Thursday, November 5, 2009

High School Artists?

Masterpiece Ministries

Based near Nashville, TN, a center of music nationally, with a great emphasis in arts in general, is Masterpiece Ministries.

Music. Film. Dance. Theater. Painting. Writing. Graphic Design.

The impact of the creative world on our culture is irrefutable. The arts stretch our imagination and know few boundaries. However, there exists a chasm of acceptance and understanding between the church and those wonderfully complex humans we call artists.

Gordon and Sherrie Rogers have worked with young people for over 35 years at church, in their own home, and through Sherries adolescent and family therapy. They discovered that young artists often do not fit in well with church-sponsored youth programs that emphasize physical recreation. To close the gap, they founded Masterpiece Ministries in 1995 with a mission to help young people identify and develop their gifts in the arts and to encourage them to become wholehearted followers of Jesus Christ.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Any Testimonies From Karitos 2009?

  1. Who went?
  2. What happened?
  3. What is your media?
  4. What now - what from Karitos did you learn that you can use?
  5. How did you learn about it?

Friday, June 12, 2009

Christian Art Teacher: Jack Burgess: From Painting the Hills of Kentucky to Enriching the Lives of Students

Jack Burgess: Living Curriculum Teacher: From Painting the Hills of Kentucky to Enriching the Lives of Students or in the Trib Local here.
Jack teaches Digital Photography, Graphic Design, and Painting at Wheaton Academy and is known by his colleagues as a creative, godly teacher. He wears many hats, including ad hoc artist at WA, called upon for his professional assistance in everything from branding to website layout. His Winterim course for set design brings students together who want to learn the art and craft of theater stage design, skills used in Wheaton Academy’s musical.

Books about art, design, education and collaboration fill Jack Burgess’ classroom. Student art and photography cover the walls. Piled in corners and leaning against his desk are a banjo, juggling pins, and a balancing device which looks like a cross between a skateboard and a see-saw. There is purpose to all of this, says Jack, “It’s about creating a creative space, where inspiration is always just a few feet away, where risk taking is encouraged.”

See the June Connection here.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Karitos: An Investment in Your Ministry

Karitos: An Investment in Your Ministry
by Bob Hay, Director
The Karitos Christian Arts Conference

Someone once said, “Salvation is a free gift, following Jesus will cost you everything.” You might say the same thing about talent. Talent is a free gift, developing that talent will cost you.

I’ve worked with arts ministries for nearly 40 years. Most of my experience has been in the Christian music field where I’ve served as a concert/event promoter, manager and booking agent. I’ve watched people with amazing talent whose careers went nowhere. I’ve also seen others with a modest degree of natural ability build effective ministries.

In the first instance, there was almost always some outside thing that had to happen before the person could launch his or her career. “When I get my record deal, I’m really going to get out there and go for it.” “Once I find a manager, my career will really take off.” (I should add here that most young artists who thought they needed a manager really needed an agent. What they wanted was someone to do the dirty work of making phone calls-the job of a booking agent, not a manager).

In the meantime, the artist with modest talent was out there doing everything possible to make things happen. Playing everywhere possible, at a rescue mission or even on a street corner, and usually for free.

“A man’s gift makes room for him, and brings him before great men.” Many people think that because God has given them a gift or talent, He will also open doors for the use of that gift. Maybe, maybe not. Actually, a more accurate reading of Proverbs 18:16 might be “a man’s BRIBE makes room for him.”

I’m not suggesting that you bribe people to give you a platform to share your artistic talent. I am saying that opportunities are more likely to come to you if you are actively pursuing them and have made an investment in developing your God-given talent.

How about you? Are you sitting by the phone waiting for a record label (or a literary agent, an art gallery, or a ballet or theatre company) to call? Or are you spending time developing your talent, putting together promotional materials, growing spiritually, and attending conferences such as Karitos where you can learn from those who’ve already attained success? (More about Karitos later).

Where to start? To use an old axiom, “Bloom where you’re planted.” If possible, begin in your local church. I say “possible” because they may not accept your gift. A dancer is less likely to be used than a piano player in many churches. While they may not hang your artwork, they may let you paint characters on the nursery walls. They may not be open to your one-man play, but possibly put together a skit for Stewardship Sunday.

“What does this have to do with building my ministry” you ask? Quite a bit. Take it from experience, the support of your home church will be invaluable. Pastors, promoters and event organizers want to know that you are being supported and sent out by your local church. Also, I’ve known people who have developed very successful ministries traveling entirely within their own denomination.

The 15th Annual Karitos Christian Arts Conference is another good place to get started. One hundred workshops in music business, theatre, writing, dance, mime, visual arts and worship plus master classes for vocalists and audio technicians. Nearly fifty teachers, many of whom teach and perform nationally and internationally. Opportunities to network and to share your gifts. This conference has much to offer and the price is amazingly reasonable. Want to know more? Check the website, or call 847/925-8018.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Focus on Faith: Jewish artist expresses Christian beliefs in works

Focus on Faith: Jewish artist Ramsdale expresses Christian beliefs in works
Sunday, March 22, 2009
By Bill Buell (Contact)
Gazette Reporter
Marilyn Heisman Ramsdale has endured some struggles in her life, and she doesn’t mind talking about them and sharing with others just how she got through them all.

An Albany native now living in South Bethlehem, Ramsdale has a spiritual story that’s a bit more complicated than others: She’s a Messianic Jew, which means she believes in Jesus Christ despite the fact that she grew up in a Jewish family and continues to call herself Jewish.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Christian Art Show in Illinois - Lively Arts to Exhibit Their Work

Lively Arts will be doing an exhibit at La Spiaza. March 5 to April 5. Above is the official flyer designed by Tim Botts.

The artists will be available to discuss their works, including Lively Arts founder and calligrapher, Tim Botts, and Natalie Lombard, banner artist.

The exhibit features the works of Tim Botts, Scott Davis, Gary Lobdell, Natalie Lombard, Frank Nicholas, Kathy Schneider, Dan Stulz, and Colleen Yang.

The show's opening will include a spoken word performance by Anthony Trendl and guitar by Scott Davis. They will perform together "Love Song for Charlie Parker," an homage to the Beats, and other pieces.

La Spiaza Coffee House
114 N Main St
Wheaton, IL 60187
(630) 221-8772

Lively Arts is a gathering of Christian artists, meeting the fourth Monday of every month for show-n-tell, and to connect artists with the church and the community.

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
James 1:17, NIV
click image to see full size

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Vincent Van Gogh Discusses Evangelism

"It is true that every day has its own evil, and its good too. But how difficult must life be, especially farther on when the evil of each day increases as far as worldly things go, if it is not strengthened and comforted by faith. And in Christ all worldly things may become better, and, as it were, sanctified. Theo, woe is me if I do not preach the Gospel; if I did not aim at that and possess faith and hope in Christ, it would be bad for me indeed, but no I have some courage."

-Vincent Van Gogh

Friday, January 23, 2009

Strong Arguments on a Shaky Premise - Review - The Art Instinct: Beauty, Pleasure, and Human Evolution

The Art Instinct: Beauty, Pleasure, and Human Evolution

"The Art Instinct: Beauty, Pleasure, and Human Evolution" by Denis Dutton concludes itself before it begins, and it does so masterfully. It tries too hard, and asks too much of the reader, all with more aplomb than solid premise.

Charles Darwin argued a species evolved to protect itself, to multiply itself in his theory of evolution. All instincts meet that function, one way or another; no instinct exists that does not meet that function except for anomalies that are bleed from the gene pool.

Art, says Dutton, is instinctual. I caught this in the rambling introduction, and on the back flap. The back flap owns great praise summed up by Steven Pinker, a psychologist (not an artist or biologist or geneticist) who is listed six times in the bibliography. That's far more than any other author (including Kant, Derrida and Aristotle). That's except for Dutton himself, who happens to list himself six times as well.

In other words, his introduction was a chapter in itself, but lacks the strength of a good structure.

He does not adequately show why beautiful birds', in their beauty, are form and not just function, and how, if that is true, humans are part of this. Instinct's goal is never art for art's sake, but pure function without form. The base animal mind is not asking for art, but for a way to gauge the worthiness of a mate.

He tries to define art, which he agrees is a dicey thing to pin down, loaded with bias, knowledge issues and "personal idiosyncrasies." He dodges around the cultural differences, while swooning toward tribal art with only the most vague critique.

Among his larger challenges are ones surrounding the Dadaist movement, and forgery. This begs back to his chapter, "What Is Art?" Not Dutton, nor I, can clear up whether Dadaism is art or just a philosophically statement. He rightfully cites "Fountain," the urinal signed by Marcel Duchamp in 1917 as a pinnacle of what the Dadaists offered.

Dutton sees art as including the visual, musical and literary arts, and tries to respond to all of them at once, integrated and interdependent. That might be more than his small book can handle, as the topic requires several times the volume to make the necessary points.

Readers, in turn, cannot appreciate the book without a vast range of knowledge in each area. Dutton includes notes, but misses the opportunity to quote more from, at least, the literary pieces. Pictures, too, are in order. I caught myself reading this with an online search engine and encyclopedia opened, and even then, am not convinced I understood all his allusions.

Art may have, in its past, some kind of instinctual use, but Denis Dutton does not prove it. "The Art Instinct: Beauty, Pleasure, and Human Evolution," discusses making an argument for itself, but never really lands. As Dutton himself once asserted about another writer, his book "beats readers into submission and instructs them that they are in the presence of a great and deep mind."

I'm not so sure.

Anthony Trendl
2010: July 15-17