workshops and in parish liturgies. She has also been a minister for handicapped children at the Shriners Hospital in Honolulu. She says, “I like to be a healer. When I dance I can touch people’s hearts. A person’s body is an instrument to express beauty, pain, communication, betrayal, and joy. It comes out mystically when you dance. It comes out in art also.” Yoo Soo has become a wonderful friend over the years, and she has designed the original art for several of my recorded music collections, such as: God is Everywhere!, I Will Live On, and When We Are Weak, We Are Strong (GIA).
“Light Shining on the World”
“God is Everywhere!”
My good friend Andrew Schultz is an amazingly talented graphic artist and designer, who has worked in the marketing department at GIA Publications for several years. Originally from Minnesota, after living and working at GIA in Chicago for the initial years of his work with them, he moved back to Minneapolis, where he continues to work as a designer for GIA, and as co-director of marketing. Andrew is the artistic muse for the design and layout of many of their recordings and publications, including the design for GIA’s hallmark hymnals, such as Gather: Third Edition, Ritual Song: Second Edition, Worship: Fourth Edition, Oramos Cantando, Singing Our Faith, and Lead Me, Guide Me. He has coordinated the design for most of the recorded composers with GIA, and has been the creative force behind the cover art for projects of mine, such as Do Not Be Afraid, I Am with You; A Changed Heart, We Are Not Alone, God is Everywhere, I Will Live On, When We Are Weak, We are Strong; God Never Tires, and I Will Bring You Home.
Hymnals: Ritual Song 2nd Edition;
Gather 3rd Edition; Worship 4th Edition
“Do Not Be Afraid, I Am With You”
Tanya Torres is an artist and writer living and working in New York City, who also spends time in Puerto Rico and New Mexico. She was born in New York City of Puerto Rican parents and grew up in Puerto Rico. She came back to live in New York City at age 15. In 2000 she created the artistic space Mixta Gallery in El Barrio, East Harlem, the community where she has lived since 1997. Her artwork has been presented at the United Nations Organization, the Center for Puerto Rican Studies Library, the Museum of the 19th Century Dominican Family in Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic), the Porta Coeli Museum of the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture), and the Prague Congress Centre in the Czech Republic, among other cultural institutions. In addition to her original art that includes many genres and styles, she has also published several handmade poetry books; and in 2002, El Diario/La Prensa selected her as one of the 50 Women of the Year. From 2007-2010, she was Artist-in-Residence at P.S. 57 in East Harlem, New York City, where she created 3 mosaic murals and 6 poetry murals. More recently, she installed a series of digital paintings commissioned by the East Harlem Bilingual Head Start and inspired by its mission to create healthy eating habits in young children and their families. The head start also commissioned and houses several of her mosaics. She holds a deep devotion and passion for Mary Magdalene, and has a complete series of artistic works interpreting what she names as “the Magdalene.” Tanya currently works from her studio in the same neighborhood where she lives and travels with her art wherever she is invited. Tanya was a dear enough to create an original painting just for me, entitled “David for David.”
“David for David”
Check out Tanya’s website:
Tanya Torres: https://www.artbytanyatorres.com
Nicholas Markell is from the greater twin city area in Minnesota, and operates Markell Studios, a visual arts studio dedicated to ecclesial design, liturgical consultation, and the creation of iconic imager in glass, pigment, and graphics. He strongly believes that liturgy and worship are among the most important of the Church’s works and the revival of iconic images is meant to lead to the renewal of lives. To this end, Markell Studios designs, consults, and creates iconic image focusing on three principles: Beauty, Mystery, and Meaning. He explores these mysteries through various mediums, genres, and styles. He created some original stunning visual images for my Biblical Stations of the Cross (GIA) a few years ago, and to this day, his creative and innovative work provides a passionate proclamation of the presence of the holy in the Christian tradition.
“Biblical Way of the Cross”
Check out Nick’s website:
Markell Studios: https://www.markellstudios.com
Jan is an artist, writer, and ordained minister in the United Methodist Church. She serves as director of The Wellspring Studio, LLC, and travels widely as a retreat leader and conference speaker. Known for her distinctive intertwining of word and image, Jan’s work has attracted an international audience drawn to the welcoming and imaginative spaces that she creates in her books, online blogs, and public events. A native Floridian several generations over, Jan grew up in Evinston, a small community near the university town of Gainesville. The rural landscape, community traditions, and lifelong relationships fostered a rich sense of place, imagination, and ritual that continue to shape Jan’s life and infuse her work. Jan makes her home in Central Florida. She frequently collaborated with her husband, the singer/songwriter Garrison Doles, until his sudden death in December 2013. I find her creative works nothing less than amazing and stunning – so much so, that I chose several of her gorgeous seasonal paintings to adorn the pages of my book with Clear Faith Publishing, Walk with Christ.