It was an exciting opening event for this year's Art Show on Main at Union Center. We'd made some pretty significant changes to the previous two years and, for the most part, I think the changes paid off.
By inviting artists from the Greater Binghamton art community, we were able to introduce our church family to some of the good work happening outside our four walls. I felt so pleased to be part of a church family who invited these artists in and were willing to learn from their experience and, even, take the risk of receiving critique from them on their own work.
Yes, I wish that more of our artists had taken advantage of this opportunity. But nothing prepared me for the feeling of fulfillment I experienced watching those who did attend the event stand in the middle of a room buzzing with conversation and ideas and Miles Davis' Autumn Leaves and then watching them leave the event feeling affirmed and encouraged and stretched toward greater levels of skill in their craft. Nothing prepared me for the sense of rest and enjoyment I experienced sitting in the back of our sanctuary listening to aspiring songwriters sing lyrics they wrote to melodies they crafted to ask the question, "Is it any good?". I was just hiding out in the back of the room and my stomach was lurching.
And nothing prepared me for the gratitude that our guests expressed. All of them work more than one job, some also juggle family needs, most are still investing in their education -- and yet, the flexibility and graciousness they exhibited toward me and our church family was truly beautiful.
We have 27 new pieces selected by the jury to add to the exhibit and several performances of original music and spoken word to enjoy in our closing event Coffeehouse on Main. I look forward to being unprepared for many more beautiful moments then.
(Thankfully I was a little bit prepared for the media should they choose to attend. We were pleased to be featured on the 11:00 news on channel 12 -- you can find the transcript here.)
prepping for the panel discussion