Our first art experience

April 30, 2006

On Palm Sunday evening, our faith community hosted an art show. Initially my desire was simply to open the interactive mural to my friends, so that we could experience it together. I was content to sit there myself, just me and the wall, assisting the occasional person who might come through.

But the Friday people, who created the wall in the first place, went nuts. In two short days we transformed our meeting area into a full-on art show, with all sorts of homegrown creations and expressions. (I even showed two pieces of my own, if you can call “Spanking Night” a piece.) We had Brian Eno’s ambient music, redid the lighting with the funky Ikea lamps from our own home, and served wine and cheese.

The cumulative effect was amazing. We succeeded in creating a radically different space that invited people to slow down, explore, and talk. 40-50 people not associated with our faith community came! I really felt that it was a comfortable and interesting space for my friends to explore spirituality (the ‘E’ of my PEZ dream) without any “church” baggage. Too bad none of them came, because they suck!

Sorry, just kidding. No, I am not.

I definitely want to do this again. Rob & I were talking about how to make space for people to create, not just observe; the interactive mural was a start. Are there any talented tattoo artists around here who follow Jesus?

By the way, that evening I was finally able to “do the wall” in its entirety. I had ducked in and out of each station before, but to experience it as a whole, a journey… wow. I was amazed at how much it touched me. Thank you.

Here’s a 360-degree view of the space:

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And here is Rob’s amazing piece: a computer program that scours the web for new blog entries referring to “God” or “Jesus” and displays their titles. Essentially, it gives a real-time portrait of God as done by the blogosphere.

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While our kids were helping with the set-up, the display showed some, uh, interesting titles like “asshole” and “Jesus F____ng Rocks!”

Jon Reid

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As an American missionary kid who grew up in Japan, I'm a child of two cultures, while not fully belonging to either. This gives me a sightly different view of the world.

5 responses to Our first art experience

  1. Dude, I was there on Tuesday, but they were doing some other thing. :-p

  2. “Sorry, just kidding. No, I am not.”
    HAHA!! that is awesome my friend. and cheers on the quote. sounds like an amazing time–I know it mustve been with you involved.

  3. Hey Jon,
    I’ll not comment on the spanking…
    But Brian Eno’s On Land played while my daughter was born way back in 1982. Wonderful evocotive music that I’m sure lent a nice backdrop to the images. And FWIW, we wrote Eno and told him about the birth and received a wonderful note back from him.

  4. Wow Roy, you are such a hippie.
    That is cool that Eno wrote back. Hope you kept the note!

  5. Our church has an actual art gallery down one of the long corridors – I love it. The exhibit changes every two months or so – we just hung the new one; the topic this time around is “Transformation”. It is just awesome to look at what everyone came up with. I love that it isn’t elitist – and I love even more when I see a college-age kid actually reading the artist statement next to a drawing obviously done by a five-year-old. There is so much creativity out there it is astounding to me — I get the warm fuzzies every time I walk down that hallway. I think there are over 70 pieces in this one, from a conceptual sculptural piece to pottery to poetry to wood carvings to every type of 2D art imaginable, entered by artists ranging from professionals to children.