Linocut Art of Houston's St. Matthew Lutheran Church
One day a congregant from St. Matthew Lutheran Church wandered into the Museum of Printing History in Houston, Texas. She noticed a framed linocut print that I had created of her church. It was hanging on the wall in the gift shop.
She contacted me, and long story short...they now have the right to utilize my art print in their church bulletins, cookbook cover, and however else they wish to use my linocut image. My good friend Lisa asked me to tell her what inspired my creation of this particular print.
First of all, let me tell you that I am a self-taught artist. I took a one-semester art appreciation class in high school. That was decades ago! There was also a 3-hour free class at Bear Creek Community Center that I received regarding introducing the linocut art form. I have primarily ventured into this field of art with God-given talents.
The subject of art has always been of interest to me. My one and only nearby girlfriend I had when growing up in Wisconsin's countryside was artistically inclined. Together we drew, sketched, colored, and painted various objects as a form of play. She ended up becoming an art teacher in later years.
My parents moved to Texas when I had just turned 13. Except for occasionally dabbling in artistic endeavors, that part of my personality was put on hold. Becoming a registered nurse took me on another path, but I always appreciated art. When time permitted, I occasionally painted and created things for our home and my husband's office. Most of my paintings have been given away through the years to friends and relatives.
To satisfy my curiosity, I wanted to learn about linocuts and relief printing. My husband and I had collected some old etchings, among other types of art, through the years. I merely wished to become better educated regarding works of art on paper.
After I had created a few linocut prints by hand, I began utilizing an antique press at The Printing Museum in Houston. It is there that most of my linoleum cut art prints came into being. It was an excellent opportunity to use a 100+-year-old printing press. I was able to show people touring the establishment just how those antique machines worked while I was printing my art pieces.
The Architectural Design
The design of St. Matthew's Lutheran Church was by noted architect Joseph Walter Northrop, Jr. It began life as the First Congregation Church in 1927. Mr. Northrop, Jr. was a former president of the South Texas Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. I did not know this when I first saw it's beautiful exterior.
Churches, in general, are often fascinating structures. They tend to reflect the aspirations of the supporters and attendees in directing one's soul towards a higher and better elevation of life.
More affluent churches often have more elaborate exteriors as well as interiors. St. Matthew's fits that category. I particularly liked and represented with my art the juxtaposition of the different roof lines with the tower and the arches that seem to tie it all together.
Imagine if you will some folded and praying hands. The arches represent them. The sheltered walkways with the arches protect people from inclement weather such as rain or searing sun. Those arches are like the church's body, which offers protection to parishioners by way of unification in prayer.
The wings of the church have different angles. It makes me think of other families joining together to form a cohesive whole in sharing a collective religious experience.
The large spreading branches of old live oak trees adorn this part of Houston just north of the Museum District. They also help to provide St. Matthew's with a framework of natural beauty.
Hopefully, this answers my friend's query about why I created a linocut of St. Matthew Lutheran Church in Houston. Art is definitely in the "eye of the beholder," and this linocut is my unique perspective and personal symbolic meaning of her church home.
St. Matthew Lutheran Church was celebrating its 90th anniversary in 2016. The location is 5315 Main St., Houston, Texas 77004.
This Saint is known as one of the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ by Lutheran as well as Roman Catholic, Anglican, and Eastern Orthodox churches. Along with Saints Mark, Luke and John, he walked the earth spreading the word about eternal salvation. Before becoming an apostle and evangelist, St. Matthew was a tax collector. According to the Catholic and Orthodox churches, he died a martyr.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied."— Matthew 5:6
Are you familiar with St. Matthew Lutheran Church in Houston?
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Peggy Woods