Liturgical/Visual Arts

Previous Art Exhibits at First Pres


Black is Blessed, the artwork of Laura James

At the heart of Laura James' work is the desire to share something with the world - a story, a feeling, confidence, beauty.  "I am faciniated by the idea that people can see what I see in my mind's eye, and blessed that I have the ability to show them," she says.

A self taught painter and illustrator, James has been working as an Artist for almost thirty years.  As a child, she spent much of her free time at the Brooklyn Public Library, the only place her parents would let her go on her own.  There she explored her passion for literature, photography, and later painting.  Her African and Caribbean-American heritage, and a love of stories, design and color, are all elements that have always been present in her work.

Painting in two styles she refers to as "sacred" and "secular", James separates and combines the sacrosanct and the ordinary, and has created a diverse body of work that is her own.

Laura is currently working on what she hopes will be some of her best and most important work, a series of ten paintings around the theme of Race and Reparations that focuses on the "why" more than the "how", and each piece will show how the past is still being realized in the present.  

Laura James lives and in the Bronx, NY.  

For more information regarding our featured artist, please visit the website:


Benjamin Winans (b. 1987, Raleigh,NC)

Benjamin is an installation artist, printmaker, and scholar whose work addresses the intersection of evangelical Christianity and American culture, faith and doubt, and the search for grace and redemption.  He graduated in 2018 with a BFA in Painting and Printmaking from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA.  Winans has exhibited nationally and internationally, including a solo show at Gallery Edit in Richmond as well as group shows in Richmond, Ann Arbor, I, Providence, RI, Wichita, KS, Lucknow, India and Tokyo, Japan.  

Additional information about Benjamin please visit his website at: