An Exhibition of Religious Sculpture: Our Lady of Welcome

by Jeffrey and Anna Koh Varilla

Exhibited at the Marian Library: June 10 - August 2, 1996.

About the Art
[Our Lady of Welcome]
The Our Lady of Welcome sculpture [at right] functions as an invitation. She symbolizes a welcome to all to enter into a peaceful, embracing place of worship where each can think, pray or just "be." To us, the artists, she is a sign of universal acceptance and hope.

Artistically, she is an active figure with outstretched arms and overall movement and energy. The fluidity of drapery and profound character of the skillfully modeled face contribute to this successful modern, classic, realist sculpture.

The Holy Family [below, at left] sculpture functions as a focus for the role of families in today's world. Joseph, as father figure, plays an active, dynamic role as teacher. The child expresses curiosity, and contentment as he is embraced by his mother. The piece is intended to engage children as the child invites them to partake in his life.

About the Artists

Anna Koh Varilla masterfully depicts a dynamic interplay between thought, emotion, and physical expression. Her rich and delicate understanding of the human body allows Anna to reveal a subtlety which embraces strength in her sculptured works.

[The Holy Family]
Jeffrey Varilla is a Chicago-born sculptor and painter in the tradition of classic realism. Inspired by the work of the "Old Masters" of the seventeenth century and the Renaissance, he believes that an artist should learn the form of the past and apply it to the content of the present. As co-director of the Koh-Varilla Guild with his wife, Anna, he accepts commissions in sculpture, painting, and drawing, in addition to offering classes.

"When we receive a commission we do a lot of research. We like to identify with the subject. It stirs the imagination. You get an idea of what the person might have been like."

Portrait sculpture commissions which the Varillas have completed include those of Alexander Graham Bell, Mayor Richard J. Daley, John James Audubon, and Conrad Hilton.

You may contact the artists at Koh-Varilla Guild, 1803 W. Byron #102, Chicago, IL 60613, 773/327-8201.


Maquettes (painted terra cotta):

Our Lady of Welcome
Born to the Cross
The Holy Family
Portrait of Archbishop Rembert Weakland


Our Lady of Welcome, polychrome cast terra cotta
Madonna and Child, polychrome cast stone, bas relief. Limited edition
Three Marys, plaster
Mary Magdalene I, bronze
Mary Magdalene II, bronze
Mary Magdalene Series, set of four raku terra cotta, bas reliefs
Portrait of Archbishop Rembert Weakland, polychrome cast stone
Resurrection of Christ, polychrome cast stone
Corpus Christi, polychrome cast stone


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