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Off the clock: Nature, art and spirit

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“In | Habit,” the Grunewald Guild’s thoughtful and uplifting art exhibit, is a blend of talent, spirit and contemplation that’s definitely worth a visit. Three reasons to see it:

1) The art itself— a handful of pieces by the Guild’s art faculty — are accomplished works in a range of media that includes ceramics, oils, mixed media and fabrics. Especially strong: Nature-inspired ceramic objects that seem to have sprung from the forest floor.

2) An accompanying pamphlet of guided meditations, compiled by co-curator Ron Skylstad, expands on the artist’s intent while encouraging the viewer to peek behind Nature’s veil for the presence of God. Art and text blend in powerful combinations that coax viewers to look deep inside.

3) The show’s venue, St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Wenatchee, is certainly one of North Central Washington’s treasured structures and a gem of sacred architecture in the Wenatchee Valley. Patterned after a 12th-century church in England, St. Luke’s boasts lofty stone walls (quarried locally) and thick-cut stained glass windows. During a visit to the show last weekend, the sanctuary was filled with the rich, recorded voices of monks singing a capella. All in all, a good environment to ponder ecumenical art.

Together these factors add up to a rewarding artistic endeavor that’s very different from the usual gallery show. “In | Habit” is multi-dimensional. It brings forth memories and perceptions of our mountain surroundings and asks for a moment’s stillness so we can feel what’s really there.

Details: “In | Habit” is a traveling art show by faculty of the Grunewald Guild, a Christian community in Plain that explores art and faith. The exhibit runs through Dec. 16 at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 428 King St., Wenatchee. A First Friday reception will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. Dec. 7. For a schedule of additional viewing times, visit stlukeswenatchee.com or call 662-5635.

(In photo: "Cathedral of the Woods" by Richard Caemmerer)