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Barbara Sartorius Bjelland

Barbara Sartorius Bjelland is an artist, author and minister currently living in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Barbara grew up in Minneapolis and Cuernavaca, Mexico—places that gave her a lifelong love of sky-blue waters, colorful folk art, and imagination. As a teenager, Barbara was warmly welcomed into a multicultural church community, dedicated her life to Christ, and soon felt called to ministry.

Barbara creates artwork using paint and pencil, charcoal and pastels. Her work carries a sense of mystery and imagination, of heaven touching earth. She is inspired by the magical realism of Marc Chagall, where people and animals dance together and “all the air has wings.”[1] The subject matter in Barbara’s artwork ranges from people and animals to landscapes, still life and biblical/liturgical paintings.

Barbara has studied at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, and has degrees in Art, Ancient History, Faith Formation and Theology. She has exhibited her work in the United States and Canada, has received multiple grants and awards, and has presented academic papers on the intersection of arts and theology. She delights to combine visual art with her work as an ordained minister and author, and to create resources for the church. Since receiving a Vital Worship Grant from the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship in 2004 and publishing a multicultural illustrated book on Communion (“Supper with the Savior” Regent College, 2012), this sacrament has been the focus of much of Barbara’s research and writing, artwork and public speaking. On her website you can find Barbara’s original artwork, ministry resources, books, prints and greeting cards.




Twitter: @BarbaraBjelland



Last Updated: 02/11/2021

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