"Teach Me Your Way" MVL logo proposals


 Every year Minnesota Valley Lutheran High School chooses a Bible passage as a theme.  The theme guides our chapel devotion readings and is accompanied by a logo.  Some years the logo is designed by a student, some years I do the design.  Here are some logo variations I've proposed for next year's MVL theme, "Teach Me Your Way, O Lord".  The design incorporates school colors and speaks to Christ-centered education.  The spine of the book and the text banner line up to create a cross.  The centered design and clean lines strike an orderly, contemporary pose with just a touch of vintage appeal.

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Unending Love Concert program

Program cover design for the 2013 MVL Spring Sacred Concert.  

The Hokusai wave motif coincided with an MVL Art Factory project (student work) on the same theme.

  Here is my explanation of the symbolism as printed in the program:
God’s love is on the move.  It is majestic and persistent and it is for you.

The artwork that was developed for this Spring Sacred Concert was inspired by themes in the song Unending Love.  The lyrics, printed elsewhere in this program, picture God’s love with poetic references to water.  Water is used as a symbol to help us further understand the Gospel.

“Here is love, vast as the ocean, Loving kindness as the flood...Through the floodgates of God’s mercy, Flowed a vast and gracious tide...Grace and love like mighty rivers, Poured unending from above.”

In the artwork, a continuous wave embodies these water references.  The long horizontal shape of the canvas hints at an expansive, panoramic view. In the context of the song, this long continuous wave reinforces the symbolic connections between the ocean and God’s infinite, unstoppable love.  
Notice the wave continues through different colors and media.  This is unified variety. This relationship between the sections of the canvas can remind us that despite changes in this life, God’s love endures forever.  While we are thankful, jealous, aimless, excited, vain, exhausted, gracious, deceitful...God’s love is vast as the ocean.  Despite our shifty nature, God is constant.
The water imagery used here originated with the Japanese printmaker Katsushika Hokusai.  He was an exciting artist producing works with considerable quality and quantity.  His most famous image is the 1833 woodblock print, “The Great Wave off Kanagawa” from his series “Thirty-six views of Mount Fuji”.  In the late 1800’s European artists such as Degas and Van Gogh were deeply influenced by the simple graphic style, unusual compositions, and contemporary subjects of Japanese prints.  Though Hokusai was not a Christian artist, “we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”  -2 Corinthians 10:5

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Set designs

Early sketches for the set of the MVL Spring play, "There's No Time Like the Present".  We really have a super group of young actors in the cast.  This is a play written by Mr. Ron Wels, a fellow teacher at MVL.  He's penned over a dozen scripts and this time-traveling buddy story is another strong contribution.  It's a special experience to have the author involved in the direction of a play.  The actors have opportunities to ask questions about wording and motivation and the script can be adjusted more freely.  It reminds me of watching "Shakespeare in Love" as actors lines were being handed to them by the author every day.  While we don't have such a precarious situation, there is that sort of creative flexibility.  Fun stuff.
So I tell our student in charge of props and costumes that I'd like to get a mustache for Sam.  She looks at me and says, "Oh, okay.  I have one in my shoe."  She takes off her shoe and produces 2 self-adhesive mustaches.  She says, "they might smell".  I'm pleased with what seemed like a miracle and put the shoe-mustache on Sam.  That's showbiz.

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Visual Minutes

  The MVL association delegates, board of directors, and other concerned individuals engaged in an open discussion on Feb. 17 regarding the termination of Ron Wels' divine call.  While many questions remain unanswered, the involvement of so many in the governance of the school is an energizing thought.
 It was passionate democracy in action.  Kudos to Pastor Matt Rauh, acting chairman of the board, for running the potentially vitriolic meeting in an even-handed way.  He immediately acknowledged the presence of so many visitors and set out the rules of engagement at the outset.  A lesser man would have allowed the crowd to become a lynch mob, or impatiently barked them down into submission.
  The assembly exercised its right to overturn the board's recent action.  A difficult time was had by all.

The image here shows my "visual minutes" of the proceedings.  These are faces I saw and words I heard as I sat in the crowd.  Strictly unofficial.  Strictly nonconfidential.

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A Chuck Close Christmas

We at the MVL Art Factory made this Chuck Close-style interpretation of Samantha Kowalke's original painting.  It offers an interesting tension between the individual shapes and the broader image.  This was a tricky project because our ample art studio still did not offer enough distance to really see the effect we were hoping for. Here is the explanation as printed in the Christmas concert program:

The artwork behind the choir references the original painting on the cover of this program.  The members of the MVL Art Factory reinterpreted Samantha Kowalke’s piece in the style of contemporary artist Chuck Close.  Close is an eminent figurative artist in New York City who paints large-scale portraits using optical color mixing and a grid.  Optical color mixing is a method of painting similar to the CMYK method of printing used in magazines and newspapers.  Our eyes and brains will blend bits of color together if they are small enough-or far away.  In fact when an artist blends two colors together on palette, there are separate microscopic bits of color that appear to become a new color.  Besides a great challenge and interesting experiment for the Art Factory, we can find an analogy in this work.  The overall image of the Christ Child is composed of a wide variety of colors and marks.  Like the Body of Christ, like the invisible church on earth, this artwork is composed of bits and pieces put together to present a semblance of a whole.  Likewise we see things differently from a distance, just as God sees patterns and plans that we cannot detect in the details of life.

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No Greater Love logo

Every year MVL chooses a theme to guide chapel services and messages in publications.  There is usually a logo that goes with it.  Here are some of my attempts at interpreting the theme for next year, "No Greater Love."

See more artwork from Jason Jaspersen at, and on social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.