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A year ago, Joe Larson responded to the stress all of us were facing at the beginning of the pandemic by turning to art, with a personal goal of creating a painting a week.
For 52 weeks, he painted flowers and other symbols of life to counterbalance the devastating sickness and death COVID-19 was bringing to our world. Using broad strokes and a vibrant palette, Larson captured tulips and irises and lighthouses and butterflies and more.
There is a certain melancholy in the paintings, a reflection of the time in which they were created. Yet for the artist – and the viewers – these paintings remind us how symbols of hope and beauty can sometimes grow out of the middle of despair and pain.
Larson has created art throughout my life, including commissioned hanging murals and mosaics. He serves as pastor of St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, but loves making art in his free time. His favorite media is painting, both acrylic and watercolor. Larson received his Bachelor of Arts from Gustavus Adolphus College, with an art minor. He also has a Master of Divinity.