Friar Vincent Petersen of El Paso, Texas, describes himself as a landscape artist. Since childhood he has had a love affair with the beauty of the earth. Growing up in rural Minnesota he credits the shapes, the seasons, the dimensions and the moods of creation for coloring his understanding of God and spirituality. As a Conventual Franciscan friar and Catholic priest, he derives much of his energy and inspiration for ministry from what the earth has to say.
Friar Vincent tries to capture the beauty of both the wild and the remote as well as the near and the subtle. “I am enchanted with the colors and the drama of the Southwest”. He says. Rarely does he include signs of human encroachment such as roads or houses in his paintings. He prefers to celebrate pure and unblemished vistas as well as thought provoking perspectives. Working from memory and inspiration he wants to help the viewer develop a deeper appreciation and love for what could soon be lost due to the excesses of land ‘development’ and human greed. “What we do not love – we will not save.”
It has been in the last 10 years that Friar Vincent has taken his painting seriously. It was during a special exhibition at the Hal Marcus gallery (fall of 2006) when he was first noticed. This exhibiton benefited the Frontera Land Alliance which works to preserve open spaces and vulnerable habitat in the El Paso area. Soon after this, encouraged by his friend and mentor, Hal Marcus, he held his first ever one artist show at Hal Marcus Gallery in downtown El Paso. Aug. 13th, 2009 Fr. Vincent will have his 2nd solo exhibit at the Hal Marcus Gallery, entitled “Sombras de Dios ~ the light within ~”. 25 of his recent works will be on display.
In 1980 Friar Vincent received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Studio Arts from St. Louis University and later a Master of Divinity degree from Washington Theological Union. Since ordination in 1985 he has worked in a variety of parish and retreat ministries and has spent some time in the foreign missions. In 2001 he enjoyed some sabbatical time in an art school in San Miguel Allende, Mexico where his spirit for painting was reignited. He lived in a community with other Franciscan Friars in the Mission Valley of El Paso and was involved in parish ministry at San Antonio parish. Presently Vincent is in Mission at Parish of Our Lady of Guadelupe in Tortugas, NM near Las Cruces. He is a member of Pax Christi of El Paso which is the local chapter of the Catholic peace movement.
“I am enchanted with the colors and the drama of the Southwest”
“Petersen’s art is like a visual vacation. His paintings bring a sense of calm and relaxation.” -Kelly Foss, Hal Marcus Studio & Gallery Manager