Augie Art Tour – 1e – Faith, Hope and Love

Our last stop at Our Savior’s Lutheran brings us to the north face of the building and a familiar mural to anyone driving by on 33rd Street on the south end of the Augustana Campus:

Faith, Hope, and Love

Title: Faith, Hope and Love

Artist: Palmer Eide

Medium: Mosaic

Palmer Eide was a giant in the Sioux Falls art scene. His work tended toward the simple and tectonic, letting the simplicity and weight of the work speak for itself.  We’ll be seeing more of his work as we continue the Art Tour. The idea of ‘Faith, Hope and Love’, is taken from 1 Corinthians 13:1-13.

The anchor is faith, which grounds our lives when life is rough.

The cross (which is also the cross bar of the anchor) is hope.

The heart is love. The greatest of the three because without it, life is meaningless.

Anchor The colors are the colors of the liturgical year.

Purple/Violet is the color of expectant waiting and preparation. Used in Lent and Advent, it is  associated with sorrow and repentance as we anticipate the joys of Easter and Christmas.

White is the color of purity and joy. Used for Christmas and Easter, it represents God being with us in joy and love.

Red is the color of passion and suffering, courage and sacrifice. Used during Pentecost, Holy Week and for celebration of thy martyrs, we hope our hearts burn with passion and courage to do what is right.

Black is the color of death and dying. Ironically it also represents life through death. It is  used on Good Friday, All Saint’s Day and funerals.

Green is the color of life and growing. It is the color of the harmony of community and living together. It is used on ‘regular’ sundays as we grow together and break bread.

A Deeper Look

The traditional meanings are great and all, but this mural is across the street from my alma mater and I’m going to put my own meanings to the images and ideas.

Purple is the time of anticipation and preparation. In one sense, this can be the entire time at college as we prepare for and anticipate our future selves and communities. Some of us have specific goals, many of us don’t, but regardless this is a time of questioning what we really want to do and who we really want to be. In another sense it is the time before a big exam, the long nights typing papers and preparing presentations. For me, the nights dancing with brushes in the studio while listening to Beethoven and Yellow Card. The preparation is long, the anticipation aching, but the struggle is what makes our little victories sweeter.

White is the time of joy and completion. It is partying with friends after a difficult test, it is the words of encouragement and approval written on your thesis. It is the elation of graduation and emerging victorious after the trials. We celebrate together because we succeed together. We share our joy.

But we also share our sorrow. Black is the time of failure and death. It is our lowest points when our hard work seems wasted. When a friend or loved one dies and we can’t get up to go to class or work. When our nation mourns.  Black is do or die in a cold world that doesn’t care. It is the people who will mourn with us and let us cry on their shoulders. Black is the time we overcome to make ourselves stronger and learn who we are and how we fit in. Black is for remembering those who went before us, whose shoulders we stand on, whose presence will be missed.

Red is the struggle for our passion and finding the courage to do what needs to be done. It is the long hours in stage design to get it ready for the performance, it is volunteering at the Ronald McDonald house. It’s helping others with their projects late at night before you get to work on your own.  It’s sacrificing your time and energy for ideas bigger than yourself.

Green is growth and growing into the people we are. It’s us in the vast community, not just of our little garden at Augustana, but in the wild forest that is the world. It’s breaking bread with friends and profs, it’s walking to class and stopping to chat with a friend going the other way. Green is the life that we make.

The Anchor is faith. But not in the dogmatic sense, but in the colloquial sense of our faith in others. It’s about community, friends and family. We give each other an anchoring and a place to belong.

The Cross is hope. Hope that the sacrifices we make, great or small, are not in vain. Hope that we’ll be brave enough to face a demon-haunted world to make it better, not for just for us, but for all who come after us. It’s hope that others continue after we pass on.

The Heart is love. Faith, Hope and Love abide, but the greatest of these is love.


Next Stop:

Gilbert Science Center!


The Chancel Ascension Mural can be found at:

Our Saviors Lutheran Church
909 W. 33rd Street
Sioux Falls, SD 57105

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