When Larry ’69 and Mary Gerbens ’67 donated their collection of artwork based on the parable of the prodigal son to Calvin in 2009, they were hoping it would become a ministry to others.
“We wanted the collection to travel,” said Gerbens. “This is our personal ministry, and we wanted to share it with others.”
The collection of more than 60 pieces, comprised of numerous media including sculptures, paintings, ceramics and etchings, most recently made its way to First Presbyterian Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma, for a seven-week exhibit.
Alumna Krista Vermeulen Schaafsma ’76 was behind the effort to bring the collection to her church: “When I first read about this collection, I thought ‘First Pres’ would be a perfect place for this; I couldn’t stop thinking about it.
“People here had never heard of Calvin before,” she said. “You should hear people talk about Calvin now. It’s as if they all own a little piece of it.”
The exhibit drew hundreds of interested viewers. “It’s popular because of the subject,” said Larry Gerbens. “It’s all about grace and forgiveness.”