Gallery In The Sun

La Paloma, by Ettore DeGrazia

[To see more of DeGrazia’s work, go to the Gallery In The Sun, www.degrazia.org]

Everything is thoughtfully artful there – even the floors, made with natural stone and cholla cactus slices. DeGrazia sculpted, painted, and constructed this space for the creation of art and the fostering of the human spirit. It is a sanctuary in the Tucson desert, offering quiet and shade. It is an art museum, a studio with artists-in-residence, and a gift shop.

I’d never heard of Ettore DeGrazia until I visited his gallery with my two sons in 2012, but I’d seen many of his images – on Christmas cards, prints, and in a few magazines. I had no clue of the breadth of his work, of his concern that art education be made available to everyone, or his biography. Nameless until that point, true, but still a quiet presence in my life.

I could say the same for the Holy Spirit on most days. Not named or recognized in more than a sense of beauty, peace, and purpose, but patiently and dependably present. On the days that I recognize and name the Spirit, I catch a glimpse of the breadth of grace and holiness that I so often overlook. La Paloma.

It seems fitting that I chose DeGrazia’s La Paloma the day I could put a name and a history to the paintings; it reminds me of my limited awareness and the unlimited graciousness that alights just within its bounds.

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Johnna

I am a Christian educator and writer.I have worked in churches, denominational offices, and seminaries. I have a PhD in Theology from Princeton Theological Seminary, with a focus on Practical Theology and educating in faith. In 2010, my book, "How the Other Half Lives: the challenges facing clergy spouses and partners," was published by Pilgrim Press. I believe that words can build doorways that lead to encounters with God through the Spirit.

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