Hope Blog

What's new at Hope.

  1. 01-17-2016 Arts Weekly Update

    HopeArts

     Arts Ministry Weekly Update

     

    Big news this week: firstly, Saturday 01-19, Hope Chapel moves back into its building. Loads of hands are needed for that chore, especially in the morning time. After several long years we will now have our building back entirely, and this means some changes for the upcoming semester as well.

    Starting Wednesday 01-23 the regular Wednesday Family Night resumes, and the Arts Hope Group will begin having access to the coffee shop / auxiliary gallery space for meetings. Since the 23rd is a scheduled “open creating time” we will meet in the coffee shop for those wanting to be around others and create/write/discuss.


    In general, the Arts Hope Group follows the Hope Group Schedule on Hope.Org and regular Family Night meeting times. We will meet every Wednesday from now on, with actual group meetings and discussions on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays, as we had been doing in the past at Liz Morgan’s house. We will continue to reserve the 2nd, 4th, 5th Wednesdays of the month for open creating time, and when the studio is completed (a task still not begun) the studio arts group will be able to fully utilize that space on those 2nd, 4th, 5th Wednesdays while non-studio artists (like the writers) can utilize the coffee shop / auxiliary gallery for open creative time.

    Work on the studio will begin roughly in early February, and we will update you as things progress on that front, but that project too rests entirely on the efforts of those volunteering their time and elbow grease, much as the work on the building and the move-in did.

    Beginning Wednesday 01-23 HopeArts is starting a “52 Project” — every week artists of all mediums are encouraged to produce some new piece of art, or choose from that weeks worth of production one piece, and share the work to the HopeArts Realm Group. This project will feed into upcoming goings on, to be sure, so keep up the effort. There really are no parameters or themes to follow, except those that make 52 weekly projects sustainable to you.



    Lastly, for this week’s update at least, we will soon be making an open call for art for the themed gallery show “Gates & Fences”. Follow the HopeArts Blog posts on Realm, Hope.Org, and HopeArts.org for entry forms and updates on this and other opportunities. And be sure to check out and chime in on the latest HopeArts Art Topic of the day.

    Remember, our very own Ashley Littlefield heads up our Instagram and Social Media presences, so be sure to pop into those places for more from current and past HopeArts goings on.

  2. Heart Gallery Reception

    HopeArts

    This particular gallery exhibit is a joint partnership between Hope Homes Foster/Adopt Ministry, and Hope Chapel’s Art Ministry, displaying Partnership for Children’s “Heart Gallery” Project.

     

    Exhibit Reception is Saturday, December 8th, from 7-9 P.M., with food, musical performance, storytelling and spoken word.

    The show hangs in the gallery through New Years, and is viewable anytime the church is open (call office for more times).

    Taken from the Heart Gallery website: “The Heart Gallery of Central Texas is an art exhibit and community education/outreach initiative featuring children who are waiting for adoption. We work to find forever families for children through direct recruitment opportunities and education of foster and adoptive families.  At the core of this outreach is simply a picture. But there is nothing simple about it; our volunteer photographers truly capture a child’s spirit in every shot. These pictures speak louder than words, they say, “I’m here and I am special.”

     

    Hanging this show in our gallery is more than just offering wallspace to a really good cause. The viewer, at the reception, encounters an experience of profound and deep connection:

    We are all adopted by God, “adopted” children and co-heirs with Christ; all of us “orphaned” in some ways, but as Christ promised, not ”left as orphans in this world”; we all have the experience of choosing those who are not our own, and may or may not receive us back; all have experience rescuing the abandoned or of being abandoned ourselves; being lonely yet put into families, and welcoming into our families the lonely; all just as God does with us with His incomparable Father’s Heart.

    Echoes of this connection reverberate and deepen as we engage our spirituality corporately worshipping amidst the very efforts to place the lonely in earthly families, to defend the helpless, to provide for the needy, to welcome the little children as our Savior did. Viewing the exhibit we realize we stand together amid the very heart of God for the restoration of all persons within His design for creation  (spiritually and practically).

    And, hopefully, we are quickened.

  3. Arts Ministry Update

    HopeArts

    The bi-monthly 1st & 3rd Weeks Arts Hope Group will INFORMALLY meet at Genuine Joe’s Coffee Shop for December. Same time as regularly scheduled, but without childcare provided.

    December 8th is a new Gallery Reception at Hope Chapel’s Gallery Space, from 7-9 PM. You can find details on Hope.Orgcalendar, and likewise on HopeArts.Org.

    Today’s writing prompt(s) <answer in a reply comment, or on Realm Arts Group in the comment section> : does Art speak beyond languages only to artists, or even to non-artists? Can those who don’t understand art (ie non-artists) still profit from Art?

  4. Art Topic: “Art-ing”

    HopeArts

    In our last Art Topic we broached the question of the relationship between Art and Worship, and whether art alone led to worship, or if worship could lead to art, and just what if anything could be meant by “art-ing” (or, “art-ifying”).

    We are told to submit our bodies as living sacrifices, which is our holy and pleasing form of worship. No where are we told in scripture to “make art,” and scripture only seems to discuss artisans and craftsman  in the fashioning of the ark of the covenant or the temple (but not as in any other role within temple worship). This assumes artisans and craftsmen had places within the community, and that such places were assumed natural.

    But here is a question: the artisans and craftsmen were given a mandate in the fashioning and building of the temple, yet the new temple is the Body of Christ, what is the mandate for artists today in fashioning and building the new Temple?

    What art leads one to worship God? What subject matter? In what manner do we, through “art-ing” make art in a way which is holy and pleasing “art-ing”?  What does “art-ing” in general look like — does it go beyond making a piece of art in a certain way, and found manifestation even in how live our lives and perform our tasks? If so, a Christian aesthetic comes into play, right, an aesthetic which is applied not to a piece of art but to how an artist lives their lives and performs their tasks? What “materials” are used in “art-ing” in life? Faith? Fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, self-control, not keeping records of wrongs or coveting but trusting and believing)?

     

  5. Art Topic: “Art and Worship”

    HopeArts

    In the course of a discussion with an arts pastor friend of mine the claim was made that all Art leads to worship, and it is a question really only of that to which we are lead to worship — God, or other.

    The thought bears a great deal of chewing for any artist. Through the ensuing discussion other questions were raised: can Art itself be worship; does worship ever lead to Art? The discussion stopped at this point to delve into the definitions of “Art” and “Worship.”

    At the risk of appearing to needlessly ask tired questions, either through rhetorical device or for which we have little practical need to ask, Today’s Art Topic would initially want to consider the questions of those definitions, what are Art and Worship? It is arguably safe to say we as artists never actually leave off  from answering this question. More saliently, it could be said that never leaving off from answering (from being within or doing the activity of answering) those questions is in part what it means to be an artist, and notably a Christian artist.

    Abraham, in a moment, was asked to sacrifice his only son, the son of promise, and that a moment of believing in God (to be able to raise Issac from the grave if necessary to honor the promise) was credited to Abraham as righteousness. In the Christian scriptures we are told to “offer [our] bodies as living sacrifices, this is [our] holy and pleasing spiritual act of worship”. Elsewhere we are told to “love the Lord our God with all our heart, with all our strength, with all our mind, and Christ himself said that was the greatest commandment, the second unto it being to love our neighbor as ourselves.

    Unlike with Abraham’s singular act (which occurred over the course of a few hours), our spiritual act(s) of worship (as believers) seem to be ongoing, continual even, albeit perhaps continual across numerous instances specifically (as, in general, as we seek life, and Life). Put differently, submitting our bodies as living sacrifices is a continual act. Experience tells us that, as parents trying to follow the Lord and to raise our children in the knowledge and admonition of the Lord we are repeatedly “offering our children” (back) to the Lord, or, rather, are seeking His direction continually with what He would leads us in doing with His children He has entrusted to us. Again, continual action.

    Putting a fine point on it, worship thus understood never stops. Worship is not (merely) singing songs, hymns, and praises on Sunday. And singing songs and praising are but one manner of worshiping (whereby notably we are submitting our bodies in a traditionally artistic way).

    If worship is a continual, ongoing act, then what is “art-ing”? Can “art” be a continual act, as worship is a continual act — could “art” ever be a verb? We use the term “creating,” and we are arguably creating just as continually as we are worshiping when we create (or worship, respectively).

    So, let me just make the personal claim here (and stop pedagogically seeding the flower bed for that claim) which I want to make. L’Engle brings up the young virgin Mary, asked to bear the seed and bring to life the person of Christ. L’Engle goes on to draw the similarity of the artist to Mary, saying that the Story we tell as a writer (or visual artist, or sculptor, or weaver, ect.) comes to us, asking us to perform artistic midwifery and give it “incarnation.” And like with Mary, we artists have the choice to serve it or not. We never stop being parents / artists, and we repeatedly as parents / artists are giving the children with whom we are entrusted back to the Lord. And, sometimes we are asked, as Anne Lamott is found of saying, “to sacrifice our darlings”.  Earlier before this reference to Mary, L’Engle discloses how everything she does flows out of her nature as a Christian and as a writer, and verily speaking, we Christian artists are adopted children of God and new creations in Christ, invested with the Holy Spirit causing us to will and to desire (thus to create) according to His good pleasure (if it is to the spiritual nature submit).

    So I ask again, what is the relationship of Art to Worship? What is the profound calling to which we are called as artists? As worshipers and as the redeemed?

    Afterthought: {and, also, a digression from the above}

    In the truest philosophical senses, an “argument” can easily be made for the case that, as God’s creation we are His art, creating ever continually within an ever continually creative creation (which is that of Creation), ergo, we are art and are always creating, always “art-ing”. Art, in this philosophical argument, is a state of being, just as worship is a state of being, that is, when we participate in being (according to the spiritual nature), and when we don’t (according to the flesh).

     

  6. Art Topic: “Burt Reynolds is Dead”

    HopeArts

    Burt Reynolds is dead…

    https://open.spotify.com/user/…

    Burt Reynolds is dead … and I am listening to an utter stranger’s Southern Gothic playlist on Spotify. Since Sunday of Labor Day weekend my time has been spent revolving around the “Christmas in July” play (penned by our very own Dennis O’Donnell), and it’s final tech week preparations. On the ride into the church building from my suburban home I’ve listened to a podcast on Christian and Pagan reliquary given at the Met. Museum of Art, and another podcast of an introductory lecture on Plato’s aesthetic notions by an Oxford professor.

    Burt Reynolds is dead… I am listening to an absolute stranger’s Southern Gothic playlist… and (oddly even to me) this all seems to make some sense that I would write Today’s Art Topic, despite it having nothing to do with such a context — while nonetheless being crafted in the midst of it all. There just is … something… about the irrelevancy of it all to the topic: the relationship(s) of ourselves to Art, and of ourselves to creating/creation (of works).

    What does it mean, what does it look like to be “charitable” towards an artist and their work? What does it mean to “be the Body of Christ” to the artist, to an artwork, to creating, to Art itself?