Merriam Webster Dictionary defines sacred as the state of holiness or sanctity, that which is set apart for worship or service of gods. The sacred is therefore the experience of something wholly other-outside of the ordinary or profane. 20th Century scholar of religion, Mircea Eliade, defined the sacred as equivalent to a power, and in the last analysis, to reality. This sacred reality could have aspects that ranged from good to evil. This fundamental concept of a sacred reality is the basis for most of the major world religions.
El Camino College Art Gallery presents Reflecting the Sacred , an exhibition including the works of 12 artists who are exploring the territory of the sacred as reflected in art. These artists come from diverse cultural and spiritual back grounds which is represented in their artwork. Each of these artists has been selected not only because of his/her cultural diversity but also to exhibit the highly individual paths these artists have followed.
• Nancy Kyes shows sculptural constructions from her Chakkra Series, made of wire and domestic detritus. These constructions emerge from Hindu concepts of sacred energy centers found in the human body.
• Installation artist, Betsy Lohrer Hall, shows A Place of Abode, a project intended to connect the way humans live in their bodies to the external environment. Her work is informed by study of the Tao Te Ching, Yoga, meditation and various Buddhist and Hindu texts.
• Currently residing in Israel, Judith Margolis exhibits playful constructions, a book of meditative images and paintings that are influenced by sacred Jewish texts, women's stories and her own yiddishkeit (Yiddish for "Jewishness").
• Daniel F. Martinez exhibits exuberant paper mache armored figures and historically costumed paintings of skeletal personages stimulated by the Mexican tradition of All Souls Day/Day of the Dead.
• Eitan Mendelowitz presents The Ineffable, an interactive video piece that deals with Kabbalistic tradition. The Ineffable focuses upon the loss of the pronunciation of a sacred word and the attempt to recapture this sound.
• Swiss/Haitian artist, Pascale Monin shows dreamlike paintings in mixed media, with images that reflect influences from both sides of her cultural inheritance. Monin's images are simultaneously imbued with Hinduism, animism and sometimes Christianity.
• Miguel Angel Murillo presents intricate acrylic and ink wash paintings on cardboard with swirling visions of devils, saints, and roses, that bear the influence of Latin American Catholicism.
• Liz Rosetta presents black and white lithographic images of complicated family scenes in theatrical settings, replete with sacred architecture, Indian deities and Catholic nuns. These works chronicle the psychic voyage of the artist through complex terrain and personal spiritual evolution.
• Born in Lebanon, Nouha Sinno was trained as a graphic designer. Her calligraphic paintings reflect her commitment to the Arabic language and to her Islamic legacy. These works utilize the sacred Arabic and Islamic patterns to create a sort of landscape in which color and patterns unite.
• Laura Stickney presents a book work, 14 bis . The text and visual inspiration is a poem written by the artist for the aviator Alberto Santo-Dumont. The work refers metaphorically to a Buddhist practice of breathing, where we breathe in the darkness we see around us, and breathe out lightness. Stickney's life-partner, Vilma Mendillo, created a wooden box for this book which is integral to the meaning of the piece.
• Born in Japan, Keiko Tamura presents a lively series of sculptural forms representing the many faces of Buddha. These 3 dimensional pieces range in size from netsuke (2"-3") to layered door-sized wall constructions.
• Matthew Thomas presents geometric works that are both expressive and meditative. Thomas brings together his spiritual practice, interest in mathematics and diagramming in his deceptively simply paintings. These works reflect both Tantric and Buddhist influences as well as Thomas's own history as a contemporary abstractionist.