Wednesday, October 05, 2005

art and community

ckhnat 2002

"Art is at once exhaustively personal and inescapably social."
Conductor Robert Shaw

Two weeks ago a friend approached me with a proposition: the creation of an artist community among Southern Seminary students. Until now I had been attending festivals and artistic cultural events on my own or with one or two friends. But this proposition brings to light entirely new possibilities. What if together, as artists, we represented the artistic face of Southern Seminary to the community around us?! How much more effective could our witness be together?

But there are other implications. In such a community we could encourage and support each other's artistic endeavors. Musicians, writers, photographers, actors, designers, painters could collaborate together and exhort one another in our individual endeavors to achieve artistic excellence that glorifies God.

David Giardiniere describes artistic community this way:

"We seek out others who share similar experiences and align ourselves with them. It's in our nature to "belong," so we form communities--groups of people that have something in common. As we function within them we develop friendships, enrich our lives, and find a source of personal satisfaction.

"In a sense, every human community on earth can be considered an artistic community. Art is so infused with the human spirit that our lives themselves are a work of art--a living drama carried out over time. Paul describes it as 'a letter from Christ, written not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.' There are times though, when a group of people will come together to create a specific work of art. In these settings, the community is not merely those who perceive and appreciate. The community becomes the instrument of expression that brings a work to life. These are the performers, the craftsmen, composers, screenwriters, technicians, actors--the architects of sound and light over time. Their act of purpose and their collective spirit generate works of power and impact. (The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.) They assemble and embrace creative process to pursue a mutual goal."

"Singing in Unison" in It was Good--Making Art to the Glory of God

Thoughts? Anyone else interested?


forest said...

Guess what! Guess what! i found him! Yep, i tracked mister Goicolea down and now i can check out my favorite photographer whenever i want (okay, i admit, some of them border sickness) but, yeah, so i thought i'd share. Oh, and i think the whole art community thing is a good idea - even if i can't be in it.

CM said...

I would love to see something like this develop. If there's one area that I feel that the evangelical church is lacking, it's that of artistic understanding. I'd be willing to help, if possible (although I'm graduating in Dec, but hey! What's no time like today?)

Jason said...
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Kristin said...

This is why I love Sojourn so much. I feel like Sojourn artist's are supported by the community. There is everything from painters to photographers to musicians and more. It is such a cool thing to be involved in a church that encourages artists of all sorts.


This sounds very interesting to me. Is there a place, or website I could go to to learn more about this approach to art?

I'm getting ready to finish film school, and this is really interesting to me.

The new digital age of filmmaking offers incredible possibilities.

In Christ,

N said...

wow. it shouldn't be surprising but it's still really encouraging to see these conversations also happening in other parts of the world.

i wonder if there is maybe a trend of some kind (ie. isolation due to technology) that is resulting in these 'artist community' topics coming up more... or is it just something that, once voiced... resonates with so many that it becomes a 'trend'!?

i could start naming off resources and examples of this concept working... but that's another conversation.

N said...

...and go read IMAGINE by Steve Turner.

(author of The Man Called Cash and many other great books & poems. and a very nice guy in real life even!)

what do ya'll think are the primary NEEDS of artists when developing a community? simply emotional/practical support from their peers? mentors? advice? venues? training?