Thursday, November 6, 2008

Gay Jesus Art May Stir Controversy at Taos Festival (1/25/07)

TAOS, NM -- Jan. 25, 2007 -- A gay Jesus and a black female Christ are among the startling images that will go on display at the National Festival of Progressive Spiritual Art in Taos, NM on May 11-12.

The festival will feature gay Jesus paintings by F. Douglas Blanchard of New York, who painted a gay Passion series, and Becki Jayne Harrelson of Atlanta, who put the word “faggot” over the crucified Christ. JHS Gallery and are sponsoring the celebration, which includes an art exhibit and book launch banquet honoring more than a dozen artists from across the United States and Europe.

In addition, Vermont painter Janet McKenzie’s famous JESUS OF THE PEOPLE will be shown. McKenzie’s black female Jesus was chosen by Sister Wendy of PBS to represent Christ in the new millennium.

All the artists use a spiritual perspective to examine issues such as lesbian and gay rights, gender and racial justice, peace and environmental protection. They are part of a worldwide artistic renaissance in progressive sacred art.

The highlight of the festival will be a gala opening reception Sat., May 12, for the art exhibition at JHS Gallery, a destination gallery for high-quality sacred art in New Mexico. The landmark show takes its title from the words of Christ: WHO DO YOU SAY THAT I AM? VISIONS OF CHRIST, GENDER AND JUSTICE. It features a variety of cutting-edge artists who give visual form to the debate over some of the most important, controversial issues today. The show will continue through June 23.

Festivities will kick off Fri., May 11, with a banquet honoring the artists and launching the book ART THAT DARES: GAY JESUS, WOMAN CHRIST AND MORE by Kittredge Cherry, an art historian and the lesbian Christian author of JESUS IN LOVE. Her new illustrated art book will tell the stories behind the art, including how some images led to censorship and death threats. A lively introduction puts the art into context, exploring issues of blasphemy and artistic freedom.

For more information, please visit or JHS Gallery carries fine devotional and liturgical art by established, mid-career and emerging artists., offers gay-friendly Christian art, books and other resources.

For a press kit or more info, contact:
Michael Roberts, manager of JHS Gallery, 505-758-0280
or visit:

No comments: