Sunday, August 19, 2007

Art Show on Main 2007

(pic: last year's art show; guest artist Andy Palmer)

Here it is...the Prospectus I've been working on for this year's Art Show on Main. The theme "Mosaic" revolves around a topic that literally gives me goose bumps. Would love to hear your thoughts....

Art Show on Main 2007 PROSPECTUS: “Mosaic”

mo·sa·ic [moh-zey-ik] noun, adjective, verb, -icked, -ick·ing.
1. a picture or decoration made of small, colored pieces of inlaid stone, glass, etc.
2. the process of producing such a picture or decoration.
3. something resembling such a picture or decoration in composition, esp. in being made up of diverse elements: ex., a mosaic of borrowed ideas.

Contrasts carry a certain fascination. For example, vanilla and chocolate ice cream. Alone each flavor is tasty. Wound together into a soft-serve twist cone – sheer genius.

And consider the contrast displayed in that now familiar photo of the Conklin elementary school sign promoting good character. The word on the sign, “Persistence”, stands in stark contrast against the backdrop of a growing pile of flood debris. Ironic.

Mosaic as an art form features creative use of contrast displayed in intriguing arrays of shape, color and texture. Study a piece close up. At this range, one’s perspective is limited to individual fragments of colored glass, tile and a variety of other found treasures. From this angle the only thing this odd assortment seems to have in common is a random shatteredness.

Behold the surprise and delight, though, after taking a few steps back and discovering the image created from the meticulous placement of each tiny, diverse element!

And a certain realization dawns.

There is a deep symbolism contained within the images that emerge from those contrasting colors and textures.

Mosaic finds beauty in found objects – smashed and discarded.
Mosaic requires the genius of an artist, willing to take time and care to form a unique and whole masterpiece from random broken pieces.
Mosaic is most masterful the more diverse and intricately woven the individual elements.
Mosaic sounds a lot like us.

As we strive to come together as artists who follow Christ and care for each other and our community, we form a living Mosaic. We are individual people from various colored and broken backgrounds and who practice many different art forms. Yet in the Mind of the Divine Artist, we are made into one masterpiece, the Church.

“God is building a home. He’s using us all - irrespective of how we got here – in what he is building. He used the apostles and prophets for the foundation. Now he’s using you, fitting you in brick by brick, stone by stone, with Christ Jesus as the cornerstone that holds all the parts together. We see it taking shape day after day – a holy temple built by God, all of us built into it, a temple in which God is quite at home.” Ephesians 2:19, The Message

In some mystical and Christ-saturated way, God places the broken up and diverse pieces that our individual lives represent and forms a unified community. When looked at from the right perspective, this image reflects the imago dei – God Himself.

Sheer genius. Sheer grace.

The purpose of the 2007 Art Show on Main is to celebrate artistic diversity as a unified community in the following ways:

diverse gifts unified in one Body“Each one brings their irreplaceable individuality to make life a pattern of diversity with a pursuit of unity.” Ravi Zacharias

“A body is made up of many parts, and each of them has its own use. That's how it is with us. There are many of us, but we each are part of the body of Christ, as well as part of one another. God has also given each of us different gifts to use…” Romans 12:4-6, Contemporary English Version
Whether someone participates in the Art Show on Main 2007 by showing art or performing art or by helping to prepare for the events or by attending the events and enjoying the art, the whole Body is blessed.

Additionally, in recognition of the fact that Christ’s Church extends beyond the walls here at Union Center and has grown in unity through recent events in the Greater Binghamton area, we invite artists from area churches to submit work to our Visual Arts show.

diverse media unified in one art show
Visual Arts: painting, drawing, photography, sculpture, textiles, mixed media, etc.

“In Exodus 28:31-35, a passage describing the priest’s garments, we find pattern, color and sound all working together. As Francis Schaeffer once observed ‘The making of the Tabernacle involved almost every form of representational art known to humanity. But because God is also the god of creative imagination, of metaphor and symbol, of parable and analogy, the design of the Tabernacle, and later of the Temple, was packed with symbolism. The design and placement of furnishings and vessels, the use of different materials such as linen, goatskins, silver, brass, gold, acacia wood, and the ceremonies prescribed for the worship of God in these sacred precincts, the system of sacrifices and oblations, all had meaning beyond themselves.’ This is the essence of the sacramental – that material things remind us of and point us to the things we cannot see but which have ultimate and eternal reality.” Luci Shaw, essay in The Christian Imagination
Performing Arts: vocal, instrumental, spoken word, theatre, dance, film presented in either original or classical works

“Hallelujah! Praise God in his holy house of worship, praise him under the open skies; Praise him for his acts of power, praise him for his magnificent greatness; Praise with a blast on the trumpet, praise by strumming soft strings; Praise him with castanets and dance, praise him with banjo and flute; Praise him with cymbals and a big bass drum, praise him with fiddles and mandolin. Let every living, breathing creature praise God! Hallelujah!” Psalm 150, The Message
diverse eras unified in one history“Believing Christians in the arts tend to become discouraged…When discouragement sets in, we should remind ourselves that the Church is a living church. For the believing, practicing Christian or Jew, there is no eternal death, only life in the present and life in the future. C.S. Lewis, Bach, Rembrandt, Leonardo da Vinci and King Oliver (of New Orleans jazz fame) are not dead but alive and well in the cloud of witnesses.
Because of the arts, we are not limited exclusively to our present period of history. We can stand in the Florence of Dante and Vasari. We can listen to the music of Scarlatti. We can read the words of Homer or Winston Churchill. We can listen to the music of Mahalia Jackson. We can live, through the arts and humanities, in all time at once…” Franky Schaeffer, Sham Pearls For Real Swine

Classical Works: from the classical repertoire (Renaissance through the 20th century)
“The Jewish-Christian West has produced unrivaled glories in the field of music… Certainly there are serious Christians engaged in making good contemporary music, but those who limit themselves to contemporary popular ‘Christian music’ seem to be unaware that the horizons are so much broader.” Franky Schaeffer, Sham Pearls For Real Swine
Original Works: lyric, composition, poem, essay, choreography, film, theatrical scene, etc. performed by the original author
“Spring is, of course, not really less beautiful because we have seen or heard of other like events, never from world’s beginning to world’s end the same event. Each leaf, of oak and ash and thorn, is a unique embodiment of the pattern and for some this very year may be the embodiment, the first ever seen and recognized, though oaks have put forth leaves for countless generations of men. We do not, or need not, despair of drawing because all lines must be either curved or straight, nor of painting because there are only three primary colours. We may indeed be older now, in so far as we are heirs in enjoyment or in practice of many generations of ancestors in the arts.
In this inheritance of wealth there may be a danger of boredom or of anxiety to be original…
Recovery (which includes return and renewal of health) is a re-gaining – re-gaining of a clear view. I do not say, ‘seeing things as they are’…though I might venture to say ‘seeing things as we are’ (or were)’meant to see them’ – as things apart from ourselves. We need in any case, to clean our windows; so that the things seen clearly may be freed from the drab blur of triteness or familiarity – from possessiveness.” J.R.R. Tolkien, Tree and Leaf

“Good people, cheer God! Right-living people sound best when praising. Use guitars to reinforce your ‘Hallelujahs!’ Play his praise on a grand piano! Invent your own new song to him; give him a trumpet fanfare.” Psalm 33:1-3, The Message


Dear Artist,
We are bursting with anticipation at what God will bring together through the Art Show on Main 2007. The Art Show leaders have been working and praying for many months over the very best way to cultivate beauty and community through the arts at this event. During these months we have felt strongly that this is the year to introduce a few new aspects.

The first addition is the introduction of the performing arts to the event. Secondly, as a result of the joy of working together for the Franklin Graham festival and other recent events in our community, we are inviting artists from area churches to participate in the visual arts portion of the show. And thirdly, we are excited to provide an opportunity for children to enjoy the experience of making and displaying their own art during this weekend.

For our visual artists, although you are welcome to, we are not requiring you to create a literal mosaic. The art show itself – each one bringing their irreplaceable individuality to make a pattern of diversity with the pursuit of unity (Zacharias) – will display the theme in bold and living color. To further enhance the theme for this year, an interactive mosaic piece will be prominently displayed in Main Street and anyone who attends will be able to have a part in creating the work. Once the Art Show on Main is concluded, the mosaic will be donated to an organization that would benefit from a piece of original artwork.

We can’t wait to start receiving submissions (see enclosed entry forms for both performing and visual art). As you prepare for the show, we invite you to pray over this theme, Mosaic. Study the word from different angles, holding your personal ideas and experiences up to the light of Scripture. Meditate on the patterns that the Holy Spirit creates from the assortment of pieces you place before Him. Get on and do a word search (possible word choices -- unity, diversity, broken, whole)…see how God treats this concept in the Scriptures. Talk to a friend, explore a new medium, and look through your portfolio or repertoire in a fresh way.

Above all, as you prepare your submissions, we encourage you to speak truth through your art. Avoid the temptation to draw and paint and sculpt ‘Christian’ or ‘churchy’. Jesus became man and walked through the stuff of earth without ever losing His deity. In the same way, He is able to take the stuff of your artwork and reveal Himself through it.

We are praying for you. We are asking God to encourage us and guide us and protect us as we take this risk of revealing the imago dei individually and collectively. Most of all, we are asking Him to bring great fame to His name through our obedience and vulnerability.

Ever your biggest fans,

Tami Murphy, Director of Creative Arts at Union Center Christian Church

Wendy Westcott, Art Show on Main 2007 Event Coordinator
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