Oklahoma Conference of the United Methodist Church

Delegates can meet artist


Luncheon and Q&A session with the artist, Wednesday, May 31, for conference delegates and guests, OCU Norick Gallery. Sign up by choosing "OCU School of Visual Arts" among the meal options in the online registration.

The gallery will be open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. during the conference.

The work of artist Connie Seabourn will go on display at OCU on Monday, May 29, the same day that Annual Conference opens.

Theme is "The Feminine Face of God/God Loves Us Like a Mother" for the free exhibit that will continue in OCU’s Norick Art Gallery through July 28.

Seabourn studied art at OCU and the University of Central Oklahoma, earning her B.F.A. at the University of Oklahoma. She works in acrylic, watercolor, pastel, and prints.

Her statement about this exhibit is excerpted below.

"My favorite themes are awakenings, or new understandings that pop into my head, sometimes after reading or dreaming. Attending a one-day workshop, I had just such a moment, with wonderful images and new thoughts flooding my brain. The Oklahoma Catholic Archdiocese sponsored workshops that featured various art disciplines on the integration of spirituality and creativity. The artist/lecturer (that day) was watercolorist Doris Klein, a member of the Sisters of St. Agnes. She has particularly explored the subject of women in the Bible and other inspired texts.

"What really caught my attention were Klein’s references to God with feminine pronouns. I, too, sometimes referred to God as Father/Mother. Although I left the church/organized religion of my youth, I have maintained a close relationship with God and I believe that we are all primarily spiritual beings. However, when I referred to God as She, as Mother, or even Father/Mother, I felt uncomfortable.

"When I pictured God in my mind, He was always male — until Sister Klein told us about early, inspired writings, original texts — many of these for the Bible — that sometimes referred to God as She, sometimes talked about God loving us as a Mother.

"That feels right; it rings true. God is neither Father nor Mother, but we can only understand God better by making those familiar comparisons. God isn’t limited by gender.

"It was a simple, small understanding I received that day, but how exciting! It has become the subject for a new series of artworks as I also read and research about how God loves us like a mother, the feminine face of God, and the feminine in religion."

In June and July, churches are encouraged to bring groups to view the free exhibit on Mondays-Thursdays, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Holly Moye is OCU’s director of the School of Visual Arts. Call ahead to schedule a free tour, 405-208-5569.


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