This is, in my mind, a fantastic example of art in the church.
This cathedral is alive with art, and it’s not seen in just the permanent fixtures. I wanted to share these photos because I felt they tied in quite well with my essay about artists in the Church. I suggested that churches can support the arts and artists by actually displaying art. At the time I wrote that essay, I had no idea about this installation at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco.
I met for breakfast with some photographers and one of them had plans to stop by the cathedral to photograph it. I jumped at the chance as it seemed a perfect opportunity to see the very topic I had written about in person, in a new-to-me location. Just walking into the cathedral filled me with awe and that feeling and sense of reverence were only heightened by the hundreds of colorful ribbons of varying lengths hanging from the ceiling that you see at the top of this photo. Beauty just filled the cathedral from the architecture to the stained glass to the ribbons that brought the colors and vibrancy of the stained glass to the interior in a unifying way.
The artist, Anne Patterson, and the church community worked together to hang “Graced with Light” the 20 miles worth of ribbon that represents prayers going up and grace coming down. More information on the artist and show can be found on the Grace Cathedral site. The installation is no longer up. But, I am certain that those who saw it were not disappointed.
Here is a photo of the back of the cathedral which shows the ribbons well with the stained glass rose window behind.
This essay is from our Anastasis Series where we resurrect articles from the past that are either still relevant today or can be easily updated. This piece was first published on January 29, 2014, and has been lightly edited and updated.