Species Extinction

Eve and Adam—a pandemic carving

When the pandemic was announced in early March 2020 we were ordered to Lock-down in Quarantine.

As a professional woodcarver, and not knowing how long we would be quarantined, I realized I need to do a woodcarving—carving has always acted as a grounding effect for me.

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!

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. 

 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.

Eve and Adam

“Our Garden Moment”

Time was we thought right from wrong,
was caused by what Adam did
for lack of judgment less than strong.

But since we left the Garden
we’ve wandered and we’ve strayed,
off the straight and narrow,
off the path we’ve paved.

Seems some still hold the feeling
that it should not be them to shame—
But that “surely it was the Other.”
So they invented Blame.

So they reject the garden story
along with forbidden trees.
They see no problem in doing anything
they “Damn Well Please!”

Now our Modern Adam
has quite a powerful Thrust.
Cause with nods from his Investors
it is “In Him they Trust”

So it’s come and so it goes
so many times around.
It’s made us all quite dizzy
and scrambled Sacred ground.

So now We stand-in with Eve and Adam,
but this time we’re ALL around,
looking up once again.
But knowing the Forbidden Fruit
still is mostly underground.

But now the truth stands out for us,
for all of us to see,
where once were lies, it’s clear,
spoken in whispers, OH so low,
whispered in one man’s ear.

So with Eve we tremble,
as our new Adam eyes what may be reason,
for the last time that we Fall.
And again mistakes
in thinking of no consequence
if he listens to The Snake.

Our Eve cries out “Listen to us Mothers
and Will-be Mothers, for little time is left.
Hear our voice, it is our choice
to birth and bear our kin.
Who if worthy of Us,
will do for those who follow,
what WE now do for Them.”

For it was before, we little thought
beyond our children and theirs.
Now we must “In God we Trust”
be the bridge for all our children’s
future tomorrows…

A.VonnHartung 2022


View the video

Ecologist Nick Brokaw introduces Vonn and his pandemic woodcarving Eve and Adam

Earth Day 2019

“and then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and Man became a living being.” (Genesis 2:7)


                                       Breath of Life

On this Earth Day 2019, I share this 27 x 40-inch oil painting. I conceived it with Teilhard de Chardin’s “Cosmogenesis” in mind. It makes visible how we are physically part of the Cosmos and of our Mother Earth. Hence it is a visualization of how all things are connected in God’s creation.
Significantly it is a reminder of the crisis we find ourselves in.

We here in Puerto Rico who have lived through Hurricane Maria have seen both the most beautiful and the most destructive forces of nature. When I think of the devastation, the waste and the suffering, I lament that we humans have contributed in a significant way to this most devastating, climate crisis.

Let us meditate on this Earth Day 2019 on our connectedness to all things.
We are the conscience of planet Earth!
Lord we pray, help us to be the Stewards of your Creation as you created us to be. Amen

“Earth lies polluted under its inhabitants; for they have transgressed laws, violated the statutes, broken the everlasting covenant.” (Isaiah 24:5)

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View video of artist discussing this painting

The World’s Greatest Challenge!

Saving God’s Creation

The earth lies polluted under its inhabitants; for they have transgressed laws,
violated the statutes, broken the everlasting covenant.    Isa 24:5

                         On Earth as it is in Heaven


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Visualizing Pope Francis’ Encyclical Laudato Si’


A.Vonn Hartung designed this poster for an ecumenical conference on the environment organized by the Catholic Commission on Justice and Peace in Puerto Rico on Earth Day 1993.
The poster is interactive. Hence the participants who purchased the posters received crayons. Proceeds went to the Faith-based environmental movement.
It depicts St. Francis giving thanks for Creation but he stands in a semi-polluted world. The scripture reading is from Isaiah 24:5 (“The earth is also polluted by its inhabitants, for they transgressed laws, violated statutes, broke the everlasting covenant”).


                                     Breath of Life    


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                                                  Latter-Day Jonah

“Latter-Day Jonah” is a concept, that is, a drawing with a paste on image of planet Earth. It speaks of the crisis that we face with climate change due to the overuse of carbons in our energy consumption. Furthermore it highlights the unsustainable development that is taking place because of our predatory economic system. In fact, the technology that we have developed is so powerful that it is threatening to destroy the natural balance of God’s creation.

The threat that we witness in the drawing is both the terrestrial devastation shown by the power of the bulldozer and the crisis we face in over-fishing and pollution of our oceans. Here we see a young fisherman being swallowed like Jonah by a giant fish. This is symbolic of the Awakening of consciousness that we as a species are Awakening to as scientific data is revealed to us.

This drawing in some ways is a self-portrait. Indeed I recall becoming aware of the crisis that we face as Humanity peers into and contemplates our future.


                                       Thorns of Christ



"El Jíbaro" oil portrait by AVonnHartung
                                                        El Jíbaro


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On Earth as in Heaven

On Earth as it is in Heaven

In response to our Holy Father Pope Francis’ call to dialog and action on Climate Change in his Encyclical Laudato Si’ On Care for Our Common Home, published in 2015, I offer this metaphorical painting, On Earth as it is in Heaven,  as a visual prayer to raise consciousness and to encourage dialog.

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[Leer en Español]

The title of the painting “On Earth as it is in Heaven”  is taken from the prayer Jesus taught us. That is, the Lord’s Prayer, Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will Be Done, On Earth as it is in Heaven.

The painting is rhetorical in concept and presents us with only two possibilities.

One in harmony with God’s Creation. In other words, a future of justice, peace and sustainability in the natural world. Conversely, the other of plunder, chaos, and endless war. Subsequently, an ultimate collapse of nature and life on our planet home as we know it.

Moreover, the painting asks a question of the viewer, each one of us, whatever our religion or beliefs. Which future do we want to live in, leave to our children and future generations?

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