Master Muralist Creates Inspiration Worldwide While Raising Funds for Missions
by Cynthia K. Berry
Art is a language understood worldwide, and Cleveland Muralist Bob Dasher's art speaks the Gospel. A devoted Christian and richly talented inspirational artist, Dasher considers himself a man on a mission.
Dasher has traveled the globe to such places as Southeast Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, and across the United States, creating murals of spiritual scenes and visions that do not require the assistance of a translator. Their message is simple and the mission well defined, to reach a world of lost and searching souls and direct them into the path of holiness.
"I ask the Lord to give me images that might really impact people," Dasher explains. "I often use a snake to represent Satan and a butterfly to represent transformed life. Most of my work is symbolic."
Dasher, age 52, has been a decorative artist for the interiors of fine homes and businesses since 1989. He began his career as a cartoonist for a Minneapolis newspaper, when, in his own words, he was "a real hippy." He credits his changed heart and desire to follow Christ to his Great Aunt Eunice and Uncle George, who lovingly asked him over and over again to attend a Bible study. Later, as a caricature artist at a Christian coffee house at Geneva-on-the-Lake, he met his wife, Bonnie, while sketching her face.
The couple got the "mission bug" eight years ago when they visited their daughter at Word of Life School in Sweden. When they returned home, they began working with traveling evangelist Dennis Heber, who is Cleveland-based.
Like a flash from the past, Dasher's initial role during the mission trips was to draw caricatures. But, one year ago a minister in the Dominican Republic asked Dasher to provide his small church with an inspirational tool that would reach the community. This challenge resulted in the creation of one of Dasher's finest and most moving Christian pieces of art - "The Living Bridge," based on John 8:12.
Since coming to life on the walls of that small church, "The Living Bridge" has been painted in churches all over the world. Depicting the glorious beauty of Light in contrast to the barren wasteland of Darkness, "The Living Bridge" encourages the observer to dedicate himself to a life of righteousness in order to reap the many wondrous rewards of obedience to God.
Through encouragement from Dasher's minister, Michael LoPresti at Word of Grace Church in Mayfield Heights, "The Living Bridge" became the impetus of a new artistic business venture designed to aid missions worldwide. Dasher Murals, Ltd., established in January 2003, offers original Christian murals in signed and numbered limited edition prints. Other inspirational masterpieces that communicate the Scriptures without words are "The Vineyard" based on John 15:5 and "The Areopagus" based on Acts 17:24. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of these prints goes to support missions.
"My life work and my ministry are no longer separate," Dasher smiles. For, though the Dasher Murals, Ltd. business/ministry is new, Dasher's murals have been recognized for years as decorative art at such places as the First Ladies Rose Garden in Washington, D.C. Presidents George Bush and Bill Clinton, and First Ladies Barbara Bush, Hillary Clinton, Nancy Reagan and Betty Ford have all appeared in front of Dasher Murals during national press conferences and state dinners.
But, fame is not what Dasher seeks. "I pray that my murals require a decision from the viewer. I pray they will spur a conversation, a crossroads, or a changed life,"
Dasher declares passionately from his heart.
But words are not necessary to convey Dasher's desire. His paintings speak for themselves. Or, rather, for Christ.
Dasher Murals can be viewed and purchased online at www.dashermurals.com.