Suffering - A Special ECVA Exhibition

  • 02 Dec 2018
  • 02 Feb 2019
  • Publishing March 2019 at


  • For ECVA Members, submit up to 3 images for $15.
  • For artists who are not members of ECVA, the submission fee is $45 for up to 3 images. (Non-member artists are encouraged to join ECVA for the annual member fee of $30.)

This is a Special ECVA Exhibition. The ECVA Member submission fee is $15 for up to 3 images; the non-member submission fee is $45 for up to 3 images. Submission of art and payment of fees is not a guarantee of inclusion in the exhibition.
Registration is closed

- online at March 1, 2019 -


“I said to my soul, be still

And let the darkness come upon you

Which shall be the darkness of God.

As in a theatre.

The lights are extinguished

For the scene to be changed.

So, the darkness shall be the light,

And the stillness the dancing.

(from Four Quartets, T.S. Eliot)

AS WE APPROACH THIS TIME OF YEAR and the days get shorter, we come into a season that is filled with more darkness yet also more light through the seasons of Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany. The anticipation of these seasons, the stillness and the movement, the hope that it brings and the memories they unfold, can make the sacredness of this time seem more intense. Often this is experienced with great joy and festivity, but, often, for many it is a time of sadness and depression.

WE KNOW THAT this is not only true for this time of the year but throughout our lives. It is often difficult to share these stories because to do this we must embrace our vulnerability.  Saint Irenaeus, the second century bishop wrote: “The glory of God is a human being fully alive.” And, these stories of alienation are as much a part of our story as those stories of happiness and abundance that we share more often.

ALL AROUND USthere are walls that we build up around us to protect us from our vulnerability---those walls we build up inside of us, in our culture, in our language, even in our religion.  In today’s world, there is turbulence and despair everywhere---suicides, loneliness, the opioid crisis, gun violence, alienation. All of us may recall some hurt that has become a part of our identity or some issue in our society on which we feel we must speak out.   In this special exhibition, we ask the artists to tell these stories through their art. These are stories of suffering.

WE ARE REMINDED of the words of St. John of the Cross:  “And I saw the River over which every soul must pass to reach the Kingdom of Heaven, and the name of the River was Suffering----and I saw the Boat which carries souls across the River, and the name of that Boat was----Love.”

To paraphrase Richard Rohr: Love is like a prayer---it is not an action that we do—but a dialogue---that already flows through us---and is ready to be expressed to the whole of creation. (The Divine Dance, Richard Rohr)

How as artists can we respond to this dialogue and give meaning to these stories of alienation, of hurt, and indifference?

Painting by Joy Jennings

ECVA Board Member Joy Jennings will curate this Special ECVA Exhibition. Submissions open December 1, 2018 and close February 2, 2019. Your registration fee, $15 for members and $45 for non-members, covers your submission of up to 3 images for possible inclusion in the online exhibition. Information on how to send your digital image files will be sent after registration.

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