Art: Theodore Prescott exhibit, "The Reconstituted Cross"

By Sharon Fujimoto-Johnson Exhibit: Theodore Prescott's "The Reconstituted Cross"June 1 through July 28, 2006Henry Luce III Center for the Arts and Religion, Wesley Theological Seminary, Washington D.C. "If the purpose of the cross is symbolic, the question is 'what is being symbolized?' In my experience the answer found in too many church crosses is, 'not much.' Their conventionality precludes contemplation.... My goal was to begin to reconstitute this basic Christian symbol," Prescott says in his artist's statement.Prescott's reconstituted crosses made of stone, wood, metal, and found objects invite us to look anew at the cross and its metaphorical meanings. Curator Deborah Sokolove writes in her statment, "In Prescott’s work, the traditional Christian meanings of the cross are extended, rather than questioned; deepened, rather than rejected. Each of the crosses in this show asks, first, 'what is a cross?' and then answers with a form that is both surprising and elegant." Prescott often creates sculpture that retains a visible sense of the process involved. Salt Lick Cross, for example, was transformed by cows who received sustenance from the artwork even as they changed it. Also included in this exhibit is a piece called Taste and See, which is not a cross. "The reconstitution of the cross is not just about new images for faith or art," according to Prescott. "It is something that can be tasted. The honey in this piece, Tupelo Honey, is the one kind of honey that never crystallizes. It always stays fresh." Theodore Prescott teaches sculpture at Messiah College. He is former president and founder of Christians in the Visual Arts, editor of A Broken Beauty, a group of essays on art and the notion of human beauty. Prescott's works are found in numerous private and public collections, including the Cincinnati Museum of Art, Armand Hammer Museum of Art at UCLA, and the Vatican Museum of Contemporary Religious Art.

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