by Jessica Langdon
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Faith flows within the walls of Savior Pastoral Center here, and some colorful Catholic touches also line the walls — in the form of a new art exhibit.
What once might have looked like any other hallway now welcomes visitors with a collection of paintings and sculptures.
“We’ve converted it into an art gallery with the intention of creating a space where we can celebrate beautiful Catholic art,” said Tim Chik, director of Savior Pastoral Center.
The exhibit — featuring the works of 19 artists — opened in September, and will be on display through Advent.
For today’s audience
This display is the latest installment in a series of rotating art exhibits. The Catholic Fine Arts Council, which is sponsored by the Catholic Foundation of Northeast Kansas, is responsible for the displays.
Gallery owners Eva Reynolds of Leawood and Bob Swain of Topeka assembled this particular collection, which Swain described as “a collection of modern-day artists’ interpretations of orthodox Christian themes.”
Many times when talking about Christian art, people think of Michelangelo and Donatello.
“It all seems so distant to them,” said Swain. “I think it’s kind of hard for people in today’s modern-day culture to connect to that sometimes.”
A collection like this helps make it easier for people today to relate to these “spiritual truths” than something created hundreds of years ago might, he continued.
“It’s a very diverse set of paintings,” said Chik. “The diversity does, I think, have a harmonic blend.”
The mixed media in this exhibit — which includes both paintings and sculpture — offer some fascinating touches, added Chik.
There is no charge for touring the exhibit, said Chik, and he encouraged people to visit during business hours on weekdays, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Some people might take half an hour to take in the sights. Others might want to take much longer, he said.
“Just come on by and enjoy the beautiful space,” Chik said. “It’s an opportunity for us to appreciate and enjoy beauty.
“Beauty is one of the key ways in which we can access the divine,” he added.
Support for a spiritual journey
The exhibit is only one element of Savior Pastoral Center, however, which sees a lot of use by Catholic groups and others.
The center is host to a number of retreats and other events on the weekends and throughout the week.
Groups ranging in age from grade school through adults come to Savior for a variety of conferences and other events. The large facility allows for several events to happen at the same time.
It specializes, Chik said, in overnight accommodations for adult retreats.
A new addition to the center is the small bookstore in the front, designed with the center’s visitors in mind. The bright, remodeled space offers a comfortable place to pick up a few spiritual items during a stay there — such as a rosary, if they left theirs at home, said Chik.
It’s basically a small amenity for the guests and a way to support their spiritual journey.
Many dioceses don’t own a retreat center, and Chik called Savior Pastoral Center a “gem” of the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas. It’s a place where guests can be comfortable and grow closer to God.
“It’s a real blessing,” he said.
What: Catholic art — paintings and sculpture — featuring the works of 19 artists
Where: Savior Pastoral Center, 12601 Parallel Pkwy., Kansas City, Kan.
When: Now through Advent during business hours (8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.)
Additional information: The exhibit is free. Some of the works are for sale. For more information, contact Tim Chik, director of Savior Pastoral Center, at (913) 721-1097.