Having struggled with a rare cancer that offered little chance of recovery, Poetry magazine editor Christian Wiman has navigated his way through questions of belief and death. His cartography begins early in his life with the story of his grandmother and elderly great aunt. During his early adult years, Wiman lived in a trailer in the yard of “the big house” where they lived.
From Daily Cross (clockwise from top left): Sand Cross, Apple Cross, Bunker Cross, Phila Cross.
Gerda Liebmann’s Daily Cross began on Facebook. Soon other photographers expressed interest in participating, and Liebmann began posting the global community’s photographs of crosses. “At first, this Daily Cross project felt like a form of visual play. It was fun and challenging to find crosses on the street, in stores and in nature. . . . But soon the project took on another dimension. Looking for the symbol of redemption in the world began to feel more and more like seeking evidence of redemption itself.” The collective act of finding “that stark symbol of the Christian faith” is also each photographer’s journey to God, through Christ on the cross.
"I am not strictly a realist,” says Los Angeles artist Madeleine Avirov. “Where traditional oil painting is mostly about exteriors, speaking to us by way of what it refers to rather than by the way in which it envisages, I have, since childhood, been driven by a faith in the mysterious forces that allow me to enter my subjects. To be present, in other words, to other modes of being. The goal is not only to show ‘things,’ but also the soul of the thing, whatever it is in the middle ground that makes us go toward this thing and not that. Some of the works read like hallucinations—real and unreal together, some elements way out of normal scale.”
Vermont artist Jerry Geier’s sculptures often feature commonplace moments and ordinary people. Even the material he uses—terra-cotta—reflects the most common of elements, earth. In this representation of the Last Supper, in which Jesus’ back is to the viewer, Geier captures a moment of companionable humor. Trust and appreciation are on the faces of the disciples. But clearly something else is also going on. Arms stretched as though in embrace and blessing, Jesus is the one who faces the window, the curtains blowing. “The window shows a breeze, which I see as a symbolic breath of fresh air, new life, perhaps the Holy Spirit flowing in,” Geier writes. “It all takes place in a modest little house of some kind, with wooden floors and simple walls.”