Weeks Fifteen-Sixteen: The Crucifixion by Jodi Simmons

July 14, 2019

Weeks Fifteen-Sixteen: The Crucifixion by Jodi Simmons

The Sacred Art Pilgrim will be taking to the road again during the Easter holiday, unattached to the social media, so my piece of retro art from the the Collection chosen for Holy Week not only depicts the Crucifixion but anticipates the Resurrection. Traditional in technique but unconventional in style and theme, this icon is the work of Massachusetts-based Artist Jodi Simmons, a longtime friend and collaborator on Sacred Art Pilgrim projects, whom I first met in Taos, New Mexico, when she was the owner of a gallery devoted to sacred art. I was immediately drawn to this image, hanging on her office wall, where the Crucifixion on Good Friday is illuminated by the rising sun of Easter Sunday morning and the Dying Christ seems poised to take flight. To take the correspondence further, I envisioned the lone woman keeping vigil at the foot of the Cross on Golgotha as Mary Magdalene, who will be the first to encounter Christ risen from the grave in the Resurrection narrative found in the Gospel of John. I was delighted  to find the painting was for sale and Simmons, herself, was the artist, willing to push a highly-regulated sacred art form to the limits. This first purchase from Jodi in Taos has led over the last decade to commissions on a variety of themes from a triptych on Psalm 23 to a gilded panel painting of St. Teresa of Avila and Julian of Norwich sitting at the feet of Jesus, all on display on the Simmons biopage in the Sacred Artists section. Happy Easter! (John Kohan)