Janet McKenzie at the Haggerty Museum of Art

The Janet McKenzie show at the Haggerty Museum of Art seems so well-timed for the holiday season. McKenzie, a Brooklyn native now living in rural Vermont, is a painter whose figurative work relies heavily on religious, mostly Christian, imagery to weave narratives about the feminine experience.

The show, Holiness and the Feminine Spirit, is McKenzie’s first museum exhibition, though her work has garnered a great deal of attention in recent years.

Her most known work is the painting Jesus of the People, which won top honors from the National Catholic Reporter a decade ago when the publication held an art competition calling for a new image of Jesus at the Millennium. The judge, Sister Wendy Beckett, an art historian and host of the PBS show Sister Wendy’s Story of Painting, offered this response to the work: This is a haunting image of a peasant Jesus, dark, thick-lipped, looking out on us with ineffable dignity, with sadness but with confidence. Over His white robe He draws the darkness of our lack of love, holding it to Himself, prepared to transform all sorrows if we will let Him.
Read whole review by By Stacey Williams-Ng
Dec 12, 2010

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