A. Vonn Hartung
Painter and Wood Sculptor
A. Vonn Hartung is an artist of Catholic Sacred Art, primarily a painter and wood sculptor. He has also done major works in mosaic, ceramic sculpture, portraits and serigraphs. He principally dedicates his gifts to the will and needs of the church.
A. Vonn first came to his art as a tradesman, a skilled worker. As a teenager, he built houses with his father who was a carpenter. He also worked on permit with his brother who was an ironworker while he attended school. A. Vonn had a great deal of experience as a young man - working as a fisherman, cowboy, carpenter, mechanic, longshoreman, merchant seaman and sign-painter.
A. Vonn earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with honors from the University of Hartford while also pursuing independent studies in Mexico. Early on, he was greatly inspired by the great master Michelangelo, and has always been deeply moved by Catholic art ever since the first time he encountered it as a child in St. Joseph’s Church of New London, Connecticut - the stained glass windows, the painted murals, the wood carvings of the Stations of the Cross and the marble statues of Christ, His mother Mary and His saints.
Since 1984 A. Vonn has lived in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico where he has dedicated his life and art to a search for the spiritual dimensions of human nature as well as God’s beauty revealed in Creation. Through his paintings, portraits, sculpture, serigraphs and murals, he seek to reveal the Light within:
"Art defines for me the gateway to a deeper reality. In a world that moves too fast it is my braking mechanism, the search-light of my direction, the balance point of my stability. In a world of detached science and ephemeral technology, it is my intimate link with my Creator.
To state a beauty of whatever kind is to continue an action that has always been and will never cease as long as we hold the capacity to marvel, to be transported into that beauty which transcends the ordinary and gifts us with a glimpse of the divine. I continue to marvel at how beauty happens as I work from the inspiration I receive from the Miracles and Scripture. For me art is an act of salvation."
A defining work came in the year 2001 when the Archbishop of San Juan, Puerto Rico, Monseñor Roberto González Nieves, O.F.M., commissioned A. Vonn to paint the official portrait of the first Blessed of Puerto Rico, Carlos Manuel Rodríguez Santiago. It now hangs in the Hall of Saints of the Pontifical North American College at the Vatican.