- Nov. 20, 2020
-- The Walter Art Gallery is proud to present, Prayer for America
Saskia Jorda's thoughtful response to the charged political climate of 2020. It intertwines an esteemed patriotic symbol – the American flag – with a religious symbol – the prayer bead. The piece presents a strand of oversized prayer beads, much like a rosary, composed of 50 bound American flags. For each bead, a flag was carefully gathered and bound with thread. The flags are whole and unblemished, held just off the floor by felt and wood, each one gathered and joined to the others to create a new merged object of traditional reverence and hope.
As she binds the flags, Jorda often contemplates the role of the rosary in her Catholic upbringing, and the repetitive, healing action of prayer in many faith traditions. There are layers of meaning in the binding of the flags, for example how citizens are bound to their flag and country, to its ideals, freedoms, trials and faults, as well as to each other. At the moment, some in the U.S., on both sides of the political divide, feel their freedoms are being bound. The act of binding these flags presents a portrait of America that might be in retreat, curled up in a ball against its own force. Simultaneously, however, it is something else: a set of prayer beads, evoking contemplation, penance, and hope for a future great unfurling.
Born in Venezuela, Jorda says, "I did not make the choice to become an American lightly, nor do I take it for granted. Prayer for America
is my response to the anxieties and fears I see brewing about the future of our country." As we all take a deep breath and summon hope for the future of our country, "Prayer for America" reminds us of the privileges of citizenship and the attending challenges and responsibilities to each other and our country.
Saskia Jorda received her MFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York, New York, and her BFA in painting from Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona. Her work has shown at the Phoenix Art Museum, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, the Tucson Museum of Art, dozens of commercial galleries, and Art Basel and has installed public works of art for Scottsdale, Tempe, Mesa, and Glendale among others."
Prayer for America"
will open virtually to the public on Friday, November 20, 2020, broadcasted live on The Walter Art Gallery Facebook page and led by Gallery Manager, Charlotte Strawn from 6:30-7pm. Prayer for America
will be on display from November 20 to Inauguration Day, January 20, 2020. The gallery is open for in-person visits by appointment
. For more information visit http://www.walter-art.com