150th Anniversary Banner -- Notes from the Artist
In creating the banner for Concordia University’s 150th anniversary celebration, I worked with three individual vertical banners to pay tribute to the Trinity in accordance with the new hymn written and composed for the sesquicentennial. Mixing materials of painted canvas with cloth provided opportunities to render emotion and worship.
Residing in western North Carolina, I feel a connection to the organic nature of root systems, especially as I walk the trails in the mountains. There is rhizomatic growth to be seen, a yearning to grow upward and forward despite the hardships in life. Three vertical banners consist of root systems wrapped around rocks, digging deeply to take hold and desiring to rapidly produce more growth, more roots, and ensuring stable conditions for survival.
The plant emerges throughout all three panels, moving, entangling, and swaying with the wind, providing metaphor for the human spirit living in the world but also striving and pushing forward for Heaven’s glory.
As the plant steadies itself amidst life’s trials and root systems plow deeply to secure to solid rock, God showers blessing upon the tender plant, as seen in the first panel, flooding us as well with his love. The second panel brings Christ into our lives by living among us, being in the storms of our lives, in the wind that tangles us together, and in his breath, He says, “I am with you always”. The third panel represents the Holy Spirit uplifting us and moving us closer to God, helping us reach and connect to the ever-present Father.
As followers of Christ, we yearn for connection, growing in faith and love. The fabric at the bottom of each banner and on the backside of the banners is a reminder of the rhizomatic growth, the yearning to be closer to God, to be deeply rooted in the Word, to stay in the faith, and to be entangled in his arms.
Diane J. Guelzow