This is a blog of my journey with Ecclesia Church as their Artist In Residence. There aren’t a lot of artist in residences in churches in the USA nowadays, so I thought I would try my best to write down all my experiences, thoughts, and artwork that I did throughout my time here.
What does an artist in residence do?
I am here to progress a visual culture. So everything we do as a church: our teachings, our learnings, our experiences, our prayers, our sorrows, our joys, our accomplishments, our failures…. I am here to make sure that there is some kind of visualization of that story. This can be worked out in art mediums like film, print, and design… but the idea comes from something deeper. If we believe that the work of God in this world is restoring broken things, then we believe we will see those things. So if we are to enter in that work, we will see broken things made new: restored people, restored relationships, restored neighborhoods, restored injustice, etc. Art comes from this deeper idea of restoration.
There are many ways this works out. Look through the blog to get a better idea….
Do you paint every Sunday?
I paint at every service… when I’m around. Right now we are at 5 services on a weekend so I make 5 paintings… one for each service. I start at the beginning of the service and paint right to the end of the sermon. This is about 45 min to an hour. We typically have communion after the sermon so I finish then.
What do you paint on?
I paint of 3ftx4ft hardboard panels. I get them at Home Depot in an 8ftx4ft sheet and have them cut them down to the right size for me. 3×4 fits in most cars and it’s a good size for an audience to be able to see.
What do you do with the paintings after the service?
The paintings are always for sale. I sell them to whoever comes up first and inquires about purchasing it. I save some for the wall in our meeting area, switching them out periodically, so that we remember the things we are learning.
Do you paint the same thing every service?
I make a unique painting every service. Most of the times the imagery is the same… with little changes here and there. You can look through the blog and see some of that. Some times though I get a different image per service.
Look. I’m just taking orders. I’m not super smart, coming up with ideas every weekend. I just receive the downloads. I get the scripture and some thoughts from the individual preaching beforehand. I read through the scripture. I bring it in prayer and ask God what He wants us to see. And eventually I get an image. An image always comes. It’s never not happened in the 7 years I’ve been doing this.