Teen uses faith with her talents

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 1, 2003

For many, prayer is done in privacy and solitude.

For Jane Moldenhauer, her faith is splashed out for all to see in brushstrokes and pencil scratches.

A senior a Austin High School and a candidate for this year's Artist of the Year, Moldenhauer makes God a part of all her art.

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"Not everything I do necessarily has something reflecting, like it's of God or Jesus, but it's for him," Moldenhauer said. "I dedicate my work to him. You want to express how you feel. I've been blessed with this gift, and I want to glorify God with what he has given me."

God's eyes are watching over all races in an acrylic she did this year. Faces hang from the words "Black is beautiful. White is beautiful," and on, representing the world.

"This is a very popular phrase, 'Black is beautiful,'" Moldenhauer said. "So I'm like, 'Black isn't the only race that is beautiful.' I wrote different races, because to God, every single race is beautiful."

Faceless sheets turn in the background, representing people that do not know God.

Another of Moldenhauer's works displays swirling pencil strokes with hidden words or pictures on 10 strips of paper over a black background. It is arranged like panes of a window.

"It's a window to my soul, or to myself," she said. "All these squiggly lines are my thoughts, my feelings, just basically me."

Phrases in the work include "I love Jesus," with one letter on each pane and "You can't have what your looking at until you stop looking," which was advice Moldenhauer once gave to a friend.

"That's not my advice" she said. "I was praying about that, and God told me to tell him that, and I did."

Moldenhauer attends the Open Bible Church in Austin and is a part of the youth group there. She said she did not really know God until three years ago when, with the help of friends and people at a youth conference she attended, she discovered how much better her life was with faith.

"It keeps me out of trouble," she said. "I'm happier because I know I always have someone I can talk to, and I know no matter what I do, God's going to love me."

Moldenhauer's faith comes in a large part through reading the Bible.


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"He'll just give me these words," she said. "It's there, in the bible. In different parts of your life, it fits in, somehow. It's so amazing."

Despite her success as an artist in high school, Moldenhauer said she knows where to direct the credit.

"I'm not the best artist," she said. "God is the best artist. I'm just trying to recreate what he's done."

Matt Merritt can be reached at 434-2214 or by email at matt.merritt@austindailyherald.com