Tuesday, December 16, 2014

A Special Bishop Gets Unveiled

The Rev. Canon Michael Wright, Rector of Grace Church, gives the dedication of  Bishop William Alexander Guerry into The Guerry Chapel
Portrait by Johanna Spinks

The dedication morning starts with a talk in front of the three portraits I have been delighted to paint for Grace Church

A wonderful welcome by Grace Church

Bishop William Alexander Guerry
Reformed Martyr
Grace Episcopal Church
Charleston, South Carolina.
It is always special when you attend unveilings as a portrait artist. We often work quietly in our studios shipping out portraits, hoping they get there safely, but not getting to see the final "reception" at the destination.

This weekend I had the pleasure to see my portrait of reformed martyr Bishop William Alexander Guerry unveiled and dedicated into Grace Episcopal Church in Charleston by the Rev. Michael Wright , rector of Grace Church, in front of hundreds of people in the beautiful 'cathedral-like' stained glass window setting.

I was also hosted by a lovely Charleston couple, Katherine and Dan, staying in their beautiful historic picture-perfect Victorian yellow and white home that was full of Southern charm and Christmas festive, like something out of a magazine. Thank you!

Bishop Guerry was an incredible, passionate and brave man in his beliefs. He was shot dead in 1928 for his mission for inclusion in the church of all folk, including African Americans. Read more here:

I was quite moved to be honest and felt his presence coming through when I painted him. It is my third portrait for Grace Church and I was thrilled to revisit two of the older portraits and see them situated in their rightful place, plus give a talk to the visitors about my portrait work for the church.

It will always be a special weekend memory for me, including of course the day before starting my new portrait The Bishop  of South Carolina Charles vonRosenberg. I am excited to paint this great man.

While all this weekend's greatness was going on, there was a personal moment for me to reflect on the very sad loss of dear friend, Dick, Friday night.  I said a prayer for him in Grace Church during the lovely service and it felt just perfect.

Life is short.

Live it large.

Dick did.