Written by Minda Davison, Director for Communications
For Dana Leahy, Project 66: A Glimpse of the Holy Bible through Mosaic Art has been a 7 1/2 year journey that has deepened her appreciation for the Bible: its stories, its characters, its mysteries, and its infinite facets and sheer depth of meaning. “Metaphorically, the Bible is a grand, gorgeous mosaic with a countless number of pieces, which can never be viewed, experienced or appreciated in its entirety.”
The inspiration for Project 66 was sparked for Dana while watching a documentary on IPTV on the archaeological excavation of the ancient town of Zeugma in Turkey. Archaeologists were able to excavate breath-taking mosaics from the floors of a 14 room villa. Thousands of years old, the mosaics reflected the lives of the people who once lived there. For Dana, the mosaics were magical in their aesthetic and historical value. Shortly after watching the documentary, Dana attended an exhibit of the Illuminated Bible in Omaha, NE, and her fate was sealed.
As Dana worked on Project 66 and submersed herself in the stories of The Bible she gained a greater discipline in prayer and a heightened awareness of how her words and actions affect others and reflect upon the work she does. “There are many days that I seem to be, as Martin Luther would say, more sinner than saint, but I also better understand and accept that duality and celebrate the priceless gift of God’s pure grace through Jesus Christ.”
Every artist longs to evoke some kind of emotion or reaction within the people who view their work, and Dana is no different, but she was not prepared for the range and depth of emotions people have experienced while viewing the exhibit. “It isn’t about me or what I’ve created, it’s about God’s Holy Word and the Holy Spirit working through me and the artwork to communicate a message that God’s love, grace and forgiveness is for everyone. Soli Deo Gloria: To God alone be the glory.” Ultimately Dana wants people who visit the exhibit to take home with them a message of hope and peace, and a feeling of knowing that our God is a loving God.
Dana Leahy is a member at Windsor Heights Lutheran Church, Windsor Heights. Project 66 is currently on exhibit at the Polk County Heritage Gallery in Des Moines from September 9 – October 17. The Heritage Gallery is open Monday-Friday 11 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. and admission is free.