In the spring of 2016, I was invited by Matthew Gosser, (curator and teacher at NJIT’s College of Architecture and Design, involved with the historic preservation of many of Newark’s landmark buildings,) to create art based on my personal experience with the Queen of Angels, a historic church on Belmont Avenue, now Irving Turner Blvd.
“I was Hungry and You Gave Me Food” Mixed media photos Finished size: 17×20 inches
“I was Hungry and You Gave Me Food” is my response to the loss of this community landmark: Queen of Angles RC Church 1861-2014. My piece was created from my photo of the residual from drug use left in a back room in the old school at the back of the Queen of Angels Church. All the colored window glass came from the same school floor.
Because I have grown up in a liturgical church, (Episcopal) I know how important the Mass and the spiritual food given in the form of the Host is to the believing community. I also have experienced personal nurture from my church community when my first husband died young, and when I had only a 5% chance to recover from a particularly aggressive cancer. Thus I have had an intimate relationship with Matthew 25:35
I was hungry and you gave me food I was thirsty and you gave me drink I was sick and you visited me I was in prison and you came to me.
The need for a way to get through life’s pain and brokenness has always existed. The church is one of the community structures to provide help. With the loss of this institution of community care, the building apparently became available for use by those still in need of being fed, the homeless and the drug users.