Monday, April 6, 2009

Introduction to the Way of the Cross and Interview with artist Anna Kocher

The Way of the Cross has been a part of Christian tradition since the Crusades as Pilgrims set out to follow along the path walked by Jesus carrying the cross to Golgotha. It may be used for private devotion or corporate meditation, with reflections at each stop. Our church is having a Way of the Cross service for children on Good Friday and I am eager for us all to attend.

The first Sunday when the Stations, large original paintings, were displayed around the Church of the Good Samaritan I found them so striking and was amazed to hear they were done by Anna Kocher, who actively serves at the church, along with her husband Steve and their 2 children.

I wanted to find out more about her work and the paintings and so begged her for an interview for the blog. For thousands of years the church has supported the arts so I hope you enjoy getting a glimpse into her work. My hope is just hearing from a woman who has been able to do what she loves and share her gifts while being a mom of young ones and actively serving the church will inspire you!

Anna, who graduated from Gordon College, has exhibited locally at the Art Scene Gallery in West Chester, PA at the Phoenix Village Art Center in Phoenixville, PA and has been included in juried exhibitions at various venues including the Fine Arts People Gallery in Exton, PA and the Center Art Gallery at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Anna completed all of the paintings during one season of Lent: “I had a one-year-old at the time, so any time I got to paint was spent furiously working to stretch and prime canvases and to paint.” She explains that the “project turned into a very profound Lenten discipline for me and allowed me to experience and interact with the story of the death and resurrection of Jesus in a very new way.”

A Way of the Cross Service can allow the story of Christ’s death and resurrection to become fresh and powerful. If you are in the Philadelphia area, I encourage you to stop in for one of our Holy Week Services and see the art in person. But for the rest of you, here is the pdf of prayers to go along with the paintings, perhaps you might want to use them for private devotion during the week or on Good Friday.
Also, to see more of Anna's art, check out her website.

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