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  • Writer's pictureWoodland Park Presbyterian Church

Now on view: Subversive Saints of Seattle

In this third installment of the Subversive Saints series, our artists were invited to select a local figure, past or present, whom they believe embodies how God calls us to live (whether or not the figures themselves are people of faith). Like all of the Subversive Saints exhibits, these saints challenge both the traditional/religious and colloquial/secular definition of what it means to be a saint and who qualifies as a saint. These people did not lead perfect lives (and some are still living and will likely still make mistakes in the future!), and they are each leaders and prophets who have courageously participated in what our Jewish siblings call God’s call to tikkun olam–repair the world.

As human beings, we have a tendency to put our prophets, saints, and heroes up on pedestals. This is normal and even important–we want to make them visible as examples for all. But that elevating of individuals often also has the impact of divorcing individuals from their context, hiding or de-emphasizing the broader communities and relationships that made this exceptional individual who they are, helped them to succeed, and were inspired to carry the work forward. For this third edition of the saints, we’ve asked artists to subvert this cultural tendency by portraying their saints in a way that also emphasizes the communities that formed, supported, inspired, and were inspired by their saint. The depiction of the broader context of our Subversive Saints reminds us that, while these individuals are exceptional, we too are called and capable of being a part of God’s change-making communities. 

Another aspect of being a part of change-making communities is remembering that no single community can or should stand alone. For this exhibition, four congregations and one new worshiping community joined together: Woodland Park Presbyterian Church, Northminster Presbyterian Church, Saint John United Lutheran Church, Newport Presbyterian Church, and the Coastland Commons new worshiping community. More than twenty saints were completed for this exhibition. They are exhibited in two collections so they can be accessed in more than one of the participating communities at once.

Contents of the Exhibit

Collection A:

  1. Mitsuye Yamada by Marissa Singleton (Coastland Commons)

  2. John Richards by Kerry Johnson (Newport Pres)

  3. Ramona Bennett by Jenna VanderMeer (Woodland Park Pres)

  4. John Standford by Joe Marsh (St John United Lutheran)

  5. Miles Hagopian by Emmett Greenwood (Woodland Park Pres)

  6. Bertram Johnson by Kelly Spencer (Newport Pres)

  7. Willis Konick by Jeny Carlson (Northminster Pres)

  8. Haven Wilvich and Kaelee Alicia Bolme by Becky Drees (St John United Lutheran)

  9. Dorothy Hollingsworth by Staci Imes (Woodland Park Pres)

  10. Bernie Whitebear by Anna Rieke (St John United Lutheran)

  11. Benjamin Danielson by Polly Peterson and Betty Wight (Woodland Park Pres)

Collection B:

  1. John Stanford by Antonio and Rebecca Rufin (Northminster Pres)

  2. Jean Kim by Harper Greenwood and Nancy Horman (Woodland Park Pres)

  3. The Central District Jazz Scene by Dustin and J Kyle Wilsor (WPPC and Northminster/Coastland Commons)

  4. Pearl Warren by Elizabeth Bryant (Woodland Park Pres)

  5. Rosalinda Guillen by Heather McClure-Coleman (Newport Presbyterian)

  6. Helen Hamilton by Robert McClure (Newport Presbyterian)

  7. Cal Anderson by Szu-Yu Huang and Aquila Wu (Northminster Presbyterian)

  8. Gordon K. Hirabayashi by Bill Purcell (St. John United Lutheran)

  9. Todd Peterson by Leann Onishi (Woodland Park Presbyterian)

  10. Sam Smith by Jodie Purcell (St John United Lutheran Church)

Opportunities to See the Exhibit

The exhibit is free and open the public. Each location has its own viewing hours. Check back for updates and additional hours.

Collection A is currently on exhibit in the sanctuary of Woodland Park Presbyterian Church (225 N. 70th Street in the Phinney/Greenwood neighborhood). The exhibit is open to the public every Sunday morning and every Thursday in Advent (Dec. 7,14, & 21) from 5-7pm. Additional visiting times can be arranged by contacting the church office at (206) 782-3776 or office@wppcseattle.org

Collection B is currently on exhibit in the library of Northminster Presbyterian Church (7706 25th Ave. NW in the Loyal Heights neighborhood). The exhibit is open to the public every Sunday morning and every Thursday in Advent (Dec. 7,14, & 21) from 5-7pm. Additional visiting times can be arranged by contacting the church office at (206) 783-3402 or info@northminsterpres.org.

Collection B will be at St. John United Lutheran Church (5515 Phinney Avenue N) during Epiphany (approx Jan 6 – Feb 4). The exhibit can be viewed on Sunday mornings or during church office hours.

Save-the-Date for an Opening Event at St. John United on Saturday, January 6th.

Collection A will be at St. John United Lutheran Church (5515 Phinney Avenue N) during the Easter Season (approx March 31 – May 12). The exhibit can be viewed on Sunday mornings or during church office hours.

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