Art inspired by 30-day silent prayer retreat on display - LancasterOnline: Faith And Values

Art inspired by 30-day silent prayer retreat on display

Exhibit at Community Mennonite Church of Lancaster's Parrot Gallery

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Posted: Saturday, February 20, 2010 12:01 am | Updated: 6:31 pm, Wed Sep 11, 2013.

Naomi Paine is an artist who doesn't make a living from her paintings and sculpture.

When she graduated in 1987 with an art degree from Messiah College, she came away with the conviction that art and worship are tied together.

"Worship is really the purpose of art for me," the upstate New York native said.

SLIDE SHOW: Paine's art in her own words

To earn a living, she worked with Eastern Mennonite Missions, then with an electrical contracting company in Lancaster. In 2007 she was hired by the U.S. Postal Service as a mail carrier.

Besides delivering mail to residents in the Lancaster area, Paine is currently working on a master's degree in holistic spirituality at Chestnut Hill College, Philadelphia.

In 2003, Paine wanted to know "who I am, where I come from and where I am going."

She took a 30-day silent retreat at Herrbrook on Danville Pike, with artist Mary Lou Houser as her spiritual director. The retreat was patterned after St. Ignatius of Loyola's spiritual disciplines of Bible reading, meditation, prayer, silence and solitude.

The more than 20 paintings, sculpture and poems that came out of this "transformative experience is a window on some of my discoveries," she said.

Her works are on exhibit at Community Mennonite Church of Lancaster's Parrot Gallery, 328 W. Orange St., and can be viewed Sundays from 8 a.m. to noon through March.

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