“Vonn Hartung has been an inspiration to me and to many others for years. His extraordinary gifts as an artist with an eye for the deep meaning of Christian faith makes him one of the treasures of time. I only hope that his work and the spirit in which he accomplishes it can become a beacon for more and more people.”–
Gil Bailie, lecturer and president of the Cornerstone Forum, author of Violence Unveiled: Humanity at the Crossroads
“Working with Vonn on the iconography and formal expression of the new ambo at St. Paul’s in Pensacola, Florida was an enriching experience. Vonn brought forth a powerful new interpretation of a classical iconographic theme. The four Evangelists surrounding the figures of Saints Peter and Paul create a “sacra conversazione” of dialogue with each between themselves and Lord who proclaims the Gospel, and between themselves and the congregation listening to the Lord proclaimed in the Gospel. The power of his figures that capture the spirit of the Evangelists and the Apostles of Rome can only come from deep contemplation and resonance with the subjects, and a profound mastery of his art.” —
Dr. Steven J. Schloeder, architect, author of Architecture in Communion (Ignatius Press)
“From 1997 to 2003, I worked closely with Arturo Vonn Hartung through The St. Michael Institute of Sacred Art (SMISA). Vonn is a thorough professional in every sense, a genuine modern “master,” and an inspiring teacher.” —
Mark Gordon, Former Associate Director for Evangelization, The St. Michael Institute of Sacred Art
“It is my pleasure to give testimony to the years of service, love and dedication to the arts by an extraordinary artist and friend Vonn Hartung. Vonn has been instrumental in promoting and preserving the arts by participating, as a master teacher, in a series of “Sacred Art in Action” workshops. The workshops were held as one-week intensives at the Priest Field Pastoral Center which is in the Diocese of Wheeling/Charleston, WV. Vonn as a master artisan teaches a process that produces a project that is completed by the end of the week and also allows each participant the ability to continue the process on their own after the workshop is completed. I say this only to give evidence to the quality of time and effort given by Vonn in these workshops. His over 20 years of dedication…giving of his expertise and his time…has been a remarkable gift and very much appreciated by many students and people like myself. As Director of Sacred Art Workshops and “Sacred Art in Action”, it is my hope that Vonn continues his work in the arts and continues to be a ‘master’ artist, teacher and friend.” —
Mary Valentine, SAIA Director, Shepherdstown, WV
“Las creaciones de A.Vonn Hartung son una expresión vibrante de su continua búsqueda de Dios en los complejos procesos de la vida cotidiana. Comunican su pasión por la verdad, la belleza y la solidaridad.”
“The creations of A.Vonn Hartung are a vibrant expression of his ongoing search for God in the complex processes of everyday life. They communicate his passion for truth, beauty and solidarity.”
Dr. Jaime Partsch, historiador, autor
“La imágen de Dios en la creación se entrelazan y manifiestan en las obras de Arturo Vonn Hartung. Fiel a la misión evangelizadora del tradicional iconógrafo, expresa su comunión con armonía y belleza en sus pinturas, tallados y mosaicos.”
“The image of God in creation intertwine and manifest in the works of Arturo Vonn Hartung. Faithful to the evangelizing mission of the traditional iconographer he expresses his communion with harmony and beauty in his paintings, carvings and mosaics.”
Norma T. Diaz Camacho, profesora y discípula del Beato CMR
“El arte de A.Vonn Hartung es una síntesis de fe y experiencia hecha vida. La preocupación por el medioambiente, por el bienestar de la sociedad, se sintetizan en su obra impregnadas y aglutinadas por una profunda experiencia de fe cristiana.”
“The art of A.Vonn Hartung is a synthesis of faith and life experience .Concern for the environment, for the well-being of society, are synthesized in his work impregnated and bonded by a profound experience of Christian faith.”
Padre Julio Victor García
Apertura Exposición Toques de Fe, Dept del Estado, San Juan Puerto Rico 2011, Presentación por Padre Jorge Santiago Cartagena SDB
Padre Jorge Santiago Cartagena SDB introduces the Artist
Opening Night of Lenten Exhibit Toques de Fe
State Department, San Juan Puerto Rico, 31 March 2011
Today we are here admiring the works of Arthur Vonn Hartung.
Since when have I known Arturo and Patricia, his wife? Destiny made us travel together to Rome for the beatification of Carlos Manuel Rodriguez.
What better place to meet an artist than in the eternal city!
There among mosaics, paintings, sculptures, old and beautiful basilicas, tombs of saints, the remainder of a dazzling empire, was born a friendship that over time has become deeper and closer.
Later, my projects as pastor in Orocovis converted the new priest friend into patron of the artist friend.
First, the great mural of the Dream of the Two Columns in the chapel dedicated to St. John Bosco and the Via Lucis painted in the manner of stained glass. Then the 3 large mosaics in the town parish, passing by other stained glass windows painted in the remodeled Sacristy and in the new chapel of the Blessed Sacrament.
All this art and creativity by Arturo made a cascade of beauty in these two churches and I appreciate it.
However, what I appreciate most about Arturo and Patricia is their friendship, their affection, their gentleness and humility.
Arturo has a life to write about in a book, he was a globetrotter and a bohemian, but above all a Christian. In him is fulfilled the parable of the pearl found in the field. When he rediscovered Jesus Christ and his Catholic faith he left everything as less to serve his true Lord and his Church with his art.
Today we are here in this beautiful room. It has become a large gallery for Arturo’s art but nothing better than Arturo and Patricia’s studio-home. There among dogs, cats, recycled materials, hanging paintings and carvings, is where Arturo gets to work his muse and affectionately receives visitors.
Thank you, Arturo for having fallen in love with our island. Today when so many flee from her you chose long ago to stay among us, you favored the colony over the metropolis, the warmth of our climate over cold New England.
I invite you to like Arturo’s art. To also become his patrons. He needs people who appreciate art and understand that in beauty that radiates is a reflection of the divine and its contemplation brings us to achieve the ineffable.
That’s my friend Arturo, with his difficult Spanish, but speaking very clearly a language that transcends borders, languages, races and political ideas, the unique language of Art.
Apertura Exposición La Palabra y la Piedra, Universidad del Este (UNE), Carolina Puerto Rico 2005, Presentación por Dr. Jaime Partsch
Dr. Jaime Partsch introduces the Artist
Opening the Exhibit “La Palabra y la Piedra”
Universidad del Este, Carolina, Puerto Rico
3 March 2005
I have known Arturo Vonn Hartung for more than fifteen years. During this time I have come to admire several of Vonn’s qualities . One of his fundamental characteristics is authenticity. He says what he thinks and feels and without meaning to offend, always defends his ideas and convictions. In this sense he is a person free from any hypocrisies and deceptions. I think the works we have on display today are a reflection of a person of profound convictions.
Of course, I also admire Vonn’s artistic and creative abilities. He has obviously mastered the skills of painting, drawing, color, shape, sculpture. Everything we see here today testifies to that. But as the artist that he is, that creativity and those skills he possesses manifest an inner world that gives direction and meaning to what is created. Vonn perceives the world from the perspective of faith. The lens of spirituality allows him to interpret the world in a very particular way, with a depth and with a light that illuminates aspects of reality that are unknown by many. In a society overwhelmed by superficiality and banality, it is stimulating and hopeful to be able to count on the presence of people like Vonn and to be able to enjoy their creations. Vonn is a highly reflective, thinking person. He is a true contemplative. The works that we have here are products of Vonn’s reflections, meditations, of his contemplative life.
I cannot speak about Vonn without also speaking about his wife and companion Patty . The fact is that Patty is an extraordinary person. She possesses a patience and strength that are admirable. I know she is the hand that sustains and supports Vonn. And not only that. She is also an artist. Whether in the kitchen or in the workshop or in dealing with people, Patty brings a creativity and a vital spirit to everything she does. Truly, the works exhibited here are also her works.
There is also another element in the life of these artists that I’d like to highlight. They, Vonn and Patty, live from their art. They sustain themselves with the work of their hands, their minds and their spirit. They have built, and rebuilt their own home in Guaynabo, little by little, through the years. We all know that the life of an artist today in Puerto Rico is usually one of economic hardship and insecurity. Vonn and Patty, however, have managed to create and build amidst many difficulties a home and a workshop that are reflections of the best of the human spirit. They have lived more than twenty years in Puerto Rico. This island which they both love deeply is now their home. Puerto Rico is fortunate to be able to count on people like them.
For me it is a pleasure to introduce you to Arturo Vonn Hartung.