A new contemporary art exhibition titled WHITE ROBE: The Story of the Sacred Journey of the Rev. John Roberts among Native Americans, has launched on a multi-year exhibition tour, featuring the work of the celebrated Irish artist Brian Whelan.
The US Federal Indian boarding schools of the late 19th and early 20th centuries were established to enculturate and assimilate Native Americans into white American culture, most often resulting in the suppression of Indigenous culture and languages. As the tragedies of these schools are coming to light, the life and work of the Rev. Dr. John Roberts stands out as an exemplary model of doing the opposite, as he honored indigenous Native American spirituality and traditions, and embraced their culture and languages.
The acclaimed Irish artist Brian Whelan was commissioned by ArtSpirit, the arts initiative of the Episcopal Church in Wyoming, and CARAVAN, an international arts non-profit founded by The Rt. Rev. Paul-Gordon Chandler, Bishop of Wyoming, to produce 13 paintings about the remarkable life and work of the Rev. John Roberts, the renowned Welsh Anglican priest who served among the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho tribes on the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming for 66 years (1883-1949). The exhibition is curated by Bishop Paul-Gordon Chandler.
WHITE ROBE premiered at the John Roberts Festival in Ft. Washakie, Wyoming on June 3, 2023, the 140th anniversary of the Rev. John Roberts’ arrival on the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming, in 1883. Beyond commemorating the extraordinary life, work and example of the Rev. John Roberts, the exhibition also draws attention to the importance of learning from the spirituality, culture and traditions of our Native American sisters and brothers.
Following the premiere in Ft. Washakie, Wyoming, WHITE ROBE embarked on an international exhibition tour, beginning at the Pioneer Museum in Lander, Wyoming, then to be exhibited at other venues in Wyoming and throughout the United States, and ending in Wales and England. Following the multi-year tour, the paintings will be on permanent display in Wyoming.
To book the exhibition at your cathedral, contact: Genie Osburn, Communications Manager, The Episcopal Church in Wyoming at Email: email@example.com
The Rt. Rev. Paul-Gordon Chandler
Bishop of the Episcopal Church in Wyoming and Founder of CARAVAN Arts
Bishop Paul-Gordon Chandler grew up in Senegal, West Africa, and has lived and worked extensively around the world in senior leadership roles within publishing, the arts, relief and development and The Episcopal Church. An author, art curator, and social entrepreneur, he is passionate about using the arts to further our global quest for a more harmonious future, both with each other and with the earth.
He is the Founder of CARAVAN, an international arts non-profit/NGO, recognized as a leader in using the arts to transform our world. He has organized and curated major art exhibitions around the world, in sacred spaces such as St. Paul’s Cathedral in London and National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. and at notable art venues like the National Gallery of Fine Arts in Amman, Jordan, the American University Museum in Washington, D.C., Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Gallery, Museum of Modern Art in Cairo, Egypt, as well as at reverential memorial sites like Ground Zero in New York. For more information see: paulgordonchandler.com
Brian Whelan grew up in London, of Irish parents. After his training at the Royal Academy of Arts, he lived and worked in the East Anglia area of England near the North Sea. His home and studio are now based in Connecticut, USA.
Known to combine the profundity of play with the intent of icons, his paintings have been exhibited in noted art spaces, cathedrals and religious institutions around the world – such as Washington National Cathedral and Villanova University of Pennsylvania in the USA, St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Trafalgar Square, London, St. Edmundsbury Cathedral and Norwich Cathedral in the UK, and Parador Dos Reis Catolicos, Santiago de Compostela in Spain. Whelan’s work follows in the tradition of East Anglian medieval narrative painting. For more information see: brianwhelanart.com
ArtSpirit is the arts initiative of the Episcopal Church in Wyoming, which explores and nurtures the relationship between spirituality and the arts, by developing, curating, coordinating and hosting artistic initiatives to stimulate discussion, dialogue and education, as well as spiritual exploration, toward enhancing our experience and understanding of both the Transcendent and of each other. For more information, see: episcopalwy.org/artspirit
CARAVAN, an international arts NGO/non-profit, is recognized as a global leader in using the arts to further our global quest for a more harmonious future, both with each other and with the earth. CARAVAN’s mission is based on the belief that the arts can be one of the most effective mediums to heal our world and to creatively foster peace, harmony, wholeness and health in all its forms. For more information on CARAVAN see: oncaravan.org