Week Six: Noah's Ark by Myrtice West

February 10, 2019

Week Six: Noah

 We move on this week to a work illustrating another foundational narrative from the Book of Genesis by an "Outsider Artist" well represented in the Sacred Art Pilgrim Collection--Myrtice West. The Alabama-based painter gives us a panoramic view in her characteristic naif style of the animals gathered two by two to enter Noah's ark. Like many self-taught, visionary artists, West believed she received a special calling from God to paint early one morning in 1978, while she was agonizing in prayer over family troubles. West considered her art to be visual sermons. Among the many creatures ranged around the ark, the serpent from the Garden of Eden makes a special plea to be included, reminding us there will still be evil in the world, cleansed by the Great Flood. Angels abound in this painting, appearing as animal herders before the Ark, ranked in rows around the frame, and  hovering, in a trademark touch, beside West's signature. (John Kohan)