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Visual artist John Bergmeier uses the physical layers in this mixed media art piece to explore the layers of history, personal connection, and exploration of his faith associated with Haggai 2.

Haggai 2

Haggai 2


John Bergmeier


Curated by: 

Spark+Echo Arts


15 x 24 x 2 inches

Collaged Screen Prints, Linocut on Wood Veneer, Gold and Silver Vinyl Film, Appropriated Wood, Metal Pieces + Sinew

Mixed Media

Image by Giorgio Trovato

Primary Scripture

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Intent upon connecting the visual arts to God's Word, I am inspired by various verses and Biblical stories. I think it's perfectly acceptable and God-pleasing to produce artwork that is simply inspired by faith: but also that to teach, preach and share the gospel is the highest good. My work typically includes imagery from nostalgic sources vindicating my personal memories and wistful emotions. Multi-layered, not only with antique line art and purposeful texts but also with the colors themselves. This type of layering and use of multiple images lends itself to the idea of a confusing and complicated life this side of eternity, but still looking forward to "feel the Son's embrace."

I have a standard palette of colors that I rely on for most of my mixed media art pieces and prints. These also are intended to imply this vintage feel; as if the colors are pulled directly from my Aunt Erna's living room in Beatrice, Nebraska. A personal favorite is a red-brown that is a mix of the red of Harry Lottman's discarded Velvet tobacco can and the burgundy of the rusting farm implement behind his barn. Lastly, in addition to these solid colors, I frequently use metallic inks, especially gold, to imply a religious and heavenly connection to the overall narrative.

This second book of Haggai (one of the twelve minor prophets of the Old Testament) contains 38 verses and was written around 520 BC. From the beginning of my work on this visual art piece I have tried to portray an "Old Testament" aesthetic and sensibility. The materials and imagery that I have selected are meant to represent the various verses that are key components to God's Word here written by Haggai.

I struggle to understand how it must have been to be an Old Testament believer, still looking forward to the coming Savior as opposed to our lives now looking back at what has taken place with Christ's plan of salvation for us. In the second chapter of Haggai his prophecies include Christ as the descendant of Zerubbabel from the family of David: He shall soon come, "a comfort of all nations." This lineage is represented by the length of sinew that runs along the top of the piece.

One can take these 3 essentials from Haggai 2:

  • be strong,

  • work diligently

  • and do not fear.

We are still encouraged to maintain a strength which is required to overcome life with a sinful flesh and a fear that can cripple and hamstring this effort without the power and courage from God. The "yawning" people of Israel at this time had become distracted and had lost focus on the continued rebuilding of the second new temple that God had commanded them to build. The musical notes and bright colors used here characterize this almost festive attitude which resulted in an unfinished temple. The people were also using their gold and silver for other purposes rather than for God's work.

Spark Notes

The Artist's Reflection

John Bergmeier is an American artist who received his BA in Studio Arts from Hastings College, Hastings, Nebraska and his MFA in Printmaking and Drawing from Wichita State University, Wichita, Kansas.  Bergmeier has been employed as a Commercial Designer and Design Manager in the decorative films industry since 1992, and has continued to create artwork throughout this time in his home studio.  He has exhibited internationally and has also taught studio art and graphic design classes at various colleges.  He is currently working on prints and mixed media pieces in the studio space shared with his wife Carla in Waxhaw, North Carolina.

John Bergmeier

About the Artist

John Bergmeier

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