Wisconsin Public Television does its viewers a disservice by not scheduling 'The Face'
By Tony Staley
During April, public television viewers across the nation are
being treated to The Face: Jesus in Art. This two-hour program
shows how art attempts to comprehend and touch the divine in
depicting the human Christ.
That is, public television viewers everywhere but Wisconsin are
able to enjoy The Face: Jesus in Art. In our state, because of
"time constraints," the programming department at Wisconsin
Public Television "felt that this program would not be the best
use of our air time at the present."
That despite the generous support the state's overwhelmingly
Christian population provides Wisconsin Public Television through
taxes and individual donations.
In a review of The Face: Jesus in Art, Gerri Pare, director of
the U.S. Catholic Conference Office for Film and Broadcasting,
says the program is "never less than visually stunning" as it
visits locations around the world to examine artistic
representations of Jesus throughout the ages.
The program received major funding from the Catholic
Communication Campaign, which also helps support the work of the
Office for Film and Broadcasting.
Pare says "the opening special-effects montage, starting with
cosmic images that gradually morph into the eyes, then many faces
of Christ, is simply beautiful to behold. This visual morphing
technique is judiciously used to capture how Christ was seen in
different cultures, centuries and periods of art."
Besides showing how Jesus has been depicted from the third
century to now, the program asks whether it is even proper for an
artist to dare to portray God.
Shown are paintings, sculptures, icons, mosaics and frescoes of
Leonardo da Vinci, Rembrandt and Michelangelo, as well as works
by many lesser known artists.
But sadly, the only Wisconsin station carrying the program is the
public station in Milwaukee, which is not affiliated with
Wisconsin Public Television.
Wisconsin Public Television owes its public - its viewers and
supporters - more. Write or phone them urging them to show The
Face: Jesus in Art. The address is Wisconsin Public Television,
821 University Ave., Madison WI 53706; e-mail [email protected];
or phone 1-800-422-9707.