Encouraging artwork on display in Greensburg

Alesa Miller
Maria Morris has her paintings on display at the 5.4.7 Arts Center in Greensburg. She hopes her art will encourage others who may have been through a traumatic experience to keep on going.

GREENSBURG — An artist who paints what she feels during worship services now has her work on display at the 5.4.7 Arts Center in Greensburg.

Maria Morris is a Kansas City-area watercolor artist who formally lived in Paraguay with her husband, a pastor, while in ministry there. When things become too dangerous for them to live there any longer, they moved back to the United States.

“My work just didn’t seem to sell as well here in America as it did in Paraguay,” Morris said. “I sold over 150 pieces in the eight years we lived there.”

Morris said that after returning to the states she began to feel like she wasn’t supposed to be an artist anymore, so she tried her hand at photography.

It wasn’t long after, that she realized her lack of sales in America was not so much because of a lack of talent but more because she was painting out of the fear and trauma she had experienced in Paraguay before coming back to America.

That was 20 years ago, and Morris has since found her joy again in painting and teaching. Now she brings joy to families by painting family portraits, as well as using her gift in ministry by painting on stage at churches as part of the sermon.

During Sunday morning worship services, as the minister preaches, Morris paints what she hears in her heart in the sermon. She will be demonstrating this heartfelt style of painting in Greensburg on April 5 at the Christian Church.

“We are excited to have Maria Morris paint for us,” said Pastor Jon Harrison. “I will be preaching the conclusion to a sermon series on the book of Galatians. It should be interesting.”

Morris said God gave her a gift and she wants to use it for His glory. She hopes to encourage others who have been through a traumatic experience and let them know that they can keep going on even if things seem impossible.

Morris’ combination of portraits, flowers and scripture art will be on display at 5.4.7 Arts Center in Greensburg until April 4. She will teach a class on her methods April 3 and 4 at the Arts Center. Lunch is included, with reservations required through the 5.4.7. Arts Center, at $75 to hold a seat or payment in full $175.