Artistic Leadership at The Episcopal Church of the Good
Meet International Artist John Bunker
"I have been involved in The Episcopal Church of the Good
Shepherd rather intensely for the past ten years. I have also
served on the Riverside Fine Arts Board for 20 years and have just
fallen off," says international artist John Bunker, " In
fact, my name is still listed as a past board member as of this
conversation. I love The Episcopal Church of the Good
Shepherd for the visual art and music that we bring in for our
One of the ways that we have involved artists to raise money for
the church is something we call a Christmas Card fundraiser.
Church member and singer Kate Medill came up with this fun idea.
"John lives true Christian stewardship. He uses his
wonderful talent within the Parish. I have been involved with
the Good Shepherd Christmas Card outreach project to create
Christmas cards using the artwork of local artists. John set
the example by allowing us to use his work, Angel of the Hearts,
for the first year and has been a source of guidance in subsequent
years, " reports Kate.
John says, " Three years ago, we began developing special art
exhibitions surrounding specially created Christmas cards that we
sell for the benefit of our church. We sell the cards during
the art exhibition and afterwards."
On the vestry at the time that this fundraiser was created, John
painted the first art card of a beautiful angel. He not only
donated the image for the sale of the cards, he also donated his
entire proceeds from the sale of the cards to the church.
Since then, two additional artists have created original paintings
and have donated a percentage of sales of their card sales to the
church, as well. These Christmas Card Exhibitions are held in Craig
Hall at the church during the month of October and have been a
holiday success for the past three years.
"Good Shepherd continues to look for ways to embrace the
community surrounding the church, so visual art exhibitions are one
of the ways the church is reaching out," John adds.
Another way the church is reaching out to the community is
through the Riverside Fine Arts Music Programs, which started as an
outreach of the church when the Skinner organ was retrofitted for
the church. John was in charge as Board President at two
different times - 2002-2003 and 2008- 2009. The Riverside
Fine Arts Program is now an independent non-profit. John was
involved in the decisions involved in selecting new and emerging
artists to give these artists exposure through a visual art
exhibition that ran concurrently to the music concerts. To
learn more about the concert series, they publish a guide for the
entire season and this program is hosted at http://www.riversidefinearts.org/2016-2017-concert-series
This concert series hosts musicians who travel from around the
world to play in Jacksonville, Florida. Volunteers work hard
to offer these music programs to the community.
"I just love the synchronicity between the music and the
worship." John shares.
"Not only are the Bunkers fixtures in the pew each Sunday, they
can also be found in the kitchen, helping to cook for special
events or delivering food and backpacks to the local pantry and
elementary school," concludes Kate.