The Rev. John W. Moody (known as “Jack”) is an artist, art administrator and curator. A graduate of Union College in 1950, he received a master’s degree in Theology at The Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1953 with the thesis Aesthetics and the Liturgical Movement.
After 14 years in innovative parish and Diocesan ministry in Southern Ohio he earned a master’s degree in Painting and Sculpture at New York University with the thesis The Role of Art in Community Change
He joined the staff of Trinity Church Wall Street as Associate for Community and Cultural Affairs to create a multi-arts ministry that received an Encore Award by the Arts and Business Council of NYC.
Returning to New York after creating an inner-city Arts Ministry at Old St Paul’s Parish in Baltimore, Maryland, John served as Director of Program Development at Manhattan Plaza and eventually returned to Trinity Church as Director of Pastoral Ministry.
Following retirement in 1991 he returned to painting and worked in studios in New York and Hillsdale. After 9/11 he was unable to use his New York studio and he served as a volunteer Chaplain at Ground Zero for the eight months of search and recovery.
He was a charter member of Episcopal Church and Visual Arts (ECVA) and has exhibited in and curated exhibitions in venues across New York. His work is in several private collections. He has written articles on art and religion for Christian Century and Catholic World.
He continues to be actively involved in the arts ministry of Trinity Parish to which he first came fifty years ago. He has attended St John in the Wilderness for many years and served as Interim Minister for a short time following The Rev. John Byers’ retirement.
Featured in the exhibition Landscapes: John Moody are mid-to-recent works reflecting the artist’s interest in the natural world. His paintings are evocative of both country and city landscapes. He says that he had a lot of catching up to do in painting after twenty years of art and community administration. The eye had developed but the hand needed to learn to approximate the nuanced subtlety of what he saw as the mystery, beauty, wonder, and accommodation of living things, especially trees, in nature. A method of drawing and drip and brush with mixed media evolved.
John Moody has stated his view of the impact of the arts in our lives:
All the Arts and especially Visual Arts provide a necessary spiritually transformative function in history like nothing else. The arts push the edge of our perceptions. They push issues in a way that help us to confront them and live within them and change them. This is so important in a largely secular society. For people of faith there is a close connection between Religion and Art and faith in a loving, merciful, and ever creative God who shares this dialog with art. In each of our individual faith journeys we are pushing the edges of our own perceptions trying to live with God’s inclusive grace into truth and wholeness. Contemplating and living with the Arts help and enable us in our journeys.