MOFSA News – June, 2020

In February we awarded our 2020 Spiritual Art Grant to Martin Dunn of Sarasota, Florida and invited four other artists to our upcoming exhibit, “Towards the Spiritual”. Since them the COVID-19 pandemic has had major impact on the world, and like other organizations, MOFSA is having to adapt.

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MOFSA Grant to Emily Clare

The Marianne Oberg Foundation for Spiritual Art has awarded a grant in the amount of $1000 to Emily Clare of Winston-Salem, NC. Clare’s artwork is based on the careful collection and preservation of delicate plant materials. She collects and dries specimens from her travels both far and near, including donations from a wide network of friends who know her from her daily neighborhood nature walks. The grant will fund purchase of a printing press to use with linoleum prints and mono prints,  a gelliplate, paper, and ink. The artwork will be disseminated through the Internet, at a time when art galleries and museums are closed.

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COVID-19 Information and Reflections

I am writing this for my friends and for the several communities I belong to. When I first decided to do the research and contemplation for this paper, my concern was chiefly to raise awareness and heighten a sense of urgency. And indeed as of March 23, 2020 the coronavirus is widespread, with 332,935 confirmed cases, and the rate of infection is accelerating. (And the acceleration continues; as of March 30 there are over 735,000 confirmed cases):

  • 67 days to reach 100,000 cases
  • 11 days to reach 200,000 cases
  • 4  days to reach 300,000 cases

The world can change the trajectory, but it requires solidarity. It is the need for this solidarity and social cohesion that I would like to most emphasize.

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MOFSA Awards 2020 Spiritual Art Grant

MOFSA is pleased to announce that the recipient of our second Spiritual Art Grant in the amount of $10,000 is Martin Dunn ( of Sarasota, Florida. Martin learned art from his father, who had been taught by his mother. His father was an artist, who worked as a commercial illustrator in the days before clip art. He was also a war hero, who suffered from PTSD for the rest of his life. His few oil paintings are dark, monochromatic renderings of fighter planes in tight formation. He was trying to say something that the society of that era wouldn’t let him put into words. Wise people say that the greatest tragedy of trauma is the loss of vulnerability. Martin’s father could never let his guard down.

Martin’s own journey has taken him to nursing homes, operating rooms, county jails, homeless camps, Hispaniola, Africa, churches, temples, mosques, and synagogues. It has led him in a spiritual direction and to create painting that are not dark but offer hope. In his own words,

I am also a mystic, which I use interchangeably with the word spiritual, as well as non-dual. As a mystic I am attempting to fully experience the ordinary while peeking through to glimpse the infinite. I also would describe myself as a Christian, since I see Jesus as the truest and most profound manifestation of the infinite. And I want so badly for everything I paint to reflect those glimpses.

We are happy that our second spiritual art grant goes to an artist whose  life and work embody so beautifully what we see as the core mission of MOFSA, for art to help heal the world. Martin paints representational art, and his chosen medium is oil. His work will be on display at MOFSA’s second exhibit, which has the theme “Towards the Spiritual.” The exhibit will be held in 2021, with details to be announced.

“Connect with Culture Day” at Carolina Raptor Center

MOFSA was invited by the Carolina Raptor Center to participate in “Connect with Culture Day”, co-sponsored by the Arts and Sciences Council, on February 8, 2020. The theme of the event was “Raptors Inspire Art”. We had a table at which we could share information about MOFSA with the community. Also, Bob was invited to a special speaking presentation, “Birds, Spirit and Art.” To a small but appreciative audience, Bob told the story of how Marianne volunteered at the Raptor Center and he followed in her footsteps. He spoke about MOFSA and read two poems, which were composed during and after volunteer shifts. We are grateful to the Raptor Center for this opportunity and hopeful that the event can mark the beginning of greater MOFSA involvement with the local community. We handed out a little memorial card.

2020 Spiritual Art Grant Opportunity

We are delighted to announce our second grant program for artists who see the world from a spiritual perspective and who seek to express their view of the transcendent in their artwork. The recipient should already have some body of work in this direction and a desire to create more. The recipient will be awarded a $10,000 grant to be presented at an exhibit at the Mint Hill Arts Gallery in Mint Hill, North Carolina in October, 2020. The exhibit will feature the work of the grant recipient and additional space for the work of other artists submitting for the grant, who will share in $2,000 of additional awards. The grant recipient will create a new work to be unveiled at the exhibit. Read more.

MOFSA Grant to Zangmo Alexander

The Marianne Oberg Foundation for Spiritual Art has awarded a grant in the amount of $2550 to Zangmo Alexander of Suffolk, United Kingdom. This grant will fund a year-long project in which Zangmo will draw on 26 years of Buddhist spiritual practices and visual fine art projects. Her goal is to create a body of paintings, drawings, prints and image-text pieces using Buddhist meditation and contemplation on knowing/not knowing.

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