Gospel Dreams: The Art of Laura James

Event time: 
Monday, January 24, 2005 - 4:00am
Event description: 


January 24 – February 28The Four Evangelists, 2000

On display at the Yale Institute of Sacred Music
Weekdays Only, 9am – 4pm.
Free and open to the public.
RECEPTION Thursday, February 3 / 4:30 – 6 pm, ISM Great Hall.

Information at 203.432.5180


Gospel Dreams: The Art of Laura James will be on display from January 24 through February 28 at the Yale Institute of Sacred Music, 409 Prospect St., in New Haven. Laura James, originally from Brooklyn, NY, is a self-taught painter of Antiguan heritage who paints religious subjects and visual dramatizations of Bible stories using iconography found in Ethiopian Christian Art. This exhibition forges links between African-Americans, their countries of origin on the African continent, and the under-appreciated presence of Early Christianity there, now expressed in contemporary terms for a contemporary public here in the U.S. The paintings encompass secular as well as sacred themes. Many use bright colors, intricate patterns, and sometimes surreal imagery; some depict women, families, and scenes of everyday life.

In 2001, Ms. James was commissioned by Liturgy Training Publications to create 35 images for a new reading of the Book of the Gospels, one of the most sacred books of the church. The completed book has been praised both for its multicultural approach and for its beauty. “I feel as though we’re really expanding on the Ethiopian iconic tradition,” says James about the book.

James’s work is widely collected and exhibited. Her images have been published in several publications including African American Wisdompublished by Courage Books 2003, the Oxford Illustrated History of the Bible (2001) and LOVE: A Celebration in Art and Literature published by Stewart, Tabori & Chang in 2001.

A reception will be held to honor the artist and the exhibition on Thursday, February 3 from 4:30 to 6:00 pm at the Institute. Free parking is available.

The exhibition is presented with support from the Yale Divinity School.