Past into Present: Images of Marys Life

The Annunciation


Seven Joys of Mary

Nativity of Our Lord

Holy Family

Oh Joy!

Greetings at Ain Karim


A Time to Embrace


Our Lady of Czestochowa

Holy Family
Have You Hugged Your Child Today?


Visit Tree of Life Studios on the web at

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image to


The Art on Display

This exhibit by Celeste and Jim Lauritsen presents seventeen of Celeste’s colorful icon and textile pieces, including a triptych, as well as twelve of her husband’s carved and sculpted wood and stone works inspired by the Lauritsen’s spirituality.

The Gifts of Creation and Creativity

Creation is God’s gift, as is creativity. They are two complimentary expressions of love and sharing. It is the message which is interwoven throughout the work of Jim and Celeste. The Lauritsens draw deeply from their well of faith for inspiration. “We are pilgrims in this world and our journey takes unexpected twists and turns. The art materials are our raw materials of creation.” Jim’s works are reflective of life depicted in stone and wood, while Celeste uses traditional and contemporary iconography and the softer medium of fabric to convey life’s journey. The Lauritsens work on pieces both separately and together. “I carve pieces similar to, but not, an icon,” explains Jim. “Often times I will work on the sculpture and ask Celeste, ‘What do you think about this?’” Later Celeste may paint the sculptures created by Jim.

Tree of Life Studios

…is the creative ministry of the Lauritsens as artists, educators, and craft professionals. The name Tree of Life Studios refers to Genesis (2:9, 3:22 and 24) and Revelation (22:2 and 14). Here it is revealed that seeking nourishment from the Tree of Life is the ideal for Christian living. Jesus’ death on a tree allows the cross to take root in our hearts and spring forth as new life.

Jim and Celeste have four grown children and reside in Gettysburg, PA. They are currently studying Franciscan Spirituality which keeps them grounded in their faith and in the simpler things of life. They are both avid readers and collectors of art because they love to encourage and celebrate the creative spirit in others.

Celeste Lauritsen

Celeste Lauritsen studied art at Barry University in Miami and has been an artist and teacher since the 1970’s. She found herself creating mostly biblical or spiritual art and received a master’s degree in theology from Washington Theological Union. She has taught religion and iconography on the high school level in the diocese of Harrisburg, PA. She has organized iconography classes for adults as well.

Celeste began the Arts for Theology program at the Union while she was a student there and continued working there as the Theology and Arts Coordinator. She is currently a member of the Fine Arts Council at Lutheran Theological Seminary in Gettysburg, a member of CIVA (Christians in the Visual Arts) and the Adams County Arts Council. Recently she was awarded the first annual Ade Bethune Award for Excellence in the Sacred Arts by Washington Theological Union.

Celeste writes, “My method of working with fabric is intuitive. With only a slight plan at the outset I allow the colors and textures to determine my first move: spontaneous creativity with stitching here or more color there. Iconography is more structured and helps to bring the scattered parts of my artistic nature into a prayerful whole.”

Jim Lauritsen

Jim Lauritsen began his love of woodworking while watching his grandfather, a master carpenter, work in his wood working shop. After Jim inherited his grandfather’s tools he began slowly to hone his own skills. He was particularly drawn to the wood lathe and hand carving. More recently Jim expanded his skills to include working in stone. He enjoys creating simple, abstract forms and considers the work of sculptors Barbara Hepworth, Constantin Brancusi, Henry Moore, and Native American sculptor Allan Houser as inspiration. Jim is an instructor for an online course from Mansfield University and is employed by the Gettysburg Area School District as a library media specialist. Jim has degrees from St. Thomas University and Barry University in Miami, Florida, and Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania.

Jim writes, “Often my works are pre-determined by the size of the wood or stone I obtain. I spend time observing the raw materials before I take tools in hand to carve or chisel.”

Come! Celebrate with joy. Partake with us of the visual images inspired by living in the Tree of Life. Experience Past into Present: Images of Mary’s Life at the Marian Library.

Madonna and Child Icon


Annunciation Icon

The Tryptich

Verum (Truth)

Pulchrum (Beauty)

Bonum (Goodness)




The Madonna Knitting the Seamless Garment


Wedding Feast at Cana

Blue Crucifix

Past into Present:
Images of Marys Life

is showing April 3 through June 27
in the
The Marian Library Gallery
on the seventh floor of Roesch Library on the University of Dayton Campus.

The exhibit is free and open to the public.

The Marian Library is open from
8:30am to 4:30pm
Monday through Friday

Seven Sorrows of Mary

The Newborn King

Mary Embraced
by the Trinity


Body of Christ Cross

Tree of Life Cross

Our Lady of Lourdes

St. Luke #1

St. Luke #2

This page is maintained by The Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute, Dayton, Ohio 45469-1390.
It was created by Cindy Osborne and was last modified by Sumithra Kulkarni on February 02,2012.
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