MANSFIELD, Ohio -- A painting that hung in a local church for decades now has a new home. But it only happened through a series of discoveries that surprised every one involved. Here is how this wonderful mystery unfolded.
On a Sunday, members of two churches came together in celebration of a continued legacy, through a painting.
Cleveland artist Kinley Shogren, a member of Lakewood Christian Church, painted his version of Christ teaching by the Sea of Galilee in 1961. Through the years, the history of the painting was lost. And recently the Lakewood church decided to close.
“That painting has been in front of me, I’m going to say thousands of times. And I also look at it and get some inspiration. But when the church closed I got some anxiety,” said Wes Roepke, a member of Lakewood Christian Church.
Ropke wanted the painting to go to another church. Research into the artist revealed Shogren was well known for paintings of local landscapes, ore carriers, freighters and the steel industry in Cleveland. In Shorgen’s obituary, Mansfield First Christian Church was mentioned… so a phone call was made.
“When I said I was Kinley Shogren’s son, I think that just immediately opened up a door,” said Nelson Shogren.
Shogren’s son Nelson was 7 years old when the painting was done. In fact, he remembers helping his father with the people in the crowd.
“My sister and I and my mother would have posed in my father’s studio in order to get the right fold of drapery or tablecloth are whatever draped over us to get the folds and shadows right on the painting,” said Shogren.
The painting was donated to the Mansfield church, where it’s connection to family and both churches will live on.
“We will try to find an appropriate place to place it where people can see it and be inspired by it. But the message that the picture gives is what we want to portray to people as they go by and glance at it,” said Shogren.