Thousands will see the artwork on display in the northwest corner of the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels over the next few months. But the drawings, paintings and sculptures weren’t created by anyone famous.
Well, at least they’re not famous yet.
The Robert Graham Memorial Student Art Exhibition is an annual event hosted by the cathedral and grows every year. This year, the exhibition features art by 75 students from 15 different Catholic high schools.
“The deepest form of art is the spiritual art,” said Gayle Garner Roski, curator of the exhibit. The well-known artist, whose work is part of the Masters of the American West exhibition opening Feb. 6 at the Autry Museum, has served as chair of the cathedral’s fine arts committee for the last 20 years.
The late Robert Graham, an internationally renowned sculptor who died in 2008, designed the cathedral’s bronze doors.
“Every artist that I know that has the opportunity to address a spiritual space, they come away renewed,” said Garner Roski, who designed and created the cathedral’s “Archway of Mercy” for the jubilee year. “It makes artists double think. They get to dig deep inside of themselves. That’s what we want to do as artists.”
The Robert Graham exhibition, which will be on display through early May, gives students the opportunity to do just that. Also, the student artists on display can note that they showed at the Los Angeles cathedral on their resumes.
Msgr. Kevin Kostelnik, pastor of the cathedral, along with Steven Graham, son of Robert Graham, gave students certificates of participation.
Catholic schools are committed to art in education, a reflection of the Church’s celebration of art through the centuries, Garner Roski said.
“People can come to spirituality in many different ways and certainly art is one of them,” she said.
Garner Roski is stepping down as chair of the cathedral’s fine arts committee this year. She will also no longer lead the Robert Graham Memorial Student Art Exhibition after this year. Noriko Fujinami, studio director of the Robert Graham Studio, will take her place.