VTS Faculty Member Honored with 2016 International Faith & Forum Award for Religious Sculpture

Media Contact: Curtis Prather
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ALEXANDRIA, VA — Virginia Theological Seminary (VTS) is honored to announce that Adjunct Faculty member Margaret (Peggy) Adams Parker has been selected for an Honor Award by Faith & Form, the journal of the Interfaith Forum for Religion, Art, and Architecture for her bronze sculpture "Mary as Prophet – He has filled the hungry with good things." Parker will receive her Honor Award at the 2017 annual meeting of the American Institute of Architects in Orlando, FL, on April 27.

Commissioned by VTS, and dedicated on October 13, 2015 by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Mary as Prophet offers a new interpretation of the Visitation. Shown as African women, Mary and Elizabeth embody the Seminary’s ties with churches in Africa and reflect the composition of the Anglican Communion. And this depiction of Mary and Elizabeth as ordinary (rather than idealized) women, reminds viewers of the church’s call to “lift up the lowly.”
"The sculpture take a radically different approach to the story of Mary and Elizabeth, and moves the narrative in a new direction," said the Jury. "They are shown supporting each other, which is part of the message. The work portrays a comforting and trusting gesture. The size and scale of the piece, and placing it in the ruins of a former chapel, makes it relatable, and you can be at an eye-to-eye level with the subjects."

The sculpture sits between the walls of the Seminary's 1881 Chapel Garden and Immanuel Chapel, linking old and new. Its prominent location underscores one of the goals set by the Rev. Ian S. Markham, Ph.D, dean and president of VTS, for the commission: to honor the significance of women’s ministries in the church.

Margaret (Peggy) Adams Parker has taught on the adjunct faculty at Virginia Seminary since the academic year 1991-92. She received a Master of Fine Arts from the American University in 1984 and a Bachelor of Arts in classical languages from Wellesley College in 1970. An artist whose work often deals with religious and social justice themes, she has completed numerous commissions for churches and religious institutions and has an extensive exhibition record that includes 25 solo shows. She teaches and writes on the voice of the visual arts in the church, with particular focus on: the visual arts as a means of exploring the biblical text; the nature of the creative act; the role of artist as theologian; and sight as a theological act. To learn more about Parker and for additional photos visit www.MargaretAdamsParker.com.

About VTS
Founded in 1823 as a beacon of hope in a country new and finding its way, Virginia Theological Seminary is the flagship Seminary of the Episcopal Church. One of our first benefactors was Francis Scott Key whose poem provides the text for our national anthem. In the almost 193 years since being established, VTS has led the way in forming leaders of the Episcopal Church, including: the Most Rev. John E. Hines (VTS 1933, D.D. 1946), former presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church; the Rt. Rev. John T. Walker (VTS 1954, D.D. 1978), the first African-American bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington;  and theologian, author and lay preacher Ms. Verna J. Dozier (VTS D.D. 1978). Serving the worldwide Anglican Communion, Virginia Theological Seminary educates approximately 25% of those being ordained who received residential theological education. Visit us online at www.vts.edu.

About the Annual Religious Art and Architecture Design Awards
The Awards program is co-sponsored by Faith & Form Magazine and the Interfaith Forum on Religion, Art and Architecture (IFRAA), a knowledge community of the American Institute of Architects. The awards program was founded in 1978 with the goal of honoring the best in architecture, liturgical design and art for religious spaces. The program offers five primary categories for awards: Religious Architecture, Liturgical/Interior Design, Sacred Landscape, Religious Arts, and Unbuilt Work. Read more at http://faithandform.com/awards/
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