Greetings! My name is Jennifer
Primosch, I am an artist specializing
in religious art who is a proud
member of a multicultural family.
We have nearly every continent
represented, and remember
relatives joking that family photos
made us look like the United
My family were active parishioners
at St. Aloysius Roman Catholic
Church in Queens, where I also
attended the church’s parochial
school from K-8. The parish was
and still is home to many
ethnicities. Going to church was
mesmerizing; angels greeted the
worshippers from every angle.
However, at some point, I realized that the images of all of the religious
figures did not represent all of the people I knew and loved.
While in school, I received the Good News Bible, written in plain English,
which I proceeded to read cover-to-cover. This version also provided
historical maps of the Bible’s events. While reading the ancient texts and
comparing the maps, I realized that not only did common religious
iconography represent people I knew, it didn’t represent the people in the
Bible! A seed was planted in my nascent artist's mind to create art that
was more accurate.
As I grew older and became an
art student, I learned to use
visual references, and began to
depict my own angels as Jewish
people of Middle Eastern and
North African descent .
Eventually, as an adult, I took
a life-altering trip through the
Holy Land from Egypt
through Jordan to Israel.
There, I learned from Middle Eastern and
African Christians that European artists
imagined everything from a specifically
European lens, versus from what the
Middle Easterners knew living in the region.
I learned that it was accepted in the Middle
East that Abraham was likely a Bedouin,
as were the shepherds in the field who the
Angels brought the news of Christ’s birth.
I stood in cave where Jesus was born while
our Palestinian Christian guide told us that
the image of a wooden stable was incorrect;
family animals were always kept in the cave,
which served as the ground floor or
basement of the stone homes.
This made me rethink how I visually conceived of the events of the Bible,
and my artwork further evolved, and I resolved to continue my research.
As I became a professional artist and art educator, other elements of my
artistic style became popular, and my “angels’ settled into my personal
work, rarely seen outside of my home or family.
Then, friends and family members of color who saw my work on the walls
at home began requesting that I put my paintings on Christmas cards for
them to send out. I began putting these images on my website and
producing cards to sell to individuals and online. Soon friends of friends
and family of friends began purchasing cards and prints.
My work brings a freshness to religious imagery that reflects the modern
family, who is becoming increasingly culturally blended. My work visually
reflects the inclusiveness that the church has always strived for in it’s
congregations. When worshippers feel included, they are more inclined to
be an active member.
|My family at St. Aloysius Church in Ridgewood Queens
for my neice Kayla's Christening
|Me with my 5th grade class at St. Aloysius School
|In Cairo, Egypt on my journey through the Holy Land
|Here I am in the Jordan River in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
|I am standing in the Catholic side of the cave that tradition
holds is the birthplace of Jesus Christ.
It's much larger than my apartment.
|At Masada with the Dead Sea in the background in Israel