"Interfaith Art Exhibit Encourages Dialogue, Reflection," a Commentary by Maria Wiering

May 19, 2009

Author: Maria Wiering

Source: The Catholic Spirit


It’s decidedly out-of-place. A bundle of twigs, tree trunks and roots, the 6-foot-tall natural material sculpture leans against a wall in the Basilica of St. Mary’s gallery space. Tree roots reach out in all directions, their delicate fibers starkly juxtaposed with the stalky trunks.

At first glance, it looks like something displaced from a landscaping project, but closer examination reveals a careful arrangement bonded with handmade paper.

Artist Leah Golberstein, its creator, calls it “Uprooted.” It is a symbol of rootedness in tradition, culture and religion; the pain of uprooting oneself, especially by forced migration; and the possibility of becoming rooted again.

It’s one of the 45 artworks in the exhibit “Interpretations of Faith: Women Artists in the Jewish and Christian Traditions,” on display through June 28 at the Minneapolis church.

Featuring eight different local artists — four Christian and four Jewish — the exhibit is designed to encourage reflection on the two faith traditions, said Kathy Dhae­mers, associate director of sacred arts at the basilica.