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Undercroft Gallery 

The Undercroft Gallery celebrates visual art dedicated to the glory of God, in thanksgiving for His gift of the creative spirit.


Christ Church exhibitions are intended to enrich the community, and to provoke dialogue about the function of art in cultural, religious and daily life. Displays throughout the year range from the work of professional artists to shared items brought in by church members. 


The Undercroft Gallery is below the main church in the Augustine Fellowship Center. You can visit after the 8 or 10:30 a.m. service or during the noon lunch on Thursdays. Use the 9th Street entrance and take the stairs or elevator down to the Undercroft. 

Exhibitions are planned and installed by a committee of parish volunteers. We’d love to hear your suggestions for shows. Artists from the parish and the region are welcome to submit work for consideration. To see our guidelines, click on this document:


Email your exhibition proposal to Jennifer Williams at The gallery committee will review all proposals. 

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Sara Hafften resides in La Crosse, Wisconsin. She is a medical and corporate photographer at Emplify Health – Gundersen. While she is primarily a photographer, she will showcase other processes of making art she enjoys as tools of communication, such as printmaking, collage, and drawing. She is excited to see where art takes her and grateful for the community it provides. 


Artist Statement

My body of work showcases the exploration of multiple mediums as a tool to understand and learn about the world and myself. Mostly marked by a sense of irony and lightheartedness, this work seeks to explore deeper themes that affect my generation. At other times, the process of creating art and the catharsis it provides is enough for me. Within my undergrad experience, I primarily focused on my photography minor. However, photography eventually became repetitive and frustrating once I realized its limitations in what it can “do” and communicate. This led me to seek out physical mediums, such as drawing, printmaking, and collage.

During this journey, themes such as introspection, time, self, (im)permanence, nostalgia, consumerism, capitalism, and the digital age emerged within my work. Inspiration mostly derived from issues I was facing personally. Two works that embody the process I used and themes I explored during the past few years are “Whose Fairytale?” and “Processed”. Both pieces explore themes of consumption, consumerism, and capitalism through bold and bright visuals. They also divert from my comfort zone of digital photography.


As my journey of self-discovery continues, I expect my work to keep evolving with me and reflect questions I have about myself and the world I inhabit. I also hope to use my art to explore cultural/societal issues, subvert the norm, and advocate for those whom these issues affect.

Just a small retrospective from my undergraduate years...


by Sara Hafften

The Metamorphic
and Petrified
Treasures Collection 

Emily Luhtala

Metamorphic gemstone jars.jpg

Emily Luhtala is a La Crosse ceramicist and software developer (“an art in its own right”). Her work highlights the artistry of naturally formed treasures. Through prehistoric geologic formation and ceramic process alike, beauty is formed through extreme conditions. 

Artist Statement

The flat faces of my multi-faceted metamorphic gemstone jars mimic the cuts typical to precious gemstones. My custom celadon glaze, sprayed on each piece, is a mixture of feldspar, whiting, ball clay, silica, kaolin, red iron oxide, bone ash, and water. The green color of celadon (a glaze prominent in ancient Korean pottery) alludes to the precious gemstone jade, which is formed in high-pressure metamorphic conditions under the earth’s crust. 

Petrified fossils are created in sedimentary rock under the earth's crust when organic matter turns to stone. While clay was in its greenware state, I hand-painted images of prehistoric fossils in black underglaze on a pair of mugs and a 2-vase set you will see in the exhibition. After firing, I glazed and waxed these pieces, dipped them in sandstone and nutmeg glaze and then removed excess glaze in a process I would liken to the excavation process of a paleontologist.


The collection displayed in the gallery features both glazed and unglazed pieces fired with wood or soda. These methods  yield an incredible array of colors when ash attaches itself to the clay. Since wood firings can last for upwards of 72 hours, this part of the process was a community-building experience. My peers and I spent several rewarding hours stoking the fire needed to achieve the desired effects and appearance.


 Artists' Reception on Sunday, June 30

Meet both of these young artists at a reception in their honor after the 10:30 a.m. service. Enjoy refreshments from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. as you view their creative efforts. Just take the stairs or elevator down to the Undercroft Gallery. We look forward to seeing you then! 

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