Thursday, 3 December 2009

bottling it

I wish I’d heard about this before recycling the bottles from my wife’s birthday party at the weekend. Revd Jairo Lopez is a catholic priest serving in Texas, but he is also a mosaic artist who creates stunning pieces out of used beer bottles as well as other materials. Based in Marble Falls where he works from a garage studio in his free time, many but not all of Lopez’s creations have a religious theme and his work is becoming much sought after. lopez

López, who attended seminary in Colombia, completed his master's degree in theology at the St. Vincent de Paul Seminary in Florida. He was ordained in 1994, and his first assignment was San Jose Catholic Church in Austin. He also worked in Killeen, Round Rock and Mexia before he landed in Marble Falls in 2000. In 1999 he began his mosaic art, he studied for a time at the Mosaic Art School in Ravenna, Italy and gradually his work as a priest and his art came together. Lopez says:

‘It's become part of my prayer life, my spirituality.’ ‘When you meditate, you see the beauty of God in the materials, the colors and textures.’ ‘The colors, textures and materials of a mosaic, that's my parishioners. They are all of different styles, sizes and cultures. The community is one big mosaic. Without one piece, the image isn't finished.’

The mosaic work is now something of a family business as Lopez has been joined by his family from Colombia and the art has helped them to settle in unfamiliar surroundings:

annunciation ‘The art is good therapy for everyone’ says Jairo López. ‘It keeps everyone busy. I know that when my father and I deliver a piece to someone, he gets great joy of seeing a finished piece. He's very proud.’

Surprisingly, Lopez is colourblind, particularly to green and red, yet he is able to produce the most vivid images with the help of his family who pick out the appropriate colours for him.

I love the idea of someone taking discarded rubbish and turning it into something beautiful in praise of God.

H/T Luke Coppen

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