A Trip to Israel – Images and Icons Art Exhibit

Beth Talking about her art

Have you ever visited an art museum and wondered what was in the artist’s mind when they painted an image? I have often found that I ask myself that very question when I am looking at a piece of artwork. So I was excited to learn that the “Art Talk” I would be attending at the Arts Council of Wayne County was just that. I thought I was going to hear the artist, Beth Hill, talk about her exhibit ” A Trip to Israel – Images and Icons.” But she actually walked us around to tell us about the inspiration behind each of her pieces.

When Gracie ( my sidekick) and I arrived, we were able to walk through the exhibit admiring the masterpieces. These paintings were inspired by the artist’s trip to Israel in 2020- you know, before the world shut down.


On her journey, she snapped photos that became the inspiration for the paintings that were being exhibited. As most artists do, she combined several pictures in one painting, and she did it so masterfully.

A lot of her paintings contained images of animals, “God’s Beautiful Creations,” as you can see from some of the images below.

A Trip to Israel - Images and Icons Art Exhibit

As we walked through the exhibit with Beth, she told us about what inspired her to create each image. A lot of her images have Biblical references in them.

A Trip to Israel - Images and Icons Art Exhibit

This painting of the pomegranates was inspired by the priests’ robes in the Bible.

  • God said, “Make pomegranates of blue, purple, and scarlet yarn around the hem of the robe, with gold bells between them. The gold bells and the pomegranates are to alternate around the hem of the robe. Aaron must wear it when he ministers.” ~Exodus 28:33–35 
  • “On the capitals of both pillars, just above the rounded projection next to the network, were the two hundred pomegranates in rows encircling each capital” ~ 1 Kings 7:20 when talking about the building of Solomon’s Temple

And I loved the collage she made with the Lion and the Lamb combining all the symbols of the Christian and Judaic religions.

A Trip to Israel - Images and Icons Art Exhibit

While she was walking us through the exhibit, she gave a lot of references to things that made an impact on her while she was painting. One was the NC Museum of Art – it has a great display of Judaic Art. Another was a book about Abraham – Our Father Abraham, and she even mentioned how the painting below reminded her of the song – ” The Windows of Heaven Are Open.”

Windows of Heaven

Beth also made me want to research more about the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. ( There might be a post about that coming soon.

I loved how Beth not only shared the art that was inspired by her trip to Israel – she also shared some stories of her travels, including the fact that she rode a camel. She said he was so friendly that she knew when she was painting the portrait of the man heading to work on a camel, she had to add her friend to the picture.

A Trip to Israel - Images and Icons Art Exhibit

I also loved that both she and her husband were baptized in the River Jordan while they were there. She said the river reminded her of the Neuse River.

Sidenote: When I was looking at what pictures I wanted to use for this post, the below picture jumped out at me. You see. Currently, I am traveling back and forth to visit my mom, who is in the hospital after breaking her hip. And I actually wrote this post while I was sitting at her bedside listening to her sleep. But when I looked at the photos, this jumped out at me, and I thought about my dad. You see, his favorite hymn was In the Garden. It was played at his funeral, and I actually have this hymn hanging in the master bathroom. And when I saw this picture and realized it was the Garden of Gethsemane, I knew that I needed to include it in this post.

In the Garden

All and all, it was a pretty amazing experience, If you are near Wayne County, check out the “Trip to Israel – Images and Icons” exhibit which runs from August 1-29. You can find it at the Arts Council of Wayne County, and while you are there, check out their cool new digs that include an old bank vault.

bank vault

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