Laudato Si Art Exhibit

In celebration of Earth Day 2023, Artist A. Vonn Hartung unveiled his latest art exhibit,

“LAUDATO SI – Care for our Common Home,”

Featuring eight major works, A.Vonn Hartung's exhibit at San Ignacio Church in San Juan Puerto Rico captures the essence and spirit of Pope Francis's encyclical, which calls for global attention to the urgent need for environmental stewardship and climate action.
Laudato Si Art Exhibit

In celebration of Earth Day, artist A.Vonn Hartung unveiled his latest art exhibit, “Expressions of Pope Francis’s Encyclical on Climate Change: LAUDATO SI – Care for our Common Home,” at San Ignacio Church in San Juan, on Saturday, April 22, 2023. Featuring eight major works, Hartung’s exhibit aimed to capture the essence and spirit of Pope Francis’s encyclical, which calls for global attention to the urgent need for environmental stewardship and climate action. The visually stunning and thought-provoking artworks served as a reminder of our shared responsibility to care for our planet and each other.

The event featured distinguished speakers, including Sister Lissette Avilés Rios, OP, Archbishop Roberto Gonzalez Nieves’s Delegate of his Ministry of Ecology, and Gredia Huerta Montañez, MD, FAAP. Dr. Huerta is the President of the American Academy of Pediatrics of Puerto Rico President and co-founder of Puerto Rico Clinicians for Climate Action, and Executive member and Co-Founder of the Council on Environmental Health and Climate Change.

Attendees had the opportunity to hear from the artist, A. Vonn Hartung, as he discussed the inspiration and creative process behind his works. The event was an enlightening and inspiring experience for all who attended, as well as a chance to reflect on the crucial role we all play in protecting our common home.

The centerpiece “Thy will be done” painted in 1992, has visited many churches in the metro area. It asks the viewer—
Which future—in harmony with God or in disharmony, shall we live? The carving Eve and Adam began with the covid pandemic and led to the other paintings— all express aspects of Climate Change.

 

Oil painting on wood panel, 42 x 57", by AVonnHartung. The painting is rhetorical in concept and presents us with two possibilities: one in harmony with God's Creation, a future of justice, peace and sustainability. The other of plunder, chaos, endless war and an ultimate collapse of nature and life on our planet home as we know it.
Thy Will be Done

Taken from our Lord’s prayer— (Matthew 6:10), the title is rhetorical—it asks which future shown in the painting do we want for ourselves and our children’s future? With God’s Sacred Creation in Harmony, and Health? Or in our dysfunctional, chaotic, Dystopia? God gave us Freewill, so the choice is ours. Let us repent and change our ways.

Read more about this painting

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Eve and Adam, a pandemic woodcarving by A.Vonn Hartung
Eve and Adam

With the Global Pandemic, I felt we were in a Garden of Eden Moment of Time, and I must do a carving. And I knew it would need to be a carving that would speak to the Pandemic, but also that which I believe brought on the Pandemic—an imbalance in the mode in which we live with Nature, the destruction of the cosmos! Impending climate collapse! Thinking of the Future—Mothers and children came to mind. Hence the title “Eve and Adam” which expresses the wisdom of Human Love over Material Profit. The Question is, are we—the Human Species—continuing to cause this imbalance and if so, can we correct it? This Question is the essence of the message of the carving. 

Eve and Adam, closeup detail of pandemic woodcarving by A.Vonn Hartung
Eve and Adam (closeup detail)

We see our modern-day Adam pondering this question shown more as his temptation—recalling the original story of the Garden of Eden. To answer this the parable of The Garden of Eden and the forbidden fruit speak to us here and now as we find ourselves in A Garden Moment of Time. God, we pray— help us to be Wise!

Read the poem by the artist.

 

Zacchaeus in the painting by A.Vonn Hartung, as in the Bible (Lk 19:1-10), is a sinner of ill-gotten wealth. He knows his guilt but also wants to know Jesus. So he climbs a tree to see Jesus, but at a safe distance. But Jesus knows him and calls him to come down, forgives him, and Zacchaeus changes his LIFE and is SAVED.
Zacchaeus (Lk 19)

We take the lesson of the rich man Zacchaeus, wealth attained from dubious means, welcomed by Jesus as a sign of redemption. Zacchaeus in the painting, as in the Bible (Lk 19:1-10), is a sinner of ill-gotten wealth. He knows his guilt but also wants to know Jesus. So he climbs a tree to see Jesus, but at a safe distance. But Jesus knows him and calls him to come down, forgives him, and Zacchaeus changes his LIFE and is SAVED.

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Fishers of Men is 30 x 36-inch acrylic painting by A.Vonn Hartung, dedicated to all First Responders
Fishers of Men

Fishers of Men (Matthew 4:19) are 1st Responders. They are the heroes that show up first when there’s a tragedy, where people are in danger of losing their lives or losing their souls. They are not only firemen, policemen and soldiers, but also You and Me who help make a better world. They, with great Humility, are our Priests and Nuns who with the Saints save Souls, hear our confessions, lead our communities in Faith, settle differences between us, and face with us the dangers and solutions to climate change. God Bless Them All!

Read the poem by the artist.

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The Magi Return as Angels to reflect our Creator’s Gift of “Our Common Home”. A painting by A.Vonn Hartung
The Magi Return as Angels

The three Magi who brought gifts to our Lord and savior baby Jesus, now as Angels return and bring Us their greatest gift, shown in the mirrors they hold— the Reality that We are One Integral piece of the Living Cosmic Puzzle we call Earth, “Our Common Home.” God created Earth, for all his creation. “For God so loved the world he gave His only begotten son.” Earth is ours to live in and to share. It is not ours to trash! In Christ we pray.

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The Wounded Dove, a painting by A.Vonn Hartung is a visible metaphor showing how we are damaging our Common Home, planet Earth.
The Wounded Dove

The painting Wounded Dove is a visible metaphor showing how we are damaging “Our Common Home” Planet Earth. The most sacred, precious, and delicate of all our symbols is the Dove. Here we see her wounded, bleeding crippled in her nest. Her Mate tends to her, as indigenous people look on with compassion, for they know what it is to be wounded. In the background and all around we see how we are abusing God’s Sacred Creation. Lord, help us to Heal Your Gift of Earth, “Our Common Home.”

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The Melting North, a painting by A.Vonn Hartung, showing polar bears stranded on a floating piece of ice as a consequence of the climate crisis.
The Melting North

The painting The Melting North expresses the reality and denial of what we know, but the reality of how we are suppressing our needed reaction as glaciers melt. We, like in the painting, tend to want to be on the cruise ship observing but moving away from the reality of the melting north. In God we pray for the faith and the courage to act. How is it that we can love and feel the Suffering of People and vulnerable life so far away? It is because God has linked us all together like the embrace of a Beautiful Flowering Vine, and that we are All Linked in His Sacred Creation so that what we do for others or do to others we also do to ourselves. We pray for the awakening of our consciousness to the realities that we face and the love that binds God’s creation together. We pray!

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Climate Refugees, a painting by A.Vonn Hartung, shows wandering refugees leaving their homeland.
Climate Refugees

The painting Climate Refugees shows wandering refugees leaving their destroyed homeland. Exhausted, wounded, searching simply for a place to live. Behind them are the endless galaxies of Infinite Space with the Chimneys of Creation known to us by the NASA Hubble telescope.  In the mid-ground the eroding rocks look sympathetic although decrepit due to a dissolving world. There is Hope, however—as leading the way amongst the goats, is the “Lamb of God” bringing them out of Climate Collapse and into a healthy and sustainable future. Christ help us.

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