Concordia University, Nebraska’s Marxhausen Gallery of Art will host the exhibit, “Sacrifice and Scripture: The Florence Print Portfolio,” Oct. 13 through Dec. 18.
An opening reception will be held Sunday, Oct. 27, from 1 to 4 p.m. in the Marxhausen Gallery, located in Concordia’s Jesse Hall, with a panel discussion in the Thom Leadership Education Center Auditorium at 2 p.m.
The exhibit combines two permanent collections from the holdings of Concordia University. The Florence Portfolio, is a suite of 20 intaglio prints created and published by artists associated with Christians in the Visual Arts (CIVA). CIVA was founded in 1979 to help artists, collectors, critics, professors, historians, pastors and other arts professionals explore the profound relationship between art and faith. The second collection includes a handful of prints selected from the Concordia permanent collection, with works by Rico Lebrun, Salvador Dali and Jacob Landau. The exhibition presents these two collections in order to shed light on the Biblical stories of sacrifice that populate both the Hebrew and Christian scriptures.
“A quick overview of the images within this gallery reveals that there are a number of stories in both testaments that contain themes of sacrifice such as Cain and Abel, Ruth and Naomi and The Stoning of Stephen,” said James Bockelman, Concordia professor of art and director of the Marxhausen Gallery. “Each of the narratives characterizes the person by their decision to provide testimony or pledge loyalty that in turn, resulted in personal loss. The spilling of Abel’s blood. Ruth’s separation from her ancestral home. The martyrdom of Stephen. These images underscore that at its most basic level, to sacrifice is to surrender something of value for the sake of a greater cause.”
Bockelman added, “The prints on view in ‘Sacrifice and Scripture’ speak to broken, human relationships, as well as those that through forgiveness, are mended, but these images also remind the viewer of the voluntarily decision of Christ to be given over to death. In these Biblical narratives, Christ illustrates what it means to be God in the way that he dies as a human being. And, it is only in Christ’s willingness to be sacrificed that God is recognized. The mystery is such, that in Christ’s offering of himself over to death, God draws near to redeem the cosmos and reimage a new life for humankind.”
The exhibit is open to the public and free of charge. The Marxhausen Gallery is located in Jesse Hall and is open 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday-Friday; and 1 to 4 p.m., Saturday and Sunday while classes are in session. The gallery is closed Nov. 23 through Dec. 1 for Thanksgiving recess.