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Showcasing Easler Bulletins

One of the many outreach initiatives of the Center for Liturgical Art is to host other liturgical artists and promote their work. 

Known to us because of her strong social media presence and the credentials of being a  recent graduate of Concordia University NE, illustration artist Kris Easler caught our attention when she began to promote her new series of bulletin illustrations beginning in February.

Fresh from her 2012 graduation, Kris has earned a Bachelor of Fine Art's degree in Studio Art, with an emphasis in Ecclesiastical Art. She then went on to earn her Masters in Illustration from Savannah College of Art and Design and currently resides in Chicago with her husband (also a Concordia grad) where she works as a freelance illustrator.

A few of Kris's selected clients include Bloomsbury Children's Books, Chicago Tribune, Lillstreet Art Center, and 25 30 Espresso; she also has been featured as a Student Illustration winner in Applied Arts Magazine.  

While her illustration style may appear whimsical, Kris tackled a much deeper topic with her bulletin illustrations which came as a reaction to the loss of a much-loved pastor. 

"From the beginning I wanted this project to be a service for the church that I attend. As St Paul Lutheran Church in Skokie, Illinois, was in the process of calling a pastor, I brainstormed different ideas of how I can encourage my church in a disheartening time.

Having been trained in Ecclesiastical Art at Concordia University in Nebraska where I received a BFA in Studio Art, and going on to receive my Masters in Illustration from Savannah College of Art and Design, I knew that I was in a position to offer the church a unique gift as a professional illustrator."

Consistently Kris has been designing one illustration per week and distributes them to not only her own church, but also a few others throughout the midwest for a monthly donation. 

Hoping her audience will grow, Kris aspires to illustrate the entire LCMS Three-Year reading cycle, over 150 bulletins. 

Delicately balancing the divine and the human, Kris seeks to find an emotional connection to the text that she can depict to her viewer. 

"For the divine aspect, I use symbols and stylization of figures and abstraction where appropriate, drawing inspiration from stained glass windows. For the human aspect, I am deeply inspired by German Expressionism, especially the woodcuts and biblically themed paintings of Emil Nolde."

"I also go through a process of imagining the scene in detail and empathizing with the people I’m trying to depict, asking similar questions of myself that an actor might make in studying a character for a play, always seeking to learn."

If you are interested in supporting Kris in her ongoing project or having these illustrations made available to your parish, please visit www.patreon.com/kristinmiller and contact her at kriseaslerart@gmail.com.

To view more of her illustration work visit her website http://www.kriseasler.com/

or visit the Wolfram Gallery at The LCMS International Center in St Louis, where her work is on display until December 2016.

Michael Scheer