By Nathan Hendley
Union University news office
JACKSON — Union University’s art department is building a sculpture to show solidarity with those whose churches have been destroyed in recent months.
Lee Benson, university professor of art and department chair, said the new sculpture was initially envisioned to stand in solidarity with the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris after a fire broke out there in April. He said it was expanded to honor six African-American churches that were burned in Louisiana in April and March and the churches destroyed in Easter Sunday attacks in Sri Lanka.
“We wanted to stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters who have a daily struggle to practice their faith,” Benson said. “We hope to call the university to a year of prayer for our brothers and sisters around the world and even here in the United States.”
The sculpture resembles a cathedral, with a footprint mimicking the shape of the Notre Dame cathedral and a tower modeled after one of the churches burned in Louisiana. It will be lit from within with solar lights and is located in the grove between the Penick Academic Complex and the Great Lawn.
Benson said the art department has a tradition of providing gifts of art to the university, with the last gift being the piece “Habakkuk’s Balm,” which called the university to pray for martyrs in the ongoing terrorist crisis.
“The art department has long hoped to be a welcoming committee to those who visit campus,” Benson said. “Pieces like this are aesthetic and create interest, but they also communicate the university’s commitment to Christ in the arts.” B&R