St. James Catholic Church Installations

Teo at St. JamesSt. James Catholic Church

A mosaic baptismal font installation has just been placed at St. James Catholic Church in Solana Beach last week! The pano above shows one of the two niche windows that were designed for the church as well. There will be two 14 foot clay pieces above each niche window installed by the beginning of next year.

About Art

I believe there is a central hunger in society now. It is the desire to put the world back together into a whole…and for us to be part of that whole. If art and architecture are the continuous search of humanity to find its ever-changing place in the universe, then art and architecture need to lead in the search to rediscover our spirit, a spirit that is comfortable in this our world.

One of the primary reasons for art is to place contemporary culture in the present, to help us be connected psychologically, emotionally and spiritually to the world we really live in. Art has been a way to bring into being what was sacred to us, our gods and goddesses, our inner fears and hopes. The art object is a step toward understanding.

The artist’s role is to make that inner world physical by constantly reevaluating the rituals and patterns of our connections to life. If we can evolve inwardly, then we can deal effectively with an ever-changing world.

If we raise our children so that they are orphaned from nature, unable to feel comfortable and live in harmony with nature, then they will be at the mercy of technology and the electronic world. But if we can give them a reverence for the earth and a confidence in their ability to live in a harmonious, productive way with nature, then technology will fit easily into a total, inter-related approach to life.

What is the most important thing to learn?

Think of art as a door. In Chinese painting or Russian icons, art was a gateway through which we can enter in contemplation. What is not said is its meaning….the space between the notes.

All disciplines or knowledge begin by observing nature and life. It is very easy for the institution or discipline to build monuments upon themselves, separate from reality. If you would understand a flower, go to the flower. The solution to all problems exists not in convention, but in the problem. Yet remember that past, future and present cannot be separated. We swim or sink within that sea.

“There is a sad thing about being an artist. No matter how close one seems to reaching the right answer in a work, there is always the suspicion that the real answer lies somewhere beyond one’s vision. The mark is somewhere else.”


“Through art we may break the shell and allow the real world to influence us.”

~James T. Hubbell, 2001

Advice to a Young Artist

Advice to a Young Artist

In painting a mountain, one paints oneself as the mountain. The painting is a bridging between the real world and the world of spirit. We are in essence all things, our art makes that connection visible. Trying to be creative or original is very confusing. If it is something new, it is to the degree we reach the truth of the mountain and ourselves: always a new place, a mystery, possessing endless meanings and approaches.

There is no division from us and any of the world we live in, the good or bad, the large or small. This is true of time and space, shadow and light, and ourselves and the God. They are us….we are them, each is important. What we build cannot be separated from any part of life.

The uniqueness of our paths, both as an individual and an artist, is found in trust, in action, in honesty. And, in careful observation of where our feet lead us and where our hands rest.

There is a special line that can only come from each person’s hand, a way of seeing the world coming from the movement of life and of the line in this time. It can be no one else’s. This is often called “style” but it is much more. It is the temper and color of all my days. It is the form of my own song. It is because art comes from a deep well not only within the cultural, but also within the movement toward creation and towards life; that is why humility, trust, and honesty are so important, like a river we float upon them.

Where your hands go, where the light falls, where the shadows make a pattern, they will lead you. Listen to the music. If it comes from the heart it is part of the universe’s song of jubilation.

James T. Hubbell
July 2000

“Love is at the beginning. At the end is trust….and wonder”


“Space is the art, the work the door, silence its magic.”

Seeking Beauty’s Place in our Time

Seeking Beauty

My world is the world of objects, of inner musings made real, a world of things not necessarily coming from ideas. yet, there are thoughts and ideas that have been extremely important to me through the years. One is Beauty. This word, at least in the art world, has been out of favor for a good part of this century. I would like to see its reintroduction into the modern world with the understanding that Beauty, like love, has the power to change things. It can also help us make decisions and unite the disparate elements in our lives.

What I call beauty is far from what we call pretty. A plastic rose no matter how well fashioned can never be beautiful; it can only grow dusty. It is the full cycle of life of a real rose that gives it its beauty. Knowing that it wilts and dies is the essence of its wonder. Mozart’s music is beautiful because there is within the wonderful melody, both the pathos and joy of being human.

Excerpts from a self-published collection of poems and essays:Architecture of Jubilation: The Poetry of Our Lives and What We May Choose To Build by James Hubbell (2001).

Architecture of Jubilation

Architecture of Jubilation

“Through art we may break the shell and allow the real world to influence us.”

It is my belief that we are passing through a gate from one age to another perhaps more profound than the changes medieval man faced with the rising of Humanism and the age we call the Renaissance. We have spent the last five hundred years trying to understand the world by dividing it into parts. We are now at the task of putting our world back together. We are seeking a vision of a whole world, with ourselves as part of the whole.

Have you ever watched the millions of stars in the sky on a moonless night, or seen the wind waver over a field of grass, or noticed the dust at play in a shaft of light, or felt the warmth of another’s hand..someone you cared for? This is where architecture must come from. Architecture must take measure of all that it is to be human in a world that is whole. It must take count of our galaxy and of a smile and somehow learn to interpret and express our new world in walls, doors and roofs.

It is not that economics and function are not important but that they no longer express the whole man. They no longer express who we believe ourselves to be. We must add our love, our history, our metaphysics. We must add the wind, the sun and the call of the hills. Our buildings must learn to express all that we contain, for now we are a whole world.

I have heard astronomers talk about the music of the spheres. I have heard this music described as a song of jubilation. Perhaps this is a word for our coming age, a time of coming together, of coming back to the whole.

We need an Architecture of Jubilation to sing of it!