The Mighty Hand
by A.L. Quinones
Medium: Painted wood
What it says: The Mighty Hand depicts the crucified hand of Jesus with figures of Mary’s parents, Mary, Joseph and a young Jesus at each fingertip. “While the nativity is unlike most you see,” says Roten, “Mighty Hand-style works are common in Latin American areas.” The hand also functions as a genealogical tree, beginning with Mary’s parents and ending with Jesus.
Of Single Mind
by Don Smith
Medium: Raku, a Japanese pottery
What it says: The faceless figures and dark colors in this piece create a somber tone. The figures leaning in to look at baby Jesus wear intricately embellished capes, each with a unique design, bringing the piece to life. “The artist is trying to say that it is up to us to put a face on the figures, to bring our personalities to the piece,” says Roten.
|Diverse But One
by Fred F. Evangel
What it says: With both a polar bear and a seal, this Native American-inspired piece has an unusual nativity menagerie, and one figure is dressed in clothing that is worn while performing sacred dances. “Every culture brings great variety but can have a similar message,” says Roten. This piece “represents the uniting of Native American and Christian beliefs.”
|Sun, Peppers and Snow
by Jil Gurule
Medium: Painted clay
What it says: This colorful nativity depicts a bustling village with chili peppers and snow covering adobe homes. The Holy Family is in a carriage below, preparing for its flight into Egypt. “The piece combines both Christian and non-Christian cultures,” says Roten. The sun, peppers and snow represent life, spice and hardship: ordinary ingredients of the human condition.