January 1 to January 29, 2016
The Nine Gates scrolls, created by Minneapolis brush artist Bob Schmitt, now have a permanent home at Wisdom Ways. Thanks to a generous donation by former family court judge Sue Cochrane, the scrolls will be available through Wisdom Ways for churches, organizations and groups to use for spiritual meditation and reflection.
Bob created the Nine Gates scrolls to illuminate the 2015 Key West Literary Seminar’s theme: How the Light Gets in–Literature of the Spirit. The seminar was organized around gates of spiritual passage. Given a list of 30-some possible spiritual gates, Bob chose these nine as having the most resonance with his own experience: longing, abandonment, rage, emptiness, compassion, unbridled joy, oneness, delusion, and darkness.
Over six months, Bob created a calligraphic representation for each gate, and then a painting, integrating his understanding of spiritual journey, his discipline as a brush painter, and his skill in using digital technology. The result is a series of digitally printed banners that appear to be like Chinese scrolls. The “silks” that surround each painting are actually a sample of the painting itself, digitally cloned to create the pattern and texture of a silk fabric. The effect is one of facing into thresholds of interior landscapes into which you are invited.
Bob Schmitt is a Quaker and a student and teacher of Chinese calligraphy and painting. For over 50 years, he used ink and brush in the manner of Asian sumi-e (black ink) painters, primarily as a self-taught artist. Since meeting Chinese masters Lok Tok and Yitong Lok and his current teacher, Hong Zhang, he has more deeply explored Chinese calligraphy and painting, which he teaches in weekly classes. He lives and paints in Minneapolis, Minnesota, at Laughing Waters Studio–a stone’s throw from Minnehaha Falls.