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Church Shows Paintings As Religious Influence

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Church Shows Paintings As Religious Influence

The Fine Arts Committee of First United Methodist Church will sponsor a showing of old and new paintings by Ann Arbor Artist Richard Wilt July 14 through 28, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day.

Wilt will hang his paintings in the church’s Social Hall Sunday. The 10:15 a.m. coffee hour will celebrate the opening of the show and serve as a reception for the artist. It will be open to the public.

The purpose of the exhibit, according to committee chairman Mrs. Joseph Hartsook and her assistant, Mrs. Leslie Bassett, is to demonstrate that modern art can be an important influence in religion.

Having found satisfaction from displaying paintings in the Wesley Lounge of First Methodist during religious holidays, Wilt wished to extend his sphere of influence to include other churches. Sympathetic to the idea, Mrs. Hartsook and Mrs. Bassett opened their home to representatives of the various congregations. In all, some 40 Ann Arbor women have expressed interest in eventually obtaining original works of art for their respective churches.

As host to the Wilt exhibit, the Rev. Hoover Rupert said, “The church is perpetually on the lookout for new means of relating its message to society. The contemporary artist has much to say to us through the arts. We are happy as a church to bring this message to our congregation and the community. This is but the first of what we hope will be regular showings, under the auspices of our church’s Fine Arts Committee, of art by contemporary artists within the Ann Arbor community.”

Preview Of A Canvass

Two women from Bethel AME Church, Mrs. Odoies Collins (seated) and Mrs. James Turner, (right), inspect one of the paintings being displayed at First Methodist Church for possible acquisition by Bethel. Others are (from left): Mrs. Leslie Bassett, the Rev. Hoover Rupert, minister of First Methodist Church, and artist Richard Wilt.