Compelling, Inspiring Art: Celebrating our Winter Quarterly Staff Picks

Engage Art | Artist to Artist, In the Know | February 11, 2022

Every few months, our team at Engage Art looks through the artwork that has entered the 2022 Engage Art Contest. We select one Video Artwork and one Visual Artwork to highlight as our “Quarterly Staff Picks.” The Picks below are two of our favorites among artworks accepted in November, December, and January.  

VIDEO ART: “No Bed of Roses” by Bj’orn Pierre

No Bed of Roses by Bj'orn Pierre

Trinidadian musician Bj’orn Pierre crafted an uplifting, deeply relevant song that encourages all who listen to remember God’s presence in the challenging moments we face. Bj’orn brought his inspiring lyrics and catchy melody to life with a music video that weaves in a compelling story about people who find themselves traveling together on the city bus. 


From the woman worrying whether her mortgage loan will be approved to the young man who finds himself short on cash for the bus fare, the passengers give us a glimpse into the stubborn frustrations in their lives. Then, the mood in the bus changes. The conductor puts on No Bed of Roses and one man begins singing exuberantly, much to the surprise and then entertainment of his fellow riders. Everyone finds they are able to extend grace and peace to those around them, lightening one another’s loads: sharing a smile, returning a wallet, loaning the bus fare. 


Take a moment to reflect on the lyrics for the chorus of No Bed of Roses:

life can be hard
so hard, so hard
it’s no bed of roses, but hold on to God
there is beauty in your scars
It's no bed of roses, but hold on to God
Your foundation's steady and not shaking
You're bent but not breaking
your dark clouds will all soon be gone
Life is hard
So hard, so hard
But hold on to God

Does the imagery in these lyrics give you fresh hope today? 


Bj’orn writes: “The bus can be seen as the journey of life, and the passengers represent us human beings. It is true that life can be challenging and extremely trying at times, but we Christians should be like the boy singing on the bus. Despite how depressing the journey might seem, sing your song of the goodness of Jesus Christ aloud and maybe you just might encourage someone along the way.


The talented team at Ten Strings Media did an incredible job with the music video. Shots of Bj’orn surrounded by lush greenery—the same bus now overtaken by unbridled nature—are intercut with the storyline of the passengers riding through the city. (What does the contrast between city streets and verdant nature imply to you? Is there a nod at Eden, Heaven, the Promised Land?)

About the artist

Bj’orn’s music career began “with a Casio synthesizer and a wild imagination.” Over the years, his music has blossomed into a career and ministry of sharing God’s love with others—including a 3rd-Place win in the 2020 Engage Art Contest for his music video No Grudge. Follow Bj’orn on Instagram at or Facebook (, and listen to more of Bj’orn's music at

VISUAL ART: “LAST SUPPER XXI” by Piotr Franciszek Barszczowski

“LAST SUPPER XXI” by Piotr Franciszek Barszczowski

Piotr Franciszek Barszczowski, a Polish visual artist and photographer, created LAST SUPPER XXI in an effort “to regain faith” after a time of crisis. His fresh take on the Last Supper is set in the present-day and captured “from the perspective of the Holy Spirit.”


To craft this intricate 9-foot artwork, Piotr first photographed 26 people over the course of 6 hours (on Holy Thursday—the night Christians commemorate the Last Supper!) He then prepared his “paint”—what Piotr calls his “new-stained-glass”—hundreds of macro and microphotographs of bread and wine. With these elements now ready, Piotr filled his artwork with symbolism and references to classical sacred art in a table scene that is at once timeless and contemporary.


Look more closely at LAST SUPPER XXI. Can you find nods to the Golden Ratio, the Fibonacci Sequence, an anamorphic projection of a skull paired with “memento mori” (Latin, common in classical art, meaning remember that you will die), Virgil’s famous “omnia vincit amor” (love conquers all), and so much more? Do you see the knife pointed at the Christ figure and his credit card on the table to pay for the meal all are eating? What do you think about the body language of the disciples seated at the table? The people surrounding them—are they laying hands on them in prayer? To keep them seated at the table? They and Jesus are the only people looking up to meet the viewer’s gaze—who shares “the perspective of the Holy Spirit,” according to Piotr. Incredibly, these questions barely scratch the surface of the layers in this intricate artwork.


Piotr says “I had a deep crisis of faith. [. . .] I created LAST SUPPER XXI to regain faith. I realized that I pray all the time when I create. I also wanted young people to listen to their heart when they look at this graphic.”

What does your heart say as you reflect on this artwork? 

About the artist

Dr. Piotr Franciszek Barzczowski is a Polish visual artist, photographer, visual communication designer, theologian and educator. He is a graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts and the Papal Theological Academy. You can engage with more of Piotr’s artwork at his website,, and find him on Facebook at


Untitled(Shield) by Matthew Pendleton

Untitled(Shield) by Matthew Pendleton

Matthew Pendleton describes his process as “an ongoing exploration into his spiritualism, one’s internal topography.” He begins with an abstract shape, then meticulously traces topography lines around the shape, allowing the images to emerge. Matthew writes that Untitled(Shield) “is a depiction of one's relationship with God. As the relationship strengthens, the armor begins to grow more and more. In this piece each tiny individual line drawn around the abstract figure near the center represents another layer of armor and with God almighty up on high giving his/her unending support.” 

Matthew is an American artist from Denver, Colorado. You can find more of his artwork at

The Empress by Erik Cheung

The Empress by Erik Cheung

Erik Cheung began The Empress with a high-speed series of calligraphic Asemic lines. The final artwork emerges from this template. We were struck by the beauty of this artwork—the serenity and strength in the face, the use of line and color, the grace and movement that fill the painting. 

Erik is a Canadian artist with a BFA from the University of Victoria. Find more of his artwork at

Golden Lady by Perry Glikmann

Golden Lady by Perry Glikmann

Golden Lady is a sculpture made with ceramic tile and bullet casings. Perry writes “The bullets [. . .] have latched on to the woman and have now given her the armor that makes her stronger than she ever was.” We loved the imagery of spent bullets transformed into a shield, a helmet, a halo, and a crown. 

Perry is a student—a high-school senior in the US—who found his passion for art during the pandemic lockdowns in early 2020. 

The Weight of My Prayers for You by Mariana Sperandio

The Weight of My Prayers for You by Mariana Sperandio

Mariana writes: “The weight of my prayers for you is a series of contemporary hybrid photography. It was made from a self-portrait printed on couche paper and 'painted' with candle wax to symbolize how heavy are my prayers for my late mother.” We were struck by the layers of emotion captured in this artwork. 

Mariana is a Brazilian photographer. You can find more of her artwork at and follow her on Facebook ( or Instagram ( 

Which artwork speaks most to you today? 

So Many More

With over 200 talented artists from all over the world already entered in the 2022 Engage Art Contest, it can be so hard to choose only a few to feature. Please visit the Gallery and explore for yourself. Be sure to upvote your favorites to affirm and celebrate these amazingly gifted artists. And take time today to Engage Culture, Engage Scripture, and Engage Art.

Important: Quarterly Picks and Upvotes have no part in the official contest results. They are just two of the many ways we celebrate and promote the amazing artists in our Tribe! The winners of the Engage Art Contest will be selected by an expert jury. 

Submit Your Artwork Today!

Curious? Interested in submitting artwork to our contest? Know someone who might be? Through April 14th, 2022, the Engage Art Contest is open to the whole world! Get your foot in the door by claiming your Artist Page now!