Matthew Artwork: Lane Geurkink

The artwork for our ongoing Matthew series is by Lane Geurkink, a Denver mixed-media artist and Park Church alumni.

Why the upside down crown?

The more time we spend considering the kingdom Jesus came to establish, the more it contrasts with the kingdoms around us. In this Kingdom of Heaven, the outcasts are welcomed, the humble are honored, enemies are loved, the poor are esteemed, strangers are befriended, and the guilty are forgiven. Its King is enthroned on a cross, His victory comes through His death, and His death gives life to the world. In short, it’s “upside-down”.

To illustrate this concept, we asked Lane to paint a series of upside-down crowns. A different crown has represented each semester or “part” of the series, of which there have now been six. What started as a simple, thin crown in Matthew Part I (Spring 2020) has grown more intense and full for each new Part Starting in Part V (Spring 2022), we began to combine or “composite” Lane’s original crown paintings to keep the crowns growing, all the while seeking to illustrate that Jesus plan continues to be beyond and other than our expectations:

What do the banners mean?

For Matthew Parts I–IV, a large banner was displayed on each side of the front of the sanctuary. Lane created these banners by dying sheets of natural canvas with things like rust and indigo plants. Inspired by the abstract work of Mark Rothko, the giant “color fields” are a space to see and feel different things as one walks with Jesus through this Gospel: warmth, cold, cheer, and even confusion. These pieces stand in significant contrast to some of our past sermon series artworks where meanings have been more direct and implied. What did you see in these banners?

 

And the piece in the gallery?

For each of the 93 Sundays we’ve spent in Matthew to-date, we’ve displayed a “central” piece by Lane in the gallery. An upside-down crown is pictured off-center on a massive natural canvas, marbled with natural indigo dye. Like many of Jesus’ teachings, a complexity and a simplicity are both accessible, but the upside-down nature of His kingdom clearly stands out.

 

What are the new pieces on stage for Part VI?

We’re in chapter 20 as this article is written, and Part VI is finding us headed to Jerusalem with Jesus for what will eventually be His death and resurrection. Through the end of our Matthew series (Part IX?), the “metanarrative” of Scripture and all of history is reaching its climax in Christ.

To place ourselves within this big picture, we are re-displaying four of Lane’s paintings, originally done for a Park Church Bread and Wine event in 2014. The pieces retell this grand arc of Scripture: (1) Creation, (2) Fall, (3) Redemption, and (4) Glorification.

 

We are so grateful to Lane for her incredible work on these seven pieces and several crown paintings. Thank you for challenging us to disciple our eyes as we disciple our hearts.

Photo Credits

Photos of banners and gallery piece by Melanie Fenwick. Photos of “metanarrative” pieces are from an iPhone and not by Melanie (sorry Lane!).

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