Art at Willow Grove United Methodist
The church has renewed its public art exhibition.
Write your verse, lift your voice, paint cerulean skies.
Love calls from you, your deepest Self,
‘Inside of you is an artist.
Inside of me is an artist
Inside of us is The Artist’
The Willow Grove United Methodist Church Choir performed these final verses of an anthem titled “The Artist Within,” during its church service on Sunday.
Written by Gayle Wieand, WGUMC director of music ministry, the anthem was sung during the church service, in order to recognize the spirit behind the WGUMC has organized a community art show.
“People should come, because it’s beauty,” Wieand said of the community art show. “When you see art and get up close and personal … I can celebrate life, and beauty and love.”
The art show, which opened on April 29, will run through noon on Sunday, May 13. Technically, this is the second year WGUMC has put on the public exhibition. However, according to organizers of the first event, which took place two years ago, the first art show did not include a large exhibition nor attendance.
This year’s art show includes over 70 artists from both within the WGUMC community, as well as throughout the Greater Upper Moreland Community.
“Basically, we’re opening up the church to the community in order to showcase God-given talents,” Kris Troxel, WGUMC member and art show organizer, said “We want to make this a community event.”
Troxel, who is also a longtime Neshaminy High School art teacher, said that she wanted to provide her students with the opportunity to exhibit their artwork in a public setting.
“I’m shocked that something I’ve done would have made it this far,” Justin Aungst, a Neshaminy High School junior, said. “I’m taking photography as a class, and I’m obsessed with it.”
Justin is exploring the world of photography for the first time this year. At the WGUMC art show, he exhibited, “Wheel,” a silver gelatin, black-and-white photograph.
Much of the artwork came from students that attended Neshaminy and Harry S. Truman high school, both in Bucks County, as well as Germantown Academy.
Using walls, easels and pedestals found in most art galleries, art show organizers were able to convert the church’s chapel room.
With so many students’ work exhibited in the close-quarters of the chapel room, the WGUMC art show has the rare juxtaposition of student, amateur and professional artwork in one exhibition
“I love encouraging students to keep going with their art,” Linda Weller, WGUMC member said. “It’s all like swimming upstream.”
Weller may be best known for her illustrations in the youth magazine “Highlights.”
She has created several of the popular “Hidden Pictures” illustrations. Weller has also been the illustrator for “The Bear Family” cartoon for the past 15 years, until the magazine recently discontinued it.
She recalls having to “fight” guidance counselors during her time at Upper Moreland High School, who tried to redirect her toward another profession besides art.
“And, I won,” Weller said, adding that she now has a photo hanging on the high school’s wall of fame.
Several pieces of Weller’s illustrations and other work can be seen in the WGUMC Community Art Show.
Going to the Willow Grove United Methodist Art Show?
Where – WGUM Church, 34 N. York Road in Willow Grove
When – Tuesday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.; the exhibition will also take place over the weekend, until noon on May 13.
For more information, call 215-659-3232 or visit www.willowgroveumc.weebly.com.