Earth-Keeping and Creation Care – Meet the (a)Artist

Monroe Community ChurchArtPrize 2022

September 18, 2022 – 10:30 a.m.

Since the very first ArtPrize in 2009, Monroe Community Church has been creating worship experiences rooted in the felt needs, human conditions, pathos, and joy found in the art that we host. If we believe that humans are created in the image of God, then each of us testifies to the Creator by creating. Each Sunday morning during ArtPrize, our pastor and worship leader will interview the artist, who may or may not be a person of faith, unpack the motivations and meaning behind their ArtPrize entry, and then look to scripture and song for what the Bible and our rich musical tradition may say about similar themes.

Sundays, 10:30 a.m. @ 1020 Monroe NW

Week 2:

Earth-Keeping and Creation Care
Artist: Brian Northup “All This and More”

Artist: Renee Therriault “On the Brink”

About the Art:

All This and More

To think, “plastic was once a living being” brings to mind an ancient process of transformation on our planet. At the end of this process, plastic, is our collective creation and our environmental legacy on this planet. Yet, there is one more phase, to transform what we see as trash into art. Depicting what we cannot readily see, drives my practice – views of microscopic cell interactions, molecular-level contamination and cross-sections of interconnectedness. Created with ubiquitous plastic residues of daily consumption and convenience, I imagine how plastic is interacting with living systems at the deepest level. The techniques I employ physically articulate the concepts of “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”. Reducing many plastic pieces into one by compressing and rolling, I use heat and pressure to mimic geological processes, recalling the origins of plastic deep within the earth; fossil fuels, dinosaurs. Ultimately the work is a Rorschach test of how we perceive plastic and our planet.

About the Artist:

Bryan Northup

Bryan Northup is a Chicago based environmental artist, utilizing single-use plastic as art medium. Since 2015 he has worked with found single-use plastics and foam to create wall reliefs and sculptural works that record a material fingerprint that alludes to contemporary social values. In 2019 Bryan was one of 12 artists chosen for the South Bend Museum of Art’s Biennial 30 and was awarded Juror’s Choice for his installation. His solo exhibition ‘Sea Inside’ followed shortly at the International Museum of Surgical Science in Chicago, closing weeks before the pandemic.​Bryan has exhibited both nationally and abroad in galleries including Czong Institute for Contemporary Art (CICA), South Korea, Gallery 524, Bortolami, TAG Gallery, Gallery MC, South Bend Museum of Art, Beloit College’s Wright Museum of Art. Bryan graduated from California College of the Arts in Oakland, California with a BFA in Fine Art Photography. He was born in Los Angeles and currently maintains a home studio practice in Oak Park, IL.

About the Art:


This art piece depicts a black hole within the universe as it advances on a suspended glass sphere containing delicate feathers. It is meant to be a statement on the urgent need for action regarding climate change. The black hole is a metaphor for the impending point of no return for our environment and the glass sphere is symbolic of the fragility of nature and life itself. This piece is still in progress as I have not finalized the necessity or number of the chrome ball bearings.

About the Artist:

Renee Therriault

I am a graduate of Aquinas College, Grand Rapids MI where I learned to weld and work with found objects and have been creating art for nearly 30 years.