First Presbyterian Church in downtown Colorado Springs will host "The Father and His Two Sons: The Art of Forgiveness," an exhibit featuring works inspired by the parable of the prodigal son by famous artists including Rembrandt, Thomas Hart Benton, Steve Prince, J.J. Tissot and Elmer Yazzie.
The free exhibition, which opens Friday and runs through April 16, includes more than 40 paintings, prints, ceramics and other media on loan from the Permanent Collection at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich.
Works on display range from "an actual Rembrandt sketch - which is probably the jewel of the collection - right up to contemporary artwork made from artists here in the United States and internationally reflecting on this incredible story Jesus told 2,000 years ago," First Pres senior pastor Tim McConnell said.
Art patrons Larry and Mary Gerbens, who compiled and donated the collection to the college, will be on hand for opening weekend, along with several of the exhibit's featured artists.
That celebration kicks off as part of the city's First Friday Downtown walking art tour with a public reception from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the church. Larry Gerbens will speak at a "collector's lecture" at 2 p.m. Sunday.
McConnell said his church is delighted to help bring the exhibit to the Springs so churchgoers and the community can have the opportunity to visually experience one of Jesus' more famous teaching moments.
"It's a way for us to bless Colorado Springs by hosting this artwork and having people walk through and be inspired and enriched by the beauty that it presents," said McConnell, whose church is studying the Biblical parable in the run-up to Easter. "It isn't for us, it's for the city of Colorado Springs to enjoy. Our doors will be open."