New Art Lets You Sit Among Cherubim

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A new, massive piece of art is adding biblical texture to one of the major buildings on LCU’s campus. When you walk into the Christian Development Center lobby now, you find yourself among cherubim wings.

The huge silver-metal Cherubim Wings artwork was recently dedicated during a ceremony featuring the artist and Dr. Jeff Cary, professor of theology and interim dean of the Alfred and Patricia Smith College of Biblical Studies. Dr. Cary provided background on how this project took shape.

Why did the Cherubim Wings happen?

“When we renovated the rotunda, we had two huge blanks walls. The walls were all the more noticeable when we removed the stairs, which had been the visual centerpiece. We realized we were going to have a very large empty room, and then noticed that once we plastered over the huge brick walls, what we had were essentially two gigantic blank canvases.”

“We began to think of how our building could function to invite students to engage with the presence of God. The wings from the ark of the covenant seemed like an image we could utilize artistically for this purpose.”

Who designed them?

“The design emerged primarily through collaboration between me, [Professor of Old Testament] Dr. Jesse Long, and the artist, Jack Maxwell, and his wife, Jill. Warren McNeill [vice president for university relations]was also heavily involved in those discussions.”

Why take down the stairs?

The stairs were used for many activities before they were removed, including a few wedding ceremonies of LCU students and alumni.

“We did not remove the stairs without a great deal of consideration.” Dr. Cary said.

“We were very aware that the iconic staircase held a special place in the hearts and memories of many people, including those of us who have worked in the CDC for many years. Eventually, however, we decided we wanted our building to be more conducive to community formation by providing significant gathering spaces for students.”

What does it change in the day to day aspect and aesthetic of the CDC?

“I think when people walk into the CDC now, there is a larger-than-life reminder that they are being invited to something that is much bigger than themselves. It is no longer merely a building where people go to classes. It is a space that announces powerful truths for those who are open to receiving them.”

“It is an invitation to engage with God,” Dr. Cary said.

What is the difference between cherubim wings and angel wings?

“Our own Dr. Mark Sneed has been doing a great deal of research on biblical monsters for a while now. He has pointed out that angels in the Bible are typically confused with other creatures such as cherubim or seraphim. Angels were God’s servants who could assume bodily form and were sometimes said to fly, such as in Daniel 9:21 and Rev. 14:6).

“Cherubim, on the other hand, were mythical hybrid creatures with massive wings. They were imposing and frightening creatures. For the Israelites, having cherubim on the ark of the covenant was a reminder of the fact that God was on his throne and his presence was not to be taken lightly.”

What would you want to happen next at the CDC?

“We currently have Josiah Jones, [a sophomore in youth and family ministry from Oklahoma City], working on a project to raise money for an adjoining prayer garden. I think that would be a wonderful addition to the CDC as we continue to consider ways in which our physical space can assist us in the mission of helping connect students with God.”

To view footage from the dedication ceremony, go to 

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