This past week I was able to curate and hang a show at the local church where I help to lead. We’d put out a call for work a couple months ago, asking artist we know to submit work they had created over the past couple of years. We were looking for work that was created during what has been a very difficult season for pretty much everyone — I think all of us have very personally felt the effects of this global pandemic.
And for many, if not most of us, one of the ways we’ve coped, one of the ways we’ve connected to one another, one of the ways we’ve continued to worship God… is through our creative and artistic pursuits.
So we asked folks to show us what they’ve been working on. Help us put together a show, a collection of work that highlights not only what we’ve been creating, but also shows us how we, as artists, have been connecting with God and others, how we’ve been pursuing health and healing through creating beauty, how we’ve spent our time, often alone and in the studio.
I’d initially planned to curate the show, to pick and choose from what was submitted to create a specific experience for the viewer. But as I laid out the individual pieces to take a first look, I was amazed at how well everything looked and worked together. I was stunned at the personal beauty of each piece. The various contrasts between what was being represented, each personal point of view, the wide difference of experience and technical expertise of each artist — I found myself becoming quite emotional as I was pondering what to include and what to potentially leave out.
I decided to leave everything that was submitted in the show. Altogether it perfectly represents how these specific artists in this specific community experienced the past couple of years. Many of them wrote a little something to go along with their artwork, a bit of explanation, if you will, of what they have been learning or thinking along the way.
If you have time this summer, I’d encourage you to check it out! https://duluthvineyard.org/creative-arts-ministry/