Sunday, December 30, 2012

2013 Indigenous Christian Art Calendars

I hope everyone had a peace-filled and joyous Christmas season.  May God continue to incarnate through our individual and corporate lives during 2013!

With January 1st fast approaching, I was conducting my annual wall calendar search.  Among others, I decided to look for calendars that contained artwork by indigenous Christian artists, as I had come across a couple in the past.  I found a total of three, and perhaps you might know of more.  If so, please share in a comment to this post.

Unfortunately, only two of the following three calendars are available outside of Europe (UPDATE: See note at the end of this post), but I thought I'd mention all three anyway.

The first is "The Guardian of Paradise," the 2013 Papua New Guinea wall calendar by Missio Aachen, a Catholic Mission organization.  Through Google ChromeTranslation, the website states that "the focus of the calendar is divine creation and preservation... The pictures in the calendar [reflect the] daily life of the islanders and simultaneously follow the biblical creation story in Genesis."  The calendar does not contain boxes for each day of the month, but rather shows one art image with a column or line of dates in small print on the side or at the bottom, as seen on page 3 here.

Four Papua New Guinean artists contributed paintings for the calendar: Joe NaloAndrew KauageRatoos Haoapa Gary, and Martin Morububuna.  Based on my limited research so far, I can't tell whether any of them are actually Christians.  However, some of the paintings are fantastic explosions of color and design, and all of them reflect some combination of modern and traditional styles.  The calendar can be ordered here.

The second calendar available to Americans and others is the Large Book Of Kells 2013 Calendar, available through Trinity College Dublin.  The calendar has been produced using a fine art printing process which renders the images in a much higher resolution more akin to a photographic print.

The book of Kells dates from c.800 A.D. and contains the four Gospels in Latin.  The name Book of Kells is derived from the Abbey of Kells in Kells, County Meath, which was its home for much of the medieval period.  Now measuring 33 x 25.5 cm, the book was trimmed and rebound in the 19th century.  It is written on vellum and the Gospel texts are prefaced with Canon Tables and characterizations of the Evangelists.  What makes the Book of Kells unique are the lavish illustrations intertwined with text.  These artists' intentions for these illustrations was to glorify God's creations.   The Large Book Of Kells 2013 Calendar can be ordered here.

Lastly is the 2013 Mission Calendar "Seeing With New Eyes," a joint publication of People with a Mission and the Dutch Missionary Council.  Since 1980 these two organizations have published the Mission Calendar in order to beautifully portrayed how artists from all over the world to express their faith.  Sadly, 2013 will be the last year that the calendar will be produced, due to declining sales!

The 2013 Mission Calendar features paintings by three Balinese Christian artists: Ni Ketut Ayu Sri Wardani, her husband Erland Sibuea, and one of my favorite artists, Nyoman Darsane (more here).  I would encourage you to check out the individual calendar images here.  In addition to Nyoman Darsane's paintings, I'm especially impressed by those of Erland Sibuea.  You can see a few more of his paintings and drawings here and here.

Do Not Worry, I Give Hope by Erland Sibuea

If you live in Europe (Netherlands, Belgium or Germany), you can order the 2013 Mission Calendar here.

UPDATE: Marion Popkema, secretary for the Dutch Missionary Council, says that you can order and ship the calendar to the U.S. by contacting her at this email address:  You will need to include the number of copies you want and the shipping address so she can provide a total.  She didn't specify what form of payment they'd accept.

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