Telling the story: Exum Gallery hosts 'Pilgrimages' art exhibit

Telling the story: Exum Gallery hosts 'Pilgrimages' art exhibit

Exum Gallery hosts 'Pilgrimages' art exhibit

September 10th, 2017 by Yolanda Putman in Life Entertainment

"St. Francis Basilica, Assisi" is a watercolor by Durinda Cheek.

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

"The Pilgrimage," a watercolor by Durinda Cheek.

"The Pilgrimage," a watercolor by Durinda Cheek.

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

After the death of her father, local artist Cam Busch took a pilgrimage to Ireland, the country where her family roots began.

She had no idea when she journeyed some 23 years ago that she would use her camera to capture her feelings, but that is what she did.

She shot several rolls of film displaying "the gentle nature of Ireland" while providing the perfect setting for reflection. The Washington National Cathedral was so impressed that it gave Busch a one-woman art show featuring 29 photographs.

Exum Gallery at St. Paul's Episcopal Church will showcase some of Busch's photographs from the cathedral this month.

"It touched people's hearts because you could see the stillness and the meditative nature of the landscapes," says Busch, who holds degrees and board certifications in nursing, art, counseling and art therapy.


If you go

› What: Opening reception for “Pilgrimages” art exhibition by Durinda Cheek and Cam Busch.

› When: 5-7 p.m. Friday; show continues through Oct. 29, 8:30-4:30 p.m. weekdays.

› Where: Exum Gallery at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 305 W. Seventh St.

› Phone: 423-266-8195.

› Website:

The photographs will be part of an exhibit shared with retired local art teacher Durinda Cheek. An opening reception is scheduled Friday. The exhibition will continue through Oct. 29.

Other photographs and paintings in the show are from trips to France and Italy the two artists took together. The theme of the show is "Pilgrimages."

"It is a quest, a journey of body and soul in which the pilgrim desires to experience a greater awareness of God," Busch says in a news release concerning the exhibition.

Cheek's contributions include water and oil paintings of world-famous cathedrals. She has painted the St. Francis Basilica in Assisi, St. Mark's Basilica in Venice and Sacre Coeur in Paris.

Last month, she finished an interior view of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris that she'll include in the show.

"It's a little tedious, but I love it," says Cheek, who retired after working 16 years as an art teacher in local public and private schools.

She also leads an annual art class in France.

The physical beauty of cathedrals put her in awe of their architecture and detail, she says.

She marvels that artists constructed many of the buildings during the medieval period when they didn't have the luxury of modern tools and technology.

In medieval times, only monks and priests, not the average person, could read. So the religious leaders employed artists to paint scenes. Cheek says she cried the first time she saw the "Pieta," Michelangelo's sculpture of Mary holding the body of Jesus after his crucifixion.

"Some of those beautiful statues and carvings are there for a reason," she says. "They're not there just for decoration. It's to tell a story."

Contact Yolanda Putman at or 423-757-6431.