This Friday Five, reflect with me upon art and the role it plays in your life (and ministry!).
1. Do you have a favorite piece of art in your home? Was it made by you or someone you love? Was it a gift or something you decided to purchase?
We have some great art in our home, because a number of years ago, we decided not to buy t-shirts on vacation and buy art instead. So we have a wall hanging from Lesotho, water colors from South Africa and Italy, fabric art from Haiti, etc. Great reminders of our travels that are much better than “my mom went to San Francisco and all I got was this t-shirt”.
We have a lot of Native American art–Navajo rugs, pottery, kachinas, sand art, etc. And a painting by Anthony Chee Emerson that we love.
I have an oil painting of the Boise skyline by Wendy Blickenstaff that I picked up at the artist’s yard sale and love, love, love.
But our favorite piece of art is the photograph that Ansel Adams took of Justin’s grandfather, Al Glass, preaching an Easter sunrise sermon on Mirror Lake in Yosemite. Come visit and admire.
2. What do you think of the the art in your place of worship? Does it enhance the worship experience? Would you add to it, take away from it, or otherwise change it?
Our sanctuary has stained glass that does enhance the sanctuary. It is a fairly “modern” space, and the amount of stained glass we have fits it well.
And we have a Prayer Center in the chancel, which is art in a flexible and changing sort of way.
3. What public art have you loved– or hated?
There is a graffiti wall on one of our neighbor’s fences. As far as graffiti goes, I guess it is well done. But not a fan. But it is their fence. Whatever.
The public art that I love is at Trinity University, where I went to college. Trinity has great fountains and other outside gathering spaces that are built around art, including a number of Henry Moore bronze pieces. Large Interior Form is probably my favorite. (Photo courtesy of Michael Karshis).
I also just visited the Getty Museum in Los Angeles. It is a good illustration of how architecture functions as art. The High Museum in Atlanta did the same thing for me. The very building spoke to my soul.
4. What piece of art (famous, infamous, personal, or very, very well known masterpiece) speaks to your soul?
I was sort of surprised by how much Michelangelo’s David touched my soul. The image is so ubiquitous, but encountering it in person was a whole different thing. Don’t really have words for it.
Almost every painting by Van Gogh speaks to my soul. His paintings are so tactile. I am sure I will be arrested for trying to touch one in a museum one day. The reproductions don’t quite measure up, but here is one that hangs in my house.
And I loved encountering this painting by Burnand at the Musee d’Orsay.
5. When is the last time you created something beautiful, just for you?
Every so often, I will use the water colors in the prayer center. And our all church retreat this summer was about the Psalms and involved some art. But most of my creative work is with words or music.
So, friends, what art speaks to your soul?