Mark Steven Greenfield at All Saints Church Pasadena: The Halo Series

Proposed Dates: February 4th - March 17th, 2023
(Opening Reception Saturday February 3rd)
(Included on ArtNight Pasadena on Friday March 8th)

Mark Steven Greenfield grew up Catholic, and walked away in his youth primarily for one reason: the unshakeable hypocrisy of the faith and the faithful. He didn't entertain showing this body of work in a sacred space, because in his words, "I'm not interested in revering the saints of the past. I'm personally interested in contemporary saints, outside of the religious system". In hosting this exhibition, All Saints Church Pasadena is reminded of the power of the word ALL in its name. There are saints outside of the religious canon. There are heroes of the faith who don't usually get cemented in colored glass. Faith is more than a set of beliefs. Faith is the refusal to be silenced and subjugated, and the insistence that all humans deserve dignity. Faith is perseverance in the face of adversity. Faith is stepping toward a liberating future, even if that future is generations away. Faith crosses traditional boundaries to finds allies in the struggle for justice. If churches lived more into that kind of faith, they might find more people walking in, not walking out.

By bringing contemporary art into the inner Sanctuary, we are making a bold statement about our commitment to the visionaries and mystics of our own day, in our local community. We temporarily disrupt the static nature of the one hundred year old architecture and iconography, in order to remind ourselves of the evolving nature of faith and beloved community. The Sanctuary is a weekly site of engagement, of intentional commitment to each other, and it provides context for the contestation of our lives: not just telling the stories of our past and faith heritage, but re-performing them, as if they are a script that has yet to be fully realized. Sometimes the most radical story one can tell is a story that has been forgotten, suppressed, and/or co-opted by the empire. Greenfield's work inspires us to remember the past, challenges us to tell the whole story of our present, and beckons us to re-imagine the future.

(Artworks shown to scale)