By Kelline Linton, Staff Writer
Cuban-American artist Rolando Diaz will paint during a live performance Sunday, Monday and Tuesday night at 8:45 p.m. in the Williams Performing Arts Center.
His performances are a part of Bible Lectureship that organizers hope will appeal to the college crowd through art, music and spirituality.
As music plays and the lighting changes, Diaz, class of 1981, will transform a blank 4-by-5-foot canvas to a theme-based painting in one hour.
Scott Sager, preacher of Preston Road Church of Christ in Dallas, said the production is a “performance art message.”
“It is not like going to the Dinner Theatre,” he said. “It is sharing in an experience where the Holy Spirit will move the people.”
Sager will read the Bible in three to four-minute increments as Diaz sketches, which will help further the message.
“The message will come out of what God is saying,” Diaz said.
Sager said he hopes the pair presents the Gospel in a fresh and relevant way.
“It is not preachy,” Sager said. “but students will experience the great mysteries of the Christian faith.”
Each night will center on a different theme, ranging from angels to incarnation to martyrs. The incarnation night will feature one of the prevailing topics in Diaz’s works – the mother and child.
After Diaz completes the paintings, a silent auction will begin immediately. The proceeds from the first night will go to Bridges to the World, an organization that helps the poor in Honduras. The second night’s funds will go to the Bible, Missions and Ministry Department; the third night will help the Christian Relief Fund, an organization that supports the efforts to reduce the spread of AIDS in Africa.
Diaz will not accept payment, and the members of the Preston Road Church of Christ even donated his art supplies.
Diaz’s paintings usually sell for $2,000 to $8,000. Private collectors of his works include singer Liza Minelli; Rob Thomas, the lead singer for Matchbox 20; and Reggie Williams, vice president of Disney World Attractions. A recent auction ended with the highest bidding in Diaz’s career: a 30-by-40 inch sold for $25,000.
“Rolando is the most talented guy I ever met,” Sager said.
Diaz has been painting professionally for 15 years. He performs regularly around the nation, accompanied by pianist Seth Simmons, and raises funds for numerous charities. His shows attract crowds of all ages, especially the college crowd in Dallas, his current residence. He has shows coming up in Miami and Boston and a PBS special coming out at the end of this year.
His painting the “Man in the Boat” was recently exhibited at the Grace museum. A new art center opening soon in Buffalo Gap will feature some of his works.
Diaz graduated from ACU in 1981, and Jonathon Diaz, junior electronic media major from Arlington, is his nephew and is the current art director for the Prickly Pear.
The event is one of many artistic presentations at Lectureship this year. Other artistic experiences at Lectureship include:
— “Lux Et Tenebrae: Light and Darkness in Sacred Music,” featuring a panel of theology and music faculty, including Dr. Mike Scarbrough, director of choral activities, and Dr. Greg Straughn, chair of the Music Department.
— Performances from the A Capella Choir and Freshman Chorale.
— “The Gospel of John and Songs for Worship,” an exploration of prevalent themes in modern worship songs.
Visit http://www.acu.edu/events/lectureship.html for more information about Lectureship.