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Faith overcomes spiritual shadows

Lanyon artist credits divine intervention for new works

December 15, 2007
By SANDY MICKELSON, Messenger staff writer
LANYON — Divine intervention. That’s what Wayne Bloomquist credits for his newfound urge to create Christian art.

Long story short — he grew up near Gowrie in a Lutheran family, went to college for an art education degree, opened his own leather business in Gowrie, married, unmarried, fell into what could be described as despair and started thinking about God again.

That’s when the Lanyon artist met the Rev. David Marx, pastor of the Lanyon Covenant Church. Marx has since moved on, but Bloomquist’s life had already made that U-turn in faith and in love. He remarried his ex-wife, Lori. He started making art again.

‘‘I’d been having struggles emotionally, psychologically and spiritually and I’d fallen away from the church,’’ Bloomquist said. ‘‘In May of 2000, I met Pastor Marx. We developed a tremendous friendship, and he got me going to church and I went every Sunday. Then different artwork started to happen when I’d sit down to draw.’’

With his faith reborn, Bloomquist suddenly felt a new ability, a rebirth of his creative spirit.

‘‘I wanted to do something new, to create something,’’ he said. ‘‘Pastor Marx wanted some kind of artwork from me to hang on his office wall. I did a lot of drawings, a lot of sketches, but nothing much developed until 9/11, 2001. The events of that terror started to develop in my reflections, some drawings started to emerge and this piece started to develop.’’

He called it ‘‘Unity in Christ.’’

‘‘It evolved on its own,’’ Bloomquist said. ‘‘It was built with things around the woodshop and in the course of three or four days, it became a shadow box.’’

The piece was a painted wood construction — a three-dimensional painting.

‘‘In the subsequent months, a lot of different drawings started happening, and I started getting excited and I created this series I call ‘Boxes,’’’ Bloomquist said. ‘‘Then I took a little hiatus. These drawings sat until a few months ago. I started this past June building what is now three new pieces in the series called ‘Boxes.’ That’s what I’m doing now.’’

After the piece is complete, he turns it into two-dimensional prints.

‘‘I call them paintings, but they’re not,’’ he said. ‘‘They’re 3-D. They’re not flat oil pieces. They’re just what took place in my shop — how I was inspired to implement the drawing I had done into making a visual statement. This is what developed.’’

He said it was his concern over the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, coupled with a rejuvenation of faith, that led the work toward the shadow box theme.

‘‘Prior to 9/11, a lot of people kept Jesus in the shadows,’’ he said. ‘‘Plus, my grandma had a what-not shelf she called a shadow box.’’

Because he also had crawled out of the shadows in his life, the shadow-box concept just seemed right for his new work.

He will present this work to the public at 7 p.m. tonight at Lanyon Covenant Church, showing both the painted wood sculptural constructions and the prints made from them. He’ll talk a bit about his past work and his plans for future pieces.

In all, he expects to have 12 pieces in his ‘‘Boxes’’ series, he said, ‘‘and they’ll all make statements.’’

Contact Sandy Mickelson at (515) 573-2141 or

Fact Box

Unveiling is today
Lanyon artist Wayne Bloomquist will unveil the first three pieces in his series called ‘‘Boxes’’ at 7 p.m. today at Lanyon Covenant Church.



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