The Walter Art Gallery presents, "Prayer for America," which is the artist Saskia Jorda’s reflection on the present political climate by intertwining the patriotic symbol of an American flag with a religious symbol of the prayer bead.
The piece presents a strand of oversized prayer beads, much like a rosary, composed of 50 bound American flags. For each bead, a flag was gathered and bound with thread, according to a press release.
Noting that the flags are whole and unblemished while being held off the floor by felt and wood, each gathered and joined to the others, the release said, creates a new merged object of traditional reverence and hope.
As she binds the flags, Ms. Jorda is said to contemplate the role of the rosary in her Catholic upbringing, and the repetitive, healing action of prayer in many faith traditions. Layers of meaning in binding the flags, for example, represent how citizens are bound to their flag and country, its ideals, freedoms, trials and faults, as well as to each other.
Binding these flags “presents a portrait of America that might be in retreat, curled up in a ball against its own force,” described the release, adding that simultaneously it is something else: a set of prayer beads, evoking contemplation, penance, and hope for a future great unfurling.
The exhibition even includes a floor work that is an oversized abstraction of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s famous white lace collar created with a stencil as part of Ms. Jorda’s series “When there are nine,” which greets visitors entering the gallery.
She used the hand-made stencil to create a city-wide evolving piece of art and invites people to participate by sharing a screen shot of donations made in RBG’s honor, tagging the location of individuals and businesses, and creating as many lace collar tags possible during the show’s run.
“I did not make the choice to become an American lightly, nor do I take it for granted. Prayer for America is my response to the anxieties and fears I see brewing about the future of our country,” said Ms. Jorda in a prepared statement.
Born in Venezuela, Ms. Jorda received her master of fine arts degree from the School of Visual Arts in New York, New York, and bachelor of fine arts in painting from Arizona State University.
Her work has shown at the Phoenix Art Museum, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, the Tucson Museum of Art, lots of commercial galleries, and Art Basel. Featured in numerous publications, she has installed public works of art for Scottsdale, Tempe, Mesa, and Glendale among others.
For more artist information, visit: saskiajorda.com, noted the release.
“Prayer for America” will be on display through Inauguration Day, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, according to the release, adding that the gallery is open for in-person visits by appointment only.
The Walter Project is an innovative community of artists, entertainers, makers, and visionaries who unite to form various creative ventures such as The Walter Art Gallery and The Walter Hive, with a purpose to share joy and spark creativity through “unique” experiences.
For more information visit http://www.walter-art.com; inquiries: 775-302-5448 or firstname.lastname@example.org.