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Summer Edition
Volume 97, Number 1

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The art of worship
"The Messiah Polyptych," a 26-panel painting that blends modern and ancient religious images, was designed and painted by professor Daniel Finch and several of his students. This work of religious art now hangs in a sanctuary of a church in Georgia.

Art professor and his students create a giant religious painting

In March, Daniel Finch, assistant professor of visual art, beheld “The Messiah Polyptych,” assembled for the first time. Finch spent several weeks designing the piece, then directed six of his students as they painted each of 26 individual panels that now form the 22-by-nine-foot painting.

“The Messiah Polyptych” was commissioned by The Vineyard Church of Augusta, Ga., and now hangs in its sanctuary. Featuring many fields of reds, blues, and greens—the three primary colors of light—the painting draws on an ancient idea that light is a metaphor for God. Though modern in its form, “The Messiah Polyptych” also includes many historic religious symbols and images, such as a representation of a baroque painting of Mary Magdalene, hands of clay, and a dove.

“I hope that all beauty points to God,” says Finch. “If we can structure something through pure color and rendered images that speaks beauty to the mind, or even to the senses, we’ve done something amazing.”

Dulcimer Hope Brubaker '04
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