Meet Our Liturgical Artist-in-Residence!
The St. Dunstan’s community is happy to recognize one of the many artists in our community, Sue Carroll, as our “Liturgical Artist-in-Residence.” During the pandemic of 2020, Sue began to create a mixed media artwork every week for our online worship services. Her aim was to help illustrate and evoke reflection on one of the scripture readings for the week. Once St. Dunstan’s was able to resume in-person worship, her artwork has been used in our weekly bulletin and on our Facebook page. Finding great joy in this practice, Sue volunteered to continue in 2021 and beyond. She was commissioned to the official role at our service on August 29, 2021.
That fall, St. Dunstan’s hosted an exhibit of her work entitled “Art to Lift Spirits: Modern Icons of the Good News.” In simple white frames hung along the sides of the sanctuary, the bright mixed-media pieces brought a lively warmth to the space. More than half the pieces on display were sold, raising much-needed funds for our church programs. And the exhibit brought in people from the community who had never been to St. Dunstan’s before.
Sue writes: “Practicing art only came to me later in life, after a career spent with words: writing, editing, analyzing, etc. I also have a love of practical theology, with a Masters in Divinity degree from Wesley Theological Seminary, a few years as a United Methodist pastor, and several stints as a volunteer instructor at the College of the Transfiguration in South Africa.
“When I first started art, with watercolor, it was awful. I was awful! But I loved learning about colors and shapes and techniques — and when I discovered mixed media, I was hooked. The purpose of my art came to me quite suddenly one day: I knew I was to make art that would open hearts and lift spirits. Being able to do this for the people at St. Dunstan’s has been a great gift.”
In her role as Liturgical Artist-in-Residence, Sue leads small groups through simple exercises that use art as a way to explore issues of faith, presents demonstrations of mixed media techniques, and continues to create pieces about each week’s scripture lesson. She also makes her liturgical art available to other faith communities for free download from her website, art2liftspirits.com.