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Arts & Culture

"Altared" Consciousness: Sacred Altars on Display

You probably think of church when you think of altars, but  you might also think of art. And not just art—sacred art. Non-denominational sacred art.

“They are--almost all—spiritual, and almost all non-religious.”

That’s Celebration Circle’s Spiritual Director Rudi Harst and he’s talking about a series of altars built by artists. Here’s how it happened.

“We give fifty-plus artists identical wooden boxes," he explained. "Two months later they bring them back with totally different expressions of what’s important to each one of them individually.”

They take those boxes and fill them artistically with things that matter to them. Celebration Circle presented the artistic challenge. Harst explained what Celebration Circle is.

“The Celebration Circle is an interfaith organization, and we are focused on the spirituality that binds us all rather than the religious practices that tend to divide us.”

I noticed that a few of the artists evidently find meaning in humor. Harst agreed.

“Yes. And satire. And Spurs! An ode to the Spurs championship. That’s what one artist really wanted to focus on" he said. "And then some are focused on very specific spiritual or religious icons.”

These altars are actually on display throughout September at the Art Gallery of the Santikos Bijou Cinema at the Wonderland Mall.

“And then on Tuesday, September 30th we’re having a closing event. A reception, and the closing of the silent auction bidding” said Harst.

They auction the altars off. And then Harst points out another interesting addition to the evening.

“A screening of the wonderful Robin Williams Film What Dreams May Come, which really should be seen on big screen to be appreciated for its visual effects, which won the Academy Award for Special Effects in 1998."

The September 30th event itself is $15, but you can see the art anytime.

“The show is free and open to the public, during business hours, from noon to ten o’clock.”

For more on Sacred Altars: http://www.celebrationcircle.org/#!altars/c250w