Early in the life of the Guild, founders Richard and Liz Caemmerer became aware of the international significance of the art of Sadao Watanabe. We received calendars with his woodblocks on them, friends in Tokyo sent prints, a book came out on his life and work, etc. We saw the work of an artist who, largely on his own, was connecting the Gospel to his culture, and that demonstrated to the Caemmerers that he was about what we hoped for the Guild. So we created a connection and named him as Honorary Guild Artist. A small piece of stained glass was fashioned and Richard & Liz took it to Japan and presented it to him. To see the humble place where he did all of his work and meet his wife, who was in charge of packing and mailing his work all around the world, was life-changing.
Since then, the meaning and title of “Guild Master” has somewhat changed, but it continues to represent the honoring of artists who, by their life, faith and work, exemplify what the Grünewald Guild seeks to embody in the world.
The Guild Masters are:
An expert with the rare medium of clay paper sculpture, Ruth has taught at the Guild every summer since its inception. Ruthie demonstrates the grace, skill and humble spirit of the Guild mission wherever she goes.
A truly unique painter and illustrator, particularly of the rich history of saints, Brother Mickey brings beauty and mirth to everything he touches. Mickey has been a popular faculty member of the Guild for many years.
Sandy exemplifies a level of excellence in liturgical art that helps bridge the gap between the Church and the arts, with a rare quality that is uniquely her own.
A rare spirit, both in the art of calligraphy and in his life, Alan has demonstrated the wonderful balance of being a master of his craft and a warm, nutty and accessible spirit that we hope to maintain forever at the Guild.
Watanabe was famous for his biblical prints rendered in the mingei (folk art) tradition of Japan. He lived a life of humble excellence, bringing together fine craftsmanship and a unique expression of story that serves as an inspiration to what we hope the Guild to be.
Rich and Liz founded the Guild, and infused it with their vision, warmth, mirth and love for history and culture that continues to pervade the Guild as we move into the future.