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Religious artifacts exhibit debuts at ArtsPlace

From Thursday to Monday, The ArtsPlace in downtown Wadena will host an exhibition of religious artifacts, art and symbols from area churches.

"There will be quite a variety of things to enjoy," said event organizer Rowland Joiner, The ArtsPlace's co-director.

More than a dozen churches from New York Mills to Motley lent paintings, sculptures, banners, photos and quilts for the show, which kicks off Thursday at 5:30 p.m. It will be open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday through Monday. The ArtsPlace is located in the basement of An Open Book and Harvest Thyme Bistro on Jefferson Street.

Joiner said attending the show is a great way to observe the Lenten season.

"Art has always played a major role in the life of the Christian church. Religious themes have inspired some of the greatest painters in the world," Joiner wrote on the Greater Wadena Arts League website. "The building of churches and shrines has led to the contribution of great architects. The beauty of some of these buildings and images has inspired countless people through the ages. Art has the ability to move us in ways we do not fully understand but which inspires us and even drives us closer to the Divine."

The event is open to people of any - or no - religious affiliation. It will feature objects from a range of Christian denominations, including Catholic, Lutheran, Methodist, Episcopal and United Church of Christ.

"I am grateful for the churches who volunteered things," Joiner said. "There's been a good response."