“Reliquary” 7/1/18 – 7/31/18

Sacrosanct Gallery‘s July 2018 theme reliquary was inspired by a wooden object fashioned to hold the arm of Saint Saens, an Irish-French saint of a sublime obscurity. In John Updike’s, “Just Looking” he writes,

“A reliquary enwraps the withered, desiccated, invisible actual within an aesthetic creation.  We feel slightly squeamish, as whenever the boundary between art and reality is unsteady – for other instance, Faberge eggs, trompe l’oeil paintings, and George Segal sculptures. In a reliquary, form and content have a relationship that inverts that of traditional sculpture, whose content is brute stone or wood or metal, and whose form bestows meaning and life.”

We searched for pieces that depict relationship and dialogue between an exterior and an interior, and are pleased to bring you exceptional works from artists Sheryl Cozad; Sarah Rehfeldt; Claire Jeanine Satin; Laurie Maves; Jeanne Tremel; Josie Gearhart; Kenna Rentmeester; Robert Eustace; Brian Donahue; and Sammy Leon. We hope you will enjoy these insightful pieces of sacred art from contemporary artists in America.  Inquiries to Shauna Lee Lange, Sacrosanct Gallery, 941.875.5190.

Sheryl Cozad, Mama’s Voyage, Box One:  Pregnancy and Birth (1995), Acrylic paint and metal on wood, Closed–17″ x 11.5″x 3″, Open–17″ x 23″ x 3″, NFS, similar objects are available, Inquire at Sacrosanct Gallery, Instagram:  sherylcozad55, www.sherylcozad.comNorman, Oklahoma
Sheryl Cozad feels that the “Pregnancy” box from her series “Mama’s Voyage” (which depicts stages of early motherhood) is a reliquary.  It is a painted silverware box with four images:  the front depicting a pregnant woman’s mid-section inspired by Vermeer’s “Woman Holding a Balance”.  The interior depicts a conception scene shown as a mystical magic show on the left side, with a full-term baby in utero on the right side.  The back side depicts a woman’s midsection as she nurses her baby in water, inspired by Cozad’s own water birth experience giving birth to an 11 pound baby boy.
For Cozad, pregnancy through raising children is a sacred activity.  Pregnancy in particular filled her with a sense of wonder at God’s creation and a deep awe in the process of metamorphosis.  But a part of that metamorphosis is developing into the person who will raise that child facing no less peril, wonder and awe during the journey.  This box holds the spiritual experience now long past but yet ongoing within her own life. Cozad is a retired Catholic college art professor who taught at a United Methodist university for 17 years and at a Catholic university for 15 years.  Her work consists of commissioned portraits, icons, illustrations, and murals. 
Sarah Rehfeldt, Found (2013), mosaic, beach wood; beach stones; shell pieces; and grout, with wood framing, 13” x 9”, Inquire at Sacrosanct Gallery; www.pbase.com/candanceski
www.pbase.com/candanceski/artwork, Issaquah, Washington

Sarah Rehfeldt lives with her family in western Washington where she is a writer, artist, and photographer.  Her poems have appeared in Blueline, Appalachia; Weber – The Contemporary West, and Presence: An International Journal of Spiritual Direction.  Sarah has published two collections of image poems – most recently From the Quiet Edges of the Forest in 2018.

Claire Jeanine Satin, Chassis # 10 (year undetermined), Hamsa Rose, Printing on transparency; metallic overprinting in silver and red, Frame/text imagery, reassembled layering of John Cage writings printed in the negative, 14″h x 14″h x 1″d framed, satinartworks.com, Dania Beach, Florida

Claire Jeanine Satin brings us collages whose content is the Hamsa (the priestly blessing icon image). Satin is currently on exhibition at the Hebrew Union College Museum in New York City.  Seven of Satin’s  bookworks are in the Rare Books and Special Collections of the Library of Congress, two of which are Hebraic  Bookworks. Other works have been acquired by MOMA, NYC; The V & A; The Getty Center; the National Museum of Women in the Arts and many others.  Satin’s association with the composer John Cage’s concept of indeterminacy plays an important role in her artwork. It manifests itself in the use of transparency and interpenetration.  The Hebraic works possess a mystery, and mysticism of a highly spiritual nature.


Laurie Maves, Samurai Phoenix (2018), 42″ x 47″ mixed media on nylon, Sold. lauriemavesart.com, Instagram @lauriemavesart,
Sarasota, Florida
Samurai Phoenix executed on commercial grade printing nylon, is part of Laurie Maves’ ongoing series of large scale intuitive abstract expressionism paintings. Without any planning, the images come as the artist’s hand and materials allow.  Maves is a full time Contemporary Artist, Live Performance and Abstract Energy Intuitive Painter. She firmly believes she is here on this planet to make your painting. Her most recent series of organic abstracts focus on positive energy, light and a sense of healing.
Maves paints with an intuitive hand and brilliant color palette, allowing the paintings, whether they be about life change and transition to physically healing from mental and physical stressors, to paint themselves. Her works are meant to be meditative in nature, organic reminders of perfect wholeness in the universe. The circle form, which is readily seen in Laurie’s paintings, represent an ancient symbol and can be seen in every culture, in every person, in every life that comes full circle. Maves most often works motivational words into her imagery, sealing the thoughts into the message of the painting in hopes of inspiring those who view her work. She invites you to view her abstract energy paintings and share how you experience them. She hopes that her audience finds these paintings as promoting positive energy, relationships and peace.
Jeanne Tremel, Linea Diorama (2018), Mixed Media paint on yupo paper, stuffed fabric shapes, small branch, yarn, threads, vintage trims and beads, beans, sequins, found objects, antique quilt portion, 34″ x 46″, jeannetremel.virb.com, 
 www.instagram.com/jeannetremel, Brooklyn, New York
Linea Diorama by Jeanne Tremel is a site specific piece for the group show “Line of Vision” at In-Case Projects (curated by Jaynie Crimmins and Etty Yanniv, BFP Building, Bushwick, Brooklyn, NY). The process of painting, gathering, and arranging are layered gestures that create a contemplative space and place alluding to the energy of life cycles and growth in outdoor nature and in human nature.

Jeanne is a visual artist who has shown her works throughout the NYC area, the US and in Germany. Born in Minneapolis, her formal art education began at St. Cloud State University, Minnesota (BFA) and continued in Chicago at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (MFA). Later, at the School of Visual Arts in NYC, she earned a Certificate in Art Therapy. Her work has been reviewed in The New York Times, Time Out New York, and featured on many online venues such as Left Bank Art BlogArtefuse, Two Coats of Paint, Gallery Travels, and Woman Artist a Day. She was recently interviewed about her work for The Huffington Post. She considers herself an abstract painter at heart, switching between oil and mixed media flat work and sculptural wall & floor pieces, and installations, all made of collected materials. She has lived in Brooklyn for over 20 years.


Josie Gearhart, Sea Monument (2015), Oil painting on canvas, 30×40 in a floater frame, Instagram: Josie Gearhart, josiegearhartart.com  Cincinnati, Ohio 

Josie Gearhart asks, What is art? Is it meant to teach? Are we meant to question it, grasp its meaning? Be captured by its charm? It offers us experience. Do we use that experience to create more experience? The act of doing art…creating…opens up your heart, lays bare your soul. Her goal as an artist is to create paintings that give the viewer pause; to represent the beauty of the world around us.

Gearhart is a painter and mixed media artist who graduated from Tyler School of Art, Philadelphia and Rome, with both a BFA and MFA. She went on to teach art in the public school system. While raising a family, she created a decorative arts business, concentrating on mural work, landscape painting on furniture, and surface finishes such as Venetian plaster and wax, for walls , ceilings and cabinetry. Today you will find her in her Cincinnati art studio combining her love of surface finishes  with her desire create masterful paintings. She has participated in local and national juried shows, has won several awards and will be featured in the art edit section of House and Garden UK , in September, October and November editions.
Sammy Leon, Coral Alchemy (2018), acrylic, polyurethane, black ink, marker, spraypaint, 20 x 16 inches, Instagram: @ouiouisammy, ouiouisammy.com  New York, New York 

Sammy is a Design System. Two thousand years ago, Epicurus said that the state of the universe is constant flux – matter neve stops moving. “Ironically,” Sammy says, “this is still true.” Albeit, today the world we are cognizant of transcends itself at an even quicker pace. The Sammy Design System runs as fast as today’s tech beat and aims to outpace it by way of Epicureanism: everything is always in motion, so let’s innovate accordingly. Visual meets physics meets logic, and the result is a belief that the only constant is change.

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Brian Donahue, Spirit of the Deer Cry (2006), Bronze, 25″ (h) x 12″ (w) x 12″ (d), 
Instagram –  donahuefinearts, donahuefinearts.com  Sierra Vista, Arizona

Brian Donahue does a lot of liturgical work for churches around the country, mostly Traditional and Representational, statuary and liturgical furnishings. His gallery work is more spiritual rather than religious. He relies heavily on semiotics, using items of nature to express the ethereal. Early in his art career, Donahue worked as a Scientific Illustrator in the archaeology academia in Arizona, Hawaii and California. During excavations he began to notice similarities in the spiritual art and semiotics of the early indigenous peoples. This captured his interest and he began to study these two areas more in-depth.

In the meantime, Brian began to receive commissions for liturgical work. With an increasing demand for his work, Donahue began an independent study program to better understand the complexities of the liturgical art genre and Semiotics. He took courses in Liturgical Art and Architecture from the University of St Mary of the Lakes in Mundelein, IL. and he studied Religious Semiotics and Celtic Christianity from various sources.

Kenna Rentmeester, Instant Bonds: Angie, details forthcoming.

Instant Bonds: Angie, is an acrylic painting on panel of a woman’s “toe thumb”. The inset of the panel contains a plaster cast embellished in gold leaf of her thumb.  It is painted in vibrant and unique color combinations to show how we sometimes feel like we stand out because of our idiosyncrasies. The gold leaf cast symbolizes a reliquary, stating that our oddities are worthy to be cast in gold.


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Robert Eustace, Auracourt (2003), Ikonic Mixed-Media Constructions/ Combined Process on Wood with Metal and Objects, 25″h x 20″w x 3″d, sainteustacefineart.com Edison, New Jersey

The qualities found in the work of Robert Eustace can be attributed initially to the time spent in traditional Catholic church. There he found wonderful architectural symmetry, art and statuary adorning the stone walls and crevices at every glance, symbols and rituals of meaning, rows of candles providing an unearthly illumination, shadows and fragrances of mystery, along with the slow turning of the seasons and the festive celebrations of light.

Eustace also spent much time in all weathers, roaming and playing in the interconnected parks (or former primeval wilderness) that hug the northwestern rim of Manhattan Island. Today, it is simply known as Inwood Hill Park. To the immediate south lies Fort Tryon Park, while to the immediate north Isham Park can be found. Looking out from the edge of the forest and down towards the broad, shimmering Hudson River, one’s mind can drift and visualize all sorts of played out scenarios of a time long ago: Of majestic wooden clipper ships exploring the untouched, pristine coast around Manhattan – always a sacred visiting place to the Native Americans who tended to dwell in the outlying lands that surrounded the island.

Sacrosanct Gallery showcases contemporary & interfaith sacred art in America. Founder and Curator Shauna Lee Lange works exclusively in the fields of the meaning of sacred, art & theology, and sacred spaces & places in creative placemaking. 941.875.5190.


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