Paschal Cycle

Awe Inspiring Art Installation at Washington National Cathedral Takes Visitors on a Seasonal Journey

November 20, 2007

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Renowned artist Nancy Chinn creates a unique installation for the Cathedral's Centennial year.

View the banners in a pdf document by clicking here.

Washington National Cathedral (Washington, D.C.) invites visitors to take a pilgrimage through the seasons of the Christian church with an exhibition of 18 unique banners by renowned liturgical artist Nancy Chinn.  Created specifically for the Cathedral's Centennial celebration, the banners are on view through June 2008.

The vivid and colorful four by twenty feet pieces of art hang high and gracefully in the Cathedral's Nave and North and South Transepts.  Each banner represents a season of the Christian church's year; starting with the Advent season leading up to Christmas and ending with All Saints and the Reign of Christ the following fall.

An accompanying book, A Banner Year: A Visual Path through the Seasons of the Church at Washington National Cathedral, guides visitors through the exhibition and provides a free souvenir of the exhibition.

"We invite people of all faiths to come and experience the beauty, joy and sheer power of these amazing works of art," says Rev. Canon Carol L. Wade, canon precentor of Washington National Cathedral.  "This Centennial year at the Cathedral is a celebration of the past and welcoming of the future -- and the banners welcome visitors and worshipers throughout the year to engage in a journey of personal and spiritual reflection."

Liturgical artist Nancy Chinn has created commissioned liturgical installations for more than 500 other sites.  Her art has been featured in national conferences, churches, cathedrals, and outdoor installations.  Chinn holds a B.A. in Education from Lewis and Clark College; M.A. from San Francisco State College and M.F.A. in Fibers and Mixed Media from John F. Kennedy University, Orinda, CA.  She is the author of Spaces for Spirit: Adorning the Church, a monograph on her liturgical art.

Details and Process

Of the 18 banners, 14 hang in the Nave and four in the North and South Transepts. 

The banners were created using a digital imaging technique called "Dye Sublimation."  First, Chinn created acrylic paintings of each.  She then photographed the paintings and enhanced the colors and images on a computer using Photoshop.

Once finished, the images were printed on special paper with a large format inkjet printer.  The prints were then covered with the fabric passed through a heat press, where the fabric and the ink were heated to 400 degrees.  The heat vaporized the ink, which the fabric absorbed, and produced a print that is both vibrant in color and also fade resistant.

Nancy Chinn created the original paintings and worked with Magic Spark, a digital design company, on the digital illustration.  Large format print specialists DPI printed the banners.

This media release from the Washington National Cathedral is reprinted here with permission.  All images, including the book, "A Banner Year," were provided by the Washington National Cathedral.

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