Our Town Seward: Center for Liturgical Art

Published: Jun. 21, 2017 at 9:44 AM CDT
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The Center for Liturgical Art at Concordia was established in 2003 as a result of the vision of a great Nebraska artist and Concordia professor named Reinhold Marxhausen. It was his dream to spread beautiful, intriguing and inspirational art to churches all around the world.

"So much of what we see as humans is visual more than any other sense, that's our primary source of information," said Evan Balleweg is the operations manager for the Center for Liturgical Art at Concordia.

"The Center for Liturgical Art is an opportunity for us to help churches align their visual theology with their spoken theology.”

They do that through a variety of art that includes stained glass, furniture, mosaics, sculptures and banners.

“The purpose overall at least from my perspective is that through the Center for Liturgical Art we would help people see Jesus," said Brian Friedrich, president of Concordia University.

“In addition to that we have the benefit of taking young student artists and then sort of teaching them what it means to make art in the church.”

Friedrich is excited to see the art go to a lot of different places.

"It's in churches and a whole lot more. Homes, hospitals, schools even prayer gardens."

Designing for the Center for Liturgical Art has allowed Balleweg to share his art with the world.

“Our biggest project to date is the 72 stained glass windows, just got back from installing in Hong Kong at Hong Kong International School."

“Carol and Harvey Lange were here at Concordia, he was a professor along with Marxhausen and they would talk about how the church could spread the Gospel so much more effectively visually,” said Mark Anshutz, the managing artist at the center.

Many fine examples of the CLA’s work can be found inside Concordia’s Chapel, which is located inside of the Vernerable Weller Hall.

Workers are busy building a new Center for Liturgical Art on the south side of the Concordia campus.

The new home of the CLA will be located on the site of the house where Reinhold and Dorris Marxhausen used to live.

If all goes as planned, the brand new center will be ready for its grand opening during Concordia’s homecoming in late September.