The Center for Liturgical Art

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Banners, reinterpreted

The vibe at Word of Life in Lincoln Nebraska is as comfortable as it is contemporary. With their very 'Come as you are' mentality, they welcome you with their mantra "There’s no dress code. What you wear is not nearly as important as who you are". While this mindset is successful at wholeheartedly welcoming newcomers or maybe those who have been away from their faith for a while, it can pose a serious challenge when it comes to decorating the space. Striving for the contemporary aesthetic left them with a fairly plain canvas to work with.

How can the relaxed feel of the congregation be visually translated into a contemporary space in a way that both conveys their traditional LCMS values with their open-minded, open-armed practice?

Our solution: add some color.

True to their contemporary mindset, the Church board was averse to any traditional banners with symbols or scenes from the Bible, which would have been the typical or go-to solution to their problem. Unfortunately, their limited space only allowed for something two dimensional.

When we first began to work with Word of Life back in 2008 we had the opportunity to design and fabricate a set of furniture that included elements that could be changed according to the Liturgical season; we revisited this concept when we came up with the new designs to liven up their space. 

Using watercolor swatches as our base, created a series of digital abstractions in a variety of colors that could be printed on polyester and stretched over wooden frames. 

Only eight sturdy frames were necessary; by lining the polyester sheets with velcro we were able to make the panels optimal for storage. Having only wooden frames makes them light and easy to change out. 

These panels stay close to the wall, retain the contemporary setting and are still able to convey the zest of the respective Liturgical season and be adjusted with the rest of the furtniture. 

Michael Scheer