The Eucharist

The Eucharist

Watercolor on paper

“I painted on the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus when I was living in Rome. While reflecting on Christ’s final night with his disciples, I imagined the different reactions of His friends as they received this gift of the Godself into their mortal hands. What was it like for the first group of people to look at, hold, and consume Christ’s very heart flesh? Musing about the different disciples’ personalities, I painted a scene of their various imagined reactions.

This scene is also us in Mass. With this painting, I hope to remind myself and the viewer to behold His gift, in its heartbreakingly meek form, with the same awe and reverence as those present on that holy night.”

-Amélie Guthrie

Amélie Guthrie

How old are you?
33

Have you had any formal training in the arts? Where? When? How long?
No, I majored in art history. All of my fine arts education has come from working at the Children’s Museum of Arts in Manhattan, apprenticing with various artists, and an artist residency at CalArts.

What inspires your art? Who/what influences you?
I have a different answer to those questions about every month. However, I have a few consistent themes.

Like many artists, nature stirs me most. I’m spellbound by how the veins in a leaf echo the fractals of a river system which mimic the branches of our circulatory system. So, to sound like a very generic Christian artist, I suppose the Great Creator inspires my creations.

I was also originally attracted to the Catholic faith via the visuals of Catholic mysticism, specifically those of Mexican Christian art. Our Lady of Guadalupe endlessly twinkles me as well as flaming bleeding Hearts covered in glitter and neon saint iconography and prayer candles such.

How would you describe the style of your art?
Contemporary art that usually prays.

Who are your favorite artists? Favorite works of art?
Some of my favorite artists are Janaina Mello Landini, Kara Walker, CJ Hendry, Frida Kahlo, Heather Schieder, Alonsa Guevara, JR, Mikael Owunna, Edoardo Tresoldi, Hazel Mead, Kehinde Wiley, The Guerilla Girls, Joseph Beuys, Wassily Kandinsky, Jan Van Eyck, Mary Cassatt, Gustav Klimt, Dale Chihuly, and Georgia O’Keefe.

There are too many favorite works to name, so I’ll name one: Leonard Knight’s “Salvation Mountain.”

What direction is your art taking now and where do you see yourself going? Do you have any new projects you are working on that you are excited about? Any new areas (types/styles of art, subject matters) you’d like to explore or try?
I’ve always prayed and played with watercolors, as represented by my work in this show. However I’m primarily a sculptress and installation artist, working in wire, which is what I’ve made and sold for the last eight years.

During the pandemic, I’ve experimented with a new medium- large scale embroidery on canvas. I started with triptych of a life size six foot alligator and have since embroidered a large Immaculate Heart of Mary, Our Lady of Guadalupe, and several landscapes.

What do you do for a living? Do you create art professionally?
I create art.

Besides art, what are your other interests – professional or otherwise?
I’m also a birth doula and am passionate about improving women’s healthcare, especially in pregnancy and birth. My other heartfire goes to making art education easily accessible to underserved children, taking better care of Mother Earth and battling climate change, yoga and rock climbing.

Are you Catholic yourself? Are you a convert to the faith or a “cradle Catholic”?
I’m a Catholic convert.

Would you say that you have experienced a conversion or renewal of your faith at some point in your life? Did art play any particular role in your faith story? Would you like to tell us more about that?
I hope I’m in a perpetual state of spiritual growth, however I have had a few more pivotal renewal moments. One was when I entered the Catholic Church when I was 20. A vision of Mary was involved, which I’m better at telling than writing.

In my current wave of spiritual meditation I would say art, or the art history praises, has me disillusioned. Mostly, I find the depiction of women throughout history disappointing. To address something more specifically Catholic, representations of Mother Mary in most art strike me as depressing and uninspiring. Apart from scenes of Christ’s passion, it seems unfortunate and even inappropriate how perpetually depressed, vacant, or irritated Mary is depicted. We’ve done enough in art to understand Mother’s pierced sadness. We need more art to connect us to our present, joyful Mother.

Amélie intends on auctioning this piece of art, but the Catholic non-profit organization that will receive a donation from a portion of the winning has yet to be determined.

Check this page again in the future to learn more.

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