Calling on the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Spirito Creatore, Susan Kanaga and Filippo Rossi collaborated on an exhibit first displayed at the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo (Florence Cathedral Museum) in Florence, Italy and now opening October 15 in Orleans, Massachusetts. As part of an international symposium on Arts and Ecumenism organized for the Fifth Centenary of the Reformation the artists, an American Protestant woman and an Italian Roman Catholic man, lead the way in calling on the Holy Spirit to teach us to pray and to work together.
I believe our collaboration works because we both share a call to express our faith in art and a deep inner commitment to search for God’s beauty and truth and express this in our work. When we work together, we strive for a material and a spiritual balance always toward an ecumenical vision. In this way our work is in conversation. I think one reason this is possible is the respect we have for each other’s call.—Susan Kanaga
Left and Right: Witness, Susan Kanaga, Spirito Creatore, 210 x 40 x 40 cm. Extruded polystyrene, bitume, acrylic, and gold leaf, 2017
The work of the artist becomes not only an aesthetic manifestation but more fully a testimony of faith. This happens when the artist silences his or her own ego seeking direct contact with the absolute, the eternal.
Left and Right: Witness, Filippo Rossi, Spirito Creatore, 210 x 40 x 40 cm. Extruded polystyrene, bitume, acrylic, and gold leaf, 2017
The artist’s co-laboring includes us, the viewers— who are these Witnesses, what is their testimony, and how shall we receive them?
The exhibit, Spirito Creatore, will be on view at the Community of Jesus in Orleans, Massachusetts, October 15 through November 18, 2017.
Susan Kanaga has been a member of the Community of Jesus since 1983. She has studied the art of mosaic in Ravenna with Alessandra Caprara, of “Mosaici Antichi e Moderni,”and helped realize the mosaic pavement of the Church of the Transfiguration, at Orleans, MA. In 2004 Susan Kanaga was commissioned to design a creation cycle for stone sculpture for the Atrium of the Church of the Transfiguration. Susan has collaborated with Italian and American publishers for cover designs and has exhibited at the Mount Tabor Ecumenical Centre for Art and Spirituality in Barga (Lucca) and Orleans, MA. Susan currently lives in Lucca, Italy, while taking Master lessons and collaborating in non-figurative sacred art under the direction of Filippo Rossi. Visit her website at: www.susanskanaga.com
Filippo Rossi has been exhibiting since 1994 and has worked as a site specific artist for private and public patrons. His works are in museums and collections both in Italy and abroad. He was the youngest of the artists invited to the audience with Pope Benedict XVI in the Sistine Chapel in 2009. In 2011 he was invited by the Florence Cathedral Foundation to take part in the competition for a pulpit for the Cathedral. In 2012 he accepted the invitation from the Derix Glas Studio in Frankfurt (Germany) to collaborate with their technicians in translating some of his paintings into stained glass. He conducts workshops in the United States and Italy. Visit his website at: www.artfree.it