David Wade

I see Sanctuary as a place of safety, quiet, and reflection.

We live in the Information Age, a time of instant connectivity; with so much information it makes it hard to think. Sanctuary is an isolated spot, physical or mental, where all the noise and distractions are removed, where it is possible to wonder and reflect. It is a place outside the grid of schedules, opinion, events, and all the noise, a place free from human conceit and device. I seek the woods as my escape, the windswept shore my refuge.

Nature is my Muse.

Wade 3 Whirlpool

David Wade, Whirlpool, archival pigment print, 20×15, 2018

There is a hermit who lives inside my head, who likes nothing more than the sound of leaves underfoot, the wind in the trees, and the seashore as it constantly changes, wave by wave, sand grain by grain….

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David Wade, Two Roads Diverged, archival pigment print, 15 x 20, 2019

Finding sanctuary is to “get away from it all”, to allow our senses to refresh, and to reaffirm our connection with Eternity.

Top Image: David Wade, Subliminal, archival pigment print, 15 x 20, 2018



Clara Cohan

Where do I “go” to find a safe place to Be?

cohan 1 sacred space

Clara Cohan, Sacred Space, digital photo, dye sublimation on metal, limited edition of 100, 30”W x 40”H, 2019

Nature has always been a Sanctuary for my tender soul.  I have been fortunate to have grown up with woods as my backyard and as my friend.  Later in life, I chose to build a small self-sufficient cabin on a wooded hillside in the midst of rural farmlands.  Later still, I found my place in the soulful desert southwest. And now I am in Maine, whose character shapes mine. Each landscape has nurtured me in ways that have forever shaped my Being and my creations.

As a Maker, my wood carving studio is certainly my personal Sanctuary where I can work without interruption or just stare and watch ideas flow through my mind.  I protect that space by mainly making it too dusty and cluttered for anyone to walk into. The windows have a perpetual protective layer of wood dust to keep curious eyes from looking in.  Strategically kept cobwebs are also a good deterrent.

As my body grows older and I have increasingly embraced the deaths of loved ones, my Place of Worship has expanded beyond my studio and the natural woodland worlds.  My Sanctuary is about the space within, that which connects my Being with an infinite universe…a cosmos of consciousness…that which I will someday merge with. For now, I will embrace the Awe that flows through me and into my creations, perhaps encouraging others to seek their own outer and inner Sanctuaries.



Karen Merritt —That Gentle Down and Drift


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Karen Merritt, “That Gentle Down and Drift”, gelatin silver print, 9 × 9


there must be a poem  

in there, she’d said –

and wouldn’t it begin – as always – with the motion?
theirs and ours –
and with our uncertainty – maybe –
about the place of angels
in this world.
or with our unease  
or never settled understanding
of whether it is benevolence we’re after
or awe
or whether they are here to protect us
or to watch us
or maybe just to serve

as a singlechord reminder of the order of these things –

them, out there
us, in here
or the reverse of all that, maybe –   
that that fullwingedflutter underneath my skin
that one that might be fear –  

is in fact an understanding
that something larger still presides
and broods
with a rolling shouldered grace
that feels like love
or could be just a reminder
that i am the one out here who’s wandering –  
that i am the one who’s passing through.




Gina Sawin  

The images of bird flocks in my work refer to the theme of migration and sanctuary as an inevitable and universal means of survival.

Sawin 1 Tern Migration warm white clouds

Gina Sawin, Tern Migration, Warm White Clouds oil on canvas 32 x 54 2017

While clearly representational, and inspired by the patterns of avian forms against a vast sky, the paintings also speak symbolically to a shared sense of urgency in the search for a safe haven.

Sawin 2 Bird Flock umber tones

Gina Sawin, Bird Flock, umber tones; oil on canvas 28 x 48 2017

Migrating birds seem a poignant reminder of the earth’s life cycles, and, in a metaphorical sense, the strength of the whole as a sum of parts.

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Gina Sawin, Flock of Sixty-four, oil, pencil on canvas 30 x 40 2018

When I am working in my studio, looking carefully at each individual bird in the context of its flock, my mind drifts to other groups getting from one place to another, seeking refuge, or the right to survive. I feel the paintings asking “will we get where we need to go?”