Art show interprets Genesis 1

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A new art show in the South Lobby tells the creation story of Genesis 1 through seven intricate and colorful tapestries.

Titled Tov (Hebrew for “good”) the show is the work of fabric artist Shirley Cunningham. Shirley is a Wilshire member who created the permanent Community Tapestry in the South Atrium as well as the liturgical paraments used in the Sanctuary throughout the year.

art-show-god-sm.jpgShirley chose the Hebrew word tov for the exhibit because it has a variety of meanings, including excellence, a benefit, something that is pleasing, a moral good and bounty. “The inclusiveness of this Hebrew word for good speaks to me of the beauty and eminence of this world we were given,” she said. “My hope is that as you stand amid these tapestries you will remember the Genesis story and be reminded of the beauty that abounds and surrounds our world and the loving, creative God that gave this gift.”

The first piece in this exhibit shows a pocket of light emerging from a darkened whirl of tapestry. Each day, or span of time, in the Genesis story continues in separate art pieces depicting the separation of sky and sea, vegetation, sun and moon, birds and fish, animals and humans and then ending with the artist’s envisioning of God resting.

These free-hanging multi-medium works are created using a layering process. The artist applies color using vintage fabric, objects and various threads and yarn as paint on top of a supportive layer of thick wool, cotton or supportive fibers.

It took Shirley four years to complete this show.

Wilshire is only the second venue to host this show, which debuted at John Brown University last fall.