“Pacha Mama Healing the Earth” by David Hewson, 2006. Oil and 22 K gold on panel, 24 x 24 inches www.davidhewsonart.com www.galleryminerva.comChristmas themes of peace on earth and divine motherhood are celebrated in “Pacha Mama Healing the Earth” by David Hewson. He paints a Black Madonna figure who cradles the earth. Her pose is like an icon of “Mary Mother of All Nations.” Here she is called “Pacha Mama,” the name for Mother Earth in South America. Centuries ago Catholic missionaries introduced South Americans to Mary, the Virgin Mother who miraculously gave birth to Christ and continues to intercede with God for humankind. Natives of the Andes Mountains associated Mary with their own Pacha Mama, sometimes merging the two or worshipping them side by side in peaceful coexistence, practices that continue to this day. Mary has been blended with indigenous goddesses like Pacha Mama in many native cultures. Some deplore this “syncretism,” while others welcome the happy blend that comes from cross-fertilization. “This piece looks back and forward to the lost and new-found worship of the feminine,” Hewson explains. On the first Christmas, the birth of a Savior led angels to sing about “peace on earth, goodwill to all” (Luke 2:14). Hewson’s painting of mother earth healing the earth is one way to envision the glories that were announced by angels. Hewson addresses themes of social injustice and planetary evolution in his recent artwork. Born and raised in North Carolina, he received classical training in art, including several years in Italy studying traditional oil and water gilding. He moved to Iquitos, Peru in 2006. Hewson’s art is technically and intellectually brilliant with a classical style. A traveling exhibit of Hewson’s work will tour North America from January to June 2009 with stops in Southern Pines and Greensboro, North Carolina; Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; and Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Please come back tomorrow for AltXmasArt 10: 10. “Epiphany” by Janet McKenzie.