Monday, October 24, 2016

autumn placements

Meadow East
Acrylic, plein air, January 2006
Sharon Kamprath

Acrylic on watercolor paper, 12 x 9, 2009
David Kohl, West Linn, Oregon

Scene Looking East of North Jefferson
Acylic on panel, 4 x 6, plein air, 2005
Sharon Kamprath, Seward, Nebraska

Acrylic on watercolor paper, 12 x 9, 2009
Aaron Brandt, Knob Noster, Missouri

Hogan Creek 2,
Acrylic, 11 x 14, 2010
Sharon Kamprath, Seward, Nebraska

Acrylic and panel, 2005
Sid Kamprath, Seward, Nebraska

Acrylic on panel, plein air, 2005
David Kohl, West Linn, Oregon

Autumn, Monroe Creek #1
Acrylic, plein air, 14 x 11, 2009
Sharon Kamprath, Seward, Nebraska

Monroe Creek #2
Acrylic, plein air, 11 x 14, 2009
Sharon Kamprath, Seward, Nebraska

Simeon Holding Baby Jesus
Acrylic on panel, 2004
Marie Lodwig, Lincoln, Nebraska

Saratoga Moment
Acrylic on panel, 2005
Sharon Kamprath


Friday, October 21, 2016

prepared site

One Saturday I met a man who had known my father. He and my dad became friends and colleagues while teaching at Concordia University in Seward. But before they ever met --- Harvey Lange was impressed by the mural Reinhold Marxhausen painted on the east wall of the Brommer Dining Hall. (Drawing sketch, next. Estate photo, an excerpt from The Witness, January 1953. Golden Embers 1953 yearbook photo, page 62)

Marxy, as he was known on campus, had depicted "God's majestic hand," Lange told the Alumni Gathering on Homecoming weekend. The Aid Association for Lutherans printed the color image of the mural for its 1953 calendar. Double click to enlarge images.

Both Harvey and his wife Carol were very struck by that painting. As of yet they had not met Marxhausen. Lange wrote to Marxy and paid him 100 dollars to do a Christmas painting.

The work measured 36 by 24 inches. It consisted of a blazing flame in the shape of the Holy Spirit, a shaft of light which pierced through a night sky of blue. The earth below was black. Marxy told Lange the swirling figures within the light were based on figures Van Gogh had done. In the foreground one could make out the little town of Bethlehem. Marxy called the piece "a radiant hallelujah chorus."

Marxy told Harvey Lange that the painting was not on canvas but on hard masonite. He painted it with auto lacquer. Which made the work child proof. Nothing would mess up the painted surface.

From the same photos --- that the Concordia repository now has on Reinhold Marxhausen --- I recognize the white garage behind my father, the sidewalk that had been recently poured, the same one Dad had us boys draw in. There were cars in the background, across the street in the gravel parking lot, that years later would become the Campus Center. Our address was 199 College Avenue. The yard where my brother Paul and I played. My dad painted the hallelujah chorus around 1960. Later, when our family moved over to Columbia and Lincoln, that white house and the white garage would become the first Art Annex for the college in 1965. Still later, the same building was torn down to make way for the Dorcas dorm.

In 1964 Harvey and Carol Lange moved to Seward, Nebraska. They lived at 2nd and Moffitt. Harvey taught Religion classes at Concordia.

During the early 60's Dad built a studio behind our house on Columbia, in order to assemble the mosaic murals for the Nebraska State Capitol.

In 1977 Marxy gave Lange a welded sculpture he had made called "Victory." It depicted a germinating seed pushing through clods of earth. A motif Marxhausen used to represent Christ's resurrection from the dead. Marxy had created the piece when he was at Mills College in 1962. He only asked that the work be always available for any exhibit that came up.

When his illness had taken hold of Marxy, his wife Dorris told Harvey not to expect much conversation from him. Determined, Lange brought up the subject with Marxy. What he got instead was a conversation about the need for visual arts within the church. Congregations have a minister of music. They should consider having a minister of art.

Lange conferred with collegue Chuck Dull. Dull had started the Director of Christian Education (DCE) program at Concordia University. At one time this ministry did not exist. Then the program became established at Concordia and it continues to this day to send out qualified workers to serve congregations.

Lange foresaw a foundation for Concordia Teachers College. A liturgical art faculty. He had seen the what Arlen Meyer had done over the years for the St. John Church in Seward - visually celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. Marxy had created sculptures for the church narthex, which corresponded with the pastor's sermon. Lange could see a program established to foster liturgical art. Lange said it was paramount to get input from churches and then design a means for carrying it out.

Lange asked Arlen Meyer to bring this idea before the Art Department. To hire a part-time person. The reply was that their hands were already full. After much consideration the Board of Regents approved it.

It turns out that Harvey Lange, the man I have now met, has greatly helped to fund the Center for the Liturgical Arts for the past twelve years. The Center began in 2003 under Ken Schmidt. It continued under Mike Strand and now Mark Anschutz.  Who knew? I had not. But I know now.

Harvey Lange acknowledges the hand of the Lord.

Yes yes yes yes. That is to say, some One is leading. The hand of the Lord is leading. I believe Marxy was led to Seward. And he followed. The Lord led him toward each project. The Brommer mural, the State Capitol murals, stardust on the David Letterman show --- Marxy, being both a teacher and a learner himself. The creating process as a believer and as an artist is about listening, honoring, being led, and giving thanks to that Hand of God - For He IS ABLE.

Soon ground will be broken on what once was the Marxhausen property. It was gifted to the university by the family. A new facility for the Center. Impossible things have become possible. It is the activity of our engaged Lord.

Harvey Lange is correct. What is going on it truly miraculous!!!!!

Three minutes. In 2013 the house where my brother and I grew up was still standing at 540 North Columbia in Seward, Nebraska. My mother Dorris still lived at the Arbors in Lincoln. My father was laid to rest in 2011. His grand daughter, my niece, Anne Marxhausen resided at the house and took care of the property. This was how the yard and studio looked back then. Anne had her own projects going on in the studio. You can see the landscaping and greenery my mother had planted. Aspens tall and seedlings from the Poconos in Jersey.

Three minutes. In 2016 the Marxhausen property was given to Concordia University in Seward, Nebraska. The former house was taken down and the lot prepared as the future site of the Center for Liturgical Arts. Plans have been drawn up to include the existing Reinhold Marxhausen studio, and to build additional studios on the same lot.  

Actual drawings of the planned center (photos by Paul Marxhausen)

X-ray view, side elevations, note the echo of the existing studio, 

 floor plan

site plan, smaller square is existing studio.

The front door will be what Marxy did for the 540 North Columbia house, gorgeous in satin polyurethane.

administrative desk in the basement of Jesse Hall.

Worship song. Karl Marxhausen (1989) Four minutes.
"Celebration is more heart than head, more faith than sight, more confession than consumption as we live under God's promise in Christ. We are the Lord's. Here is the Celebration."  Harvey Lange     (1971 Tower yearbook, page 86)Lange

Right photo, "Harvey Lange was making an intense point to my brother Karl.  It was great to talk with Harvey and Carol and understand the depth of their commitment to the CLA project."    Paul Marxhausen

Karl Marxhausen interview with Harvey Lange, Saturday, October 8th, 2016. Phone conversation, October 20th, 2016.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

drawn away

"Jesus, Your love is so amazing and this joy I can't explain it. I'm caught up in the fellowship, yes I'm caught up in the fellowship. Cause You're the One, there You go again. Lifting my heart, lifting my head, And hope is rising as I see You smiling." The Love Inside, Laura Hackett Park

I was so proud of Rick. The engine smashed through the windshield. He was telling us what happened to him - twenty years ago - how they used the jaws of life to get to him and extract him from the car. The details. The memory came to him, while we sat on the couch in his apartment. ?Did he still have what he wrote down last time? He didn't know where he had laid it. Then it occurred to me. My hand reached down and pulled out one notebook for him. "Write pieces of your story. Maybe just the word "windshield," I said.

It's like the blue dashes around the red-outlined letters I had made on the pink sheet. My eye found it on the top of the pile. My fingers carried it into the living room yesterday morning, seated on the sofa, sipping on my cocoa. And next my thoughts were drawn away - left to rest - on the One who was thinking about me. The One who lifted my head, held my thoughts, moved my heart. To know his presence. To be known by him.

When you look at "windshield" next time, you will remember what God has done for you.

As I talked with Shane, Rick scrawled down bits and more bits until he finally had filled out the whole page. It set in his lap.

"While you're at it, DECORATE the page." I handed him the tissue paper squares and the glue stick in a cellophane bag. He took the bag from me and began gluing bright colored squares along the edges. Afterwards he asked, "Do you want me to tear out the page?"  "No, the notebook is for you to keep. Like a treasure chest... to remember... moments of God's help," I replied. "You can put your name on the front if you want." Yea, he got right to it. He made it his own.

Caught up in the fellowship. The tall fellow from Marshall, Shane, 36. He said quietly he hasn't prayed for some time, but the river from his lips took me to into the presence of the Father. The history God had with him swirled in dips and turns. Feeling unknown to those I was with. But each of us was known by the Father, held in the Father's hand, given to Jesus, that none would snatch away. 

I thought of Ellen and Robbie, Charlie and Jenni, figures that have moved in and out of my life. The way the Spirit reminded us - that we were thought over. How His smile made hope rise. In the next moment His fellowship touched a chord and a response spilled out. Like the words Robbie spoke last week, "You are a lover, God." 

Across from Rick's place, Darlene showed me the design she had been embellishing with her colored pencils. I saw an orange starfish in the middle, flanked by rose blossoms, and some blue snow flakes. From my plastic sack I handed her the paper sign with packing tape across its back. She studied the blue dots around the "I" and "N." The green dashes with orange and blue and red. She read the sentence to me. LET  JOY  FALL  IN  MY  HEART.  "That is a prayer for myself Darlene......

......cause I need His help."  As I rose to leave I hugged her, told her I loved her, she told me she loved me. This stranger, a mother, a grandmother. Thank you Lord for knitting our hearts.


Monday, October 3, 2016

active spirit brings it to mind

These days I spend time fostering expression. 
Once George told me about his motorcycle wreck. How the hospital expected his injures to be fatal, but they were not. 

Matt attributed his survival in a car accident to assistance from God.  
Joanna told me about the sign the Lord sent her telling her son was okay-- a large flock of red birds landed in her back yard. 


Remembering a touch from a caring God in the midst of her despair, a workman brought to Sarah a bottle of water when she was crying out
side the hospital. Her grandson in surgery. The man said to her: "It looks like you could use this." 


Last summer we met at the Folger Street coffeehouse. This Autumn meeting with two brothers and a bible student who live at Patty Court and a couple I visit at Bosworth. 
It is the active presence of the Spirit who brings the memory to the surface (Book of John, chapter 14, verse 26). 


We write down "what He does" and "how He is" based on entries from the book of psalms. (#34 and #103 and #91, and so on) 
Something to bring my heart back to Him when I read it later.

I really enjoy this. Unscripted responses from unfamiliar folks who believe. Relying less on "correct" answers, and honoring honest ones. In September I chose to stay home from the Paint out in Marceline, Missouri. Preferring to keep my visits going.