FAMED ARTIST G.E. MULLAN DESIGNS VISUAL IMAGE FOR “MASS OF RENEWAL”“Kneeling Angel” Will Symbolize Award-Winning Liturgical Music Composition by Gokelman and Kauffman
Famed Artist’s Work Has Graced The Walls of The Vatican and Beyond
SAN ANTONIO – Good For The Soul Music commissioned G.E. Mullan, internationally acclaimed for his sacred art, to create a unique and instantly recognizable symbol for “Mass of Renewal,” a new liturgical composition by William Gokelman and David Kauffman.
The beautiful artwork titled “Adoramus Te” – Latin for “We Adore Thee” – is an image of a kneeling angel in deep reverence to God. Its rich, multi-colored hues and intricate combination of geometric shapes and fluid lines resemble a pane of stained glass that would be equally at home in a 16th century Catholic church or a modern-day house of worship.
Already described by many as simply “The Kneeling Angel,” the exclusive artwork will grace the covers of the “Mass of Renewal” songbooks and related materials. It will also serve as the website logo and marketing icon. The materials, emblazoned with this stunning image, are in the process of being rolled out publicly as the new music is presented to Catholic congregations across the country.
“G.E. Mullan‟s work is breathtakingly beautiful, deeply spiritual and celebrated around the world. We are both thrilled and blessed to make „Adoramus Te‟ part of our new musical setting for the Catholic Mass,” says David Kauffman, founder of Good For The Soul Music.
Kauffman partnered with William Gokelman to create “Mass of Renewal,” which won the National Association of Pastoral Musicians (NPM) competition for a new Mass setting earlier this year.
“Mass of Renewal” will soon be published and available through San Antonio-based Good For The Soul Music. Audio, video and print samples are available at www.massofrenewal.com.
G.E. MULLAN: FAITH-DRIVEN ARTIST NOURISHES THE SOUL
G.E. Mullan – artist, theologian, philosopher and teacher -- lives and works in San Antonio, but his artwork is known, loved and collected around the world.
Although his passion for drawing and painting date to his childhood, he didn‟t become a full-time artist until 1980 when he left the teaching profession to focus on his art.
Academia‟s loss was the art world‟s gain – and, ultimately, the faith community‟s pride and joy.
During his remarkable 30-year career, Mullan has created literally thousands of artworks. His celebrated paintings depicting both native peoples‟ sacred culture and contemporary Christian imagery have been reproduced as limited edition prints, posters and note cards. His work also has been published in books, journals and magazines; commissioned by religious organizations and private collectors; displayed and sold in galleries here and abroad; and included in public and private collections around the world.
In 2009 he published a book with theologian and storyteller John Shea titled, “Canticle: Biblical Songs Illuminated.” The book features 20 all-new contemporary images illustrating ancient Christian hymns. The artworks are executed in acrylic paints on archival rag board in two-dimensional perspective and rich colors that are reminiscent of medieval paintings. The book has enjoyed critical praise and
Mullan is tremendously successful by any measure. Yet as he marks his third decade as an artist, he remains very modest and self-effacing about his work and the impact it has had on people from all walks of life.
“I love to create images that have religious, philosophical and historical meaning and that nourish the soul. I am fortunate and grateful that others enjoy my work,” he says.
Even his home downplays his fame as one of the most important Catholic artists of his time. He and his wife, Celina, who manages the publishing of his art, reside in San Antonio, where they designed a simple and comfortable home reminiscent of a Spanish hacienda. Visitors encounter a cozy and tasteful décor – and are surprised by how few of Mullan‟s works are displayed. Instead, there are many souvenirs of world travels, including carvings and other symbols of both pagan and Christian faiths, and many books. Only two or three of the artist‟s early works hang by the fireplace. Mullan keeps his studio upstairs, out of sight, where he can work in a calm and peaceful environment.
Tall and slender, with graying hair, a neatly trimmed moustache, large rimless glasses, and a quiet demeanor, Mullan seems more professorial than artistic. His voice is measured, deep and soothing and an interviewer must gently prod him to talk about himself.
He is unlike many contemporary artists who seem to seek publicity and project larger-than-life personas. Instead, this world-renowned master is genuinely humble and lets his artwork speak for itself. He is a breath of fresh air in the often very competitive Christian art world.
Mullan‟s life and career reveal a man with a highly inquisitive, exacting mind – and a deep Christian faith.
Born in Tyler, Texas, he grew up in Waco and Temple and attended St. Mary‟s University in San Antonio, where he graduated in 1965, having earned a bachelor‟s degree in history, with minors in philosophy and theology.
After graduation, he lived and studied at St. Meinrad‟s Archabbey, a Benedictine monastery located in Spencer County, Indiana. The contemplative, prayer-filled life of the monks further shaped Mullan‟s faith and contributed to the future development of his religious artwork. Eventually he returned to St. Mary‟s to pursue graduate studies.
From 1967-70 he taught at Providence High School in San Antonio. He taught undergraduate and graduate theology at St. Mary‟s University from 1970-1974. He taught art from 1974-1980.
He dove headfirst into a full-time art career in 1980 and quickly began winning critical acclaim and commercial success for his contemporary and meticulously rendered works. As his fame grew, so did his commissions.
His earliest works gained wide recognition for their depictions of native peoples and their myths, symbols and cultural artifacts. These images –exactingly hand-drawn and colored in a unique, precise and yet fluid geometric style – gradually won him universal appeal.
During this first phase of his career, he also included Christian themes in his gallery shows. Over time, this Christian influence became increasingly dominant in his work. Mullan now devotes his talent and energy almost exclusively to commissioned paintings featuring religious subjects.
In 1987, then-Archbishop Patrick Flores of San Antonio asked him to create a special gift for Pope John Paul II, who was slated to visit San Antonio that year during a nine-city tour of the United States. The resulting creation – a contemporary image of St. Anthony, San Antonio‟s patron saint – was presented to the pontiff. Mullan also painted five additional images that were offered as limited edition prints for ranking members of the Pope‟s entourage and San Antonio religious and civic officials.
He continues to draw inspiration from his ongoing studies and research in the fields of history, philosophy, theology, early Christian manuscripts and sacred art spanning the entire Christian era. He also conducts frequent pilgrimages with his wife to the Holy Land, Spain, Italy and Ireland. These travels continually feed his soul and hone his artistic vision.
Mullan has received numerous professional honors. He was selected to represent the Archdiocese of San Antonio at the Jubilee for Artists as part of the Vatican 2000 Jubilee celebration. He also received a “Mother Teresa Award” in 2006. The award recognizes the achievements of those who beautify the world, especially in the fields of religion, social justice and the arts.
In addition to his art and pilgrimages, Mullan still maintains close ties to the world of teaching, presenting special classes and lectures on scripture and for converts to Catholicism.
For more information on G.E. Mullan and his inspirational artwork, visit his official website at www.gemullanstudio.com.