1,000 Pardons – The heart behind the art of Christopher Nadaskay

We believe that glorifying God in all we do is important, and are always delighted to work with others as they pursue their God-given talents and abilities.

So of course, we were thrilled to be approached by professor and artist Christopher Nadaskay about a project he had in mind, and his desire to use his gifts to benefit our work at Advance Memphis.

Last year, Prof. Nadaskay was an artist featured in our annual Art For Jobs fundraiser. He approached us shortly after about a solo installation and sale that he wanted to put together in support of us. In the span of just a few short months, he has created 1,000 individual pieces of art in the form of hand-made crosses.

In his artist’s statement, Nadaskay explains:

“The overarching principle behind the exhibit is the idea that an individual artist can and should produce work for the benefit of others. It is my intention that this exhibit is used for the betterment of anyone who sees it – emotionally, spiritually and intellectually. The crosses are to be sold with the proceeds going directly to Advance Memphis.  It places art into the hands of a public who may never appreciate it as such and beauty into those same hands. It allows for the exploration of a huge number of creative visual problems and then helps to provide substance for those in need.

The idea for this exhibit/sale came from my desire to promulgate the concept of the social responsibility of the artist to the people that surround them in their particular segment of culture. The art world has become a place where political activism, influential social connections, and monetary gain direct the career paths of artists, to the detriment of the more positive influences that art can have on a culture. With this show, it is my intention to make art that is accessible to the average person, has a positive, hopeful message and from which the proceeds will directly be used to constructively impact society.  Each cross, in a sense, represents a pardon. This brought to mind a relatively common phrase in our culture ‘A thousand pardons,’ meaning ‘I beg your pardon;’ it is a quote that comes from a 1931 movie starring Charlie Chan (Black Camel).  It really has nothing to do with the movie, but as it was a little catchy and seemed appropriate to the message, the title was born.

The crosses are made in the same manner that I pursue my normal studio work, color and texture playing a huge role in their perception. It is only natural that influences from that artwork show up in a variety of ways in them.”

The artist would like to thank: Union University for its very generous support of the project through a teaching sabbatical grant, studio space, materials and kiln/firing time; Kathryn Pelley and Ragan Williamson, his studio assistants for the project – without whom much of this would not have been possible; and additional thanks should go to Crosstown Arts, Advance Memphis for their wonderful support and assistance in making the project a reality


We hope you will join us for the reception and sale of this monumental work on Thursday, March 30th, at Crosstown Arts. The event will be held from 4pm-9pm, pieces will be available for purchase for $15, and Chris Nadaskay will give a brief artist’s lecture. RSVP on Facebook

For more information, or to volunteer, please contact Bethany Stout at bethanyjoystout@gmail.com

About the Artist:
Christopher Nadaskay is an artist and Professor of Art at Union University where he has served for 24 years. He is a graduate of Southern Arkansas University and Texas A&M Commerce where he received his B.A. and M.F.A. in Painting/ Mixed Media respectively.  His mediums have included watercolor, oils, acrylics, mixed media and various sculpture mediums.  Working at the moment in mixed media/ceramic wall relief, he is interested in the relationship between technology and the human condition. He has works in several collections, including the Tennessee State Museum.