Saddleback Visual Arts (SVA) is a community-focused arts initiative and ministry within one of the top ten evangelical megachurches in the United States, Saddleback Church. Saddleback Church is pastored by Rick Warren (author of The Purpose Driven Life) in affiliation with the Southern Baptist Convention.  The Lake Forest, CA location is the central site.  The church was founded in 1980 with 40 people in attendance and now holds an average outpouring of over 20,000 people weekly.

As part of the Advent and Christmas season, Saddleback searched for artists from all over the congregation and the nation to participate in a collective exhibition centered on liturgical memes for the holidays.  Shauna Lee Lange, Founder of The Art Evangelist is thrilled to announce selection and participation in this gathering, known as “Christmas Is _____.”

Just 25 works were accepted to the exhibition.  The accepted artwork is being used widely amongst the Saddleback community for Christmas 2016.  New artwork was especially preferred and the turnaround time was only 10 days.  The Art Evangelist contributed two works, “Excess” (collage in reds) and “Renewal/Growth” (watercolor in greens), executed by Shauna Lee Lange (2016).



Saddleback Church wanted to encourage people to explore what Christmas means to them.  The goal was to gather different pieces of artwork that represent words that share what Christmas is. These pieces were collected and/or created from artists and designers from the entire Saddleback community, including from international campuses.

SVA is an unique center for artists to come together and serve, by using  individual creative talents to speak as a collective group and spark imagination, connection, and illumination. The main ministry office, led by Director Jason Leith is also in the Lake Forest, CA location.  Much of Saddleback Church’s success is tied to their pivotal signature ministries including a PEACE ministry and an AIDS/HIV outreach.

As artists contributed much to the Year of Mercy, the group is excited to do the same as it moves into the Year of Hope. It’s wonderful that this gallery exhibit envelopes both Mercy and Hope. Regular happenings in SVA include Arts Collective nights, art exhibitions and installations, and community engagement through art.

Artists of SVA are all about reflecting God’s creativity in His Church body, and we do that as we Gather, Grow and Give as a community of Artists. We hope you’ll join us in this collective mission.

In taking the challenge of expressing what Christmas meant to artists, creative participated in Saddleback’s first ever design collaboration.  Here is a short video of how it came together and what it means to have our own church members share their expression to others out there.

Although organizers didn’t get to use all the submitted art and word submissions on print and digital media, all works were seen. And this is the unique struggle with design versus art: sometimes what we make doesn’t get used like we thought. Church Graphics Ministry Coordinator Daniel Emmerie Hadinata has been working at the church 12 years and is very familiar with the need to sometimes lay down our own design so God’s design can be seen clearer. Good design is always in service of others in mind.

If you have any questions or want to learn about graphic design volunteer opportunities going on right now, email or catch him at the Saddleback Lake Forest Open Art Studio Thursday evenings.


the art evangelist is a full-service liturgical art advisory specializing in sacred spaces, public places and creative placemaking.  how can we help you grow today?  941.875.5190



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