Blessing of the Animals 2023 Art Exhibit
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First UMC was pleased to welcome back the Blessing of the Animals art exhibit, on hiatus since 2019. Featuring animal art by the congregation and friends, and Sunday School. View artwork listing

2023 Lenten Art Exhibit
During Lent, the Fireside Room exhibit featured artwork and statements from artists that are part of a collective called “A Sanctified Art.” Each picture is connected to a Sunday in Lent and the Scripture we will hear in worship.

Elkpen Mural in the First UMC Courtyard

In August, 2021, a sidewalk mural was created by our friend, Elkpen, a Los Angeles artist who tells stories about neighborhoods, natural history, and science. She calls the mural Chalk-Ko-Lab! All are welcome to use the chalk we provide to add to the collaborative picture we’re building together as a community!

John August Swanson Interview

In November, 2020, Rev. Patricia Farris interviewed with John August Swanson about his art piece, “The Storm,” based on Mark 4:35-41.
John shares early sketches of the piece, as well as thoughts about
what inspired him. Thank you John, for your thoughtful interview that we will treasure always.

Past Fireside Room Art Exhibits

The First UMC Fireside has held art exhibits for many years. Below are a sampling of some of the artwork exhibited:

John August Swanson – A Private Collection

Exhibit of works from the private collection of First UMC member Meg Flanders, and held in her memory. Meg was one of John’s first collectors, and several of the pieces displayed date back to the 1970s.

Copyright 2000 by John August Swanson
Serigraph, 30.75” x 24”

Big & Small: Take Flight. This annual exhibit opened Saturday, October 5, 2019 immediately after the annual Blessing of the Animals in the Courtyard. It featured art work by the congregation and local community, promoting love for all God’s flying creatures, in all sizes. View more photos by clicking here.

Art By Joyce & David Landsverk: Watercolor paintings by Joyce Landsverk, and photography by David Landsverk

Carl Greenwood Paintings

A selection of paintings by Carl Greenwood hung in the Fireside Room during the 2019 Lenten season. Spanning over several decades, the paintings include imagery of California missions, modern abstractions, and a depiction of the labyrinth floor design painted in the early 2000’s.  

Carol Greenwood (seated) spoke about her late husband’s paintings on March 31, 2019 in the Fireside Room. Proceeds from sales were donated to the church.

The Art of John August Swanson – Advent Art Exhibit 

First UMC was pleased to display the works of John August Swanson
during this 2018 Advent season.

Big & small: Creatures of the Sea 2018


leaderboard view photos

View the exhibit program.

Changing Nature and Us

By artist Christian Kasperkovitz (aka Elkpen)

A Los Angeles-based artist, Elkpen looks for novel ways to talk about nature to a wide audience. 

Part of my elkology practice is an engagement with the question of ….if you can name something does that lead to caring for something and does that lead to doing something? – Elkpen

@Elkpen on Instagram or visit her website

James He Qi in the Fireside Room

On Sunday May 22, 2016, after worship in the Fireside Room, artist James He Qi (pronounced “Chi”) gave a moving account of his artwork and life. He described growing up during the Cultural Revolution in China and the path that led to his becoming an artist. He explained that his primary goal as a Christian artist is to “reflect peace and hope in his work.”

James is currently an artist-in-residence at Claremont School of Theology for a 2-year stay. He has exhibited extensively world-wide. We thank James for the opportunity to display his beautiful works of art here on campus

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