Art As a Tool for Evangelization
The Four Evangelists, Our Lady of Assumption Church Baptistry Commission, 2014
Our Seventh Guild Artist in the series is John Suter. John was born and raised in Switzerland and after regular schooling, at the age of sixteen and a half, entered a three and a half year apprenticeship program as an enamelled sign painter. There, on the second day, he had to design a simple alphabet. Having no idea that there are such things as positive and negative spaces within the letters, he struggled. His first master shook his head, grumbling "Why is every single letter a geometrical problems for you?" Then, at age seventeen, John took his first calligraphy lesson at the Arts and Crafts School in Lucerne.
Hymn of Creation, Psalm 148 from John Suter's 150 Psalm Series
At age twenty six John came to Canada 'Just for a while' and has lived here ever since. All his working career he was employed in the field of Retail Store Display, Store Equipment and Store Planning but after his retirement he took up calligraphy again on a more serious level. He does enjoy its European history, its beauty and its challenges.
John's work has been exhibited in several art shows and his work is displayed in Europe, Canada and
the United States. Some of his commissions include: wedding invitations, poems, and diplomas to name a few. John feels that his calligraphy work and illuminated designs are a strong expression of his faith and as such must be tools of evangelization for the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Psalm 120 from the 150 Psalms Series
Psalm 16 from the 150 Psalms Series
John's major project was the three years he spent writing out all 150 psalms in styles of writing which traced the development of Western writing from the Roman up to the Modern Period. John also illuminates the works. Illumination simply means making images to accompany the writing. "I looked at the psalm and thought about what it means to me, how I could interpret it, what period style I would use, what I would do with it." During the project, John worked a schedule of 40 hours a week.
Psalm 103 from the 150 Psalms Series
John Demonstrates Illumination During a Tri-Cities T.V. You-Tube Filming Session
John prays as he works. "You need prayer in your work. If you don't pray in your art, you are like a priest who preaches the Gospel but doesn't live it."
The Hail Mary