Haywood Street Fresco

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Asheville artist Christopher Holt has been commissioned to artfully portray Haywood Street's vision of community through a large scale work of art in the medium of fresco, to cover the entire central wall of our sanctuary.

This project can challenge viewers to embrace the beauty within the outcast, to see neighbors living in poverty with fresh eyes, and perhaps can stir a new passion for justice. We are excited about the possibilities it affords for new partnerships, and for enabling us to re-imagine the intersection between faith and art.

The intersection of art and Christianity taught an illiterate western world the stories of scripture, shifted access to the Bible from a few clergymen to the masses, and inspired many of the world's great masterpieces in art.

But with commissions coming from the Church, renaissance painting was made over in the image of those in power paying for it. God was rendered European and male; Jesus was more prince than peasant; salvation was being upper class.

The New Testament, however, narrates a God who abandons heaven to take up residence as a homeless man on earth, who loiters on dirty corners, who breaks bread with outcasts, who touches the untouchable, who loves cherishing what has been discarded by the world.

The Haywood Street Fresco will portray Jesus' most enduring sermon, the Beatitudes, where he begins, "Blessed are the poor…"; and it will offer a timeless witness to the Gospel in plaster and pigment where the last are finally made first."

— Rev. Brian Combs


Have questions about this project? Visit the Fresco FAQ page.

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