St. Mary's Projects in Studio Art:

Amanda Schmeltz / SMP 2013


Throughout my life, Christianity has influenced many of my personal choices. When I think about my own experience, I reflect on the comfort that derives from the presence of knowing there is something greater than myself. Although negative associations are traditionally associated with religion, particularly through oppressive and burdening guidelines, I never view Christianity as fitting this typical mold. My identity is so fully and completely wrapped in the label of Christian that when approaching my SMP project, I could not fathom making artwork without some remnant of its association or influence, even if this association remains invisible to the viewer.

My artistic goal is to create an object that evokes the same range of emotions that I feel when I am living according to my faith. I want to create an environment where the viewer is aware of his or her own presence in connection to something much larger and something much grander. How could I bring about a sense of “wonder” to my own work?  Through a site-specific installation, I stamp out circular shapes onto the wall to create a pattern of interconnected shapes. As these shapes are impressed repeatedly upon each other, the image that begins to appear is one of effervescent movement. I translate the comfort I feel in Christianity through pattern because pattern is a constant repetition of the same form, which signifies some notion of stability. I hope my work beckons viewers into a contemplative state so that they are able to reflect upon their own sense of self in relation to their surrounding world, just as Christianity beckons me into a reflection about myself in my environment.