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 Reverend John L Walch  (1918 - 2003)

About: Reverend John L Walch
 

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Lived/Active: Oklahoma      Known for: painting, sculpture drawing, wood engraving, ceramics, textiles

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John L Walch is primarily known as Reverend John L Walch

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Biography from Pierson Gallery:
The Reverend John L. Walch was born on January 14, 1918 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.  He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Loyola University of Chicago, and simultaneously attended The Chicago Art Institute, to pursue his love of art.  It was while in Chicago that he answered his greater calling and devoted his life to God.  He entered St. Louis Preparatory Seminary in 1941, and Kenrick Seminary, St. Louis, Mo., in 1942 in preparation for the priesthood. Fr. Walch was ordained a Roman Catholic Priest at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Oklahoma City, on June 2, 1945.  In the ensuing decade Father Walch served in a number of parishes while at the same time remaining active in the ecclesiastical art community participating in and attending numerous exhibitions.
 
In 1958, Bishop Victor Reed appointed him the Diocesan Director of Art.  He then opened the St. John Damascene Studio of Liturgical Art in Oklahoma City, for the purpose of creating art for churches, chapels, rectories, convents, schools and hospitals. More than 100 churches, chapels and institutions throughout the United States contain artwork and appointments designed and executed by Fr. Walch.
 
He served five terms as president of the National Catholic Art Association. He was Director of the Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art, on the campus of St. Gregory’s Catholic University, Shawnee, OK, and served as a member of the of the Board of Trustees of the Oklahoma Art Guild. Additionally, he was a member of the National Liturgical Conference, the Liturgical Arts Society, the Philbrook Art Center, Gilcrease Museum, and a charter member of the Southwest Watercolor Society.
 
Fr. Walch’s versatility as an artist and sculptor was immense. He worked with ease in many media, oil, pastel, drawings, wood engravings, lino blocks, sculpture in wood, bronze, and stone, as well as stained glass, metal engraving, enameling, ceramics and textiles   He painted five complete calendar series for the Catholic Church Extension Society’s nationally circulated Catholic Art Calendar.  In 1964, he illustrated The Roman Missal for the Catholic Book Publishing Co.  He was widely published in art publications and periodicals, and taught painting and drawing as a visiting professor.
 
He held over 50 one-man shows and received numerous awards in local and national juried shows. His work can be found in many private collections and the permanent collections of the Vatican, The Fogg Art Museum at Harvard University, the Philbrook Art Center, The Oklahoma City Museum of Art, The Kirkpatrick Foundation, and the Mabee-Greer Museum of Art.


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