Tree Of Life at Earth Ministry Celebration

Eco-Social Justice: A painting does work in the world

Cynthia Moe-Lobeda is the keynote speaker this evening at Earth Ministry’s “Celebration of St. Francis: Ecojustice, Social Justice, and the Christian Conscience.” She will be showing a slide of my work “Tree of Life” as a background to her talk.

©1999 Kristen Gilje Tree of Life, 8 feet by 12 feet, acrylic on panel

Dr. Moe-Lobeda is author of Resisting Structural Evil: Love as Ecological-Economic Vocation, a new book that examines how climate change and other aspects of the earth crisis are inseparably linked to race/ethnicity, gender, and class-based oppression.  She will be speaking on what it means to resist environmental racism and to build more sustainable and just alternatives — and to do so as a fervent claim to hope and moral power. Here’s a link to the event:


I am honored that my image “Tree of Life” (acrylic on panel, 8 feet by 12 feet, 1999) is the cover art for her book, especially because of the subject matter. I am pleased that my painting is developing a life of it’s own and doing its work in the world.


And I am very pleased that Earth Ministry  exists. Here is their mission: “Earth Ministry engages the Christian community in environmental stewardship. Through our Washington Interfaith Power & Light project, we organize a multi-faith response to climate change.”

Below is a picture of St. John United Lutheran Church,  5515 Phinney Ave. N, Seattle, WA, where the event tonight will be.

st-john-united-lutheran-church 5515 Phinney Ave. N, Seattle, WA 98103







Trinity Lutheran, Couer d’Alene, ID

Kristen Gilje with “Come to the Water” ©2008Kristen Gilje  in Coeur d’Alene, ID
©2008 Kristen Gilje “Come to the Water,” 3 of 4 panels 65″x42″ each, acrylic on masonite. 

Here is a mural I completed for the entryway of Trinity Lutheran Church, Coeur d’Alene Id. in 2008.  The four arched panels are 5.5 feet tall by 3.5 feet wide each. The three panels above depict a small quiet pool with a waterfall that I used to frequent in the Cascade Mountains, at Holden Village. I considered it a sacred place.

©2008 Kristen Gilje Panel 1 “Come to the Water: All Water Carries the Sacred.” Acrylic on masonite, 65 inches by 42 inches. 


The first panel, seen here,  is an image of Lake Coeur d’Alene, and is closest to the main door of the church.


I designed this panel to have an outward, rather than inward, view. If I were to title this panel alone it would be”All Water Carries the Sacred” or “Go out with Good Courage.” But all four panels together are called “Come to the Water.”






Someone at the church took a couple of pictures of all the panels together, and spliced them. It was the only way to get an image of all four panels together after they were installed.

©2008 Kristen Gilje “Come to the Water.”    5.5 feet by 17 feet, acrylic on masonite,


Kristofer installing “Come to the Water”

WELL. You may be wondering how big a STUDIO I have, in order to make such big paintings? At the time we were renting a house from a friend who had an attic studio. It was good to have a space, and I could stand straight up right in the middle of the room.

Kristen at Harris Street Studio