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Roger Ralston creates art for Annual Meeting

Roger Ralston, who teaches art history at Eastern Washington University (EWU), made four pieces to enhance the Annual Meeting setting at the Spokane Convention Center.

roger ralston
Roger Ralston stands beside one of his Gospel creations.

His pieces were on four posts representing the four evangelists: Mark by a bull; John by an eagle; Luke by a lion and Matthew by a signpost.

Roger, who was enlisted by Jan Shannon, assistant minister at Westminister Congregational UCC and an EWU student, said he began his first drawings two months prior to Annual Meeting and finished them just before the meeting.

These are intended to serve as public art, outdoor markers, in town, wind vanes

Roger focuses on studies of shapes from the impressionistic period, he said during a workshop.  He studies still life and the interaction of light and shadow, using shapes as a starting place.  He relates light to shapes and texture.  Floral forms burst out of the top.

Twenty years ago, Roger came to Spokane, after working six years in Seattle as a community art technician.  He had a glass furnace and taught sculpture.  He had studied sculpture in graduate school in Baton Rouge and spent five years in the Trenton area.  His undergraduate studies were at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, making non-liturgical images about the Word for churches.

Roger grew up conservative, but was drawn to churches engaged in progressive causes, believing there is “more than one way to get there.”

The four Annual Meeting pieces were purchased by the end of the meeting.

“Who gets to pick what art is?  You do,” Roger said.  “You go to a museum and say this is delightful or malarkey.

“Why is it malarkey.  Why is it art?” he asked.  “Art can be the most honest thing.  Is it there to make money or make you think?

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Copyright June-July 2015 © Pacific Northwest Conference News



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