There are few things that get me visibly excited. Good conversation & good art are high on the list for a visible display of excitement, so needless to say, CANVAS 2017 did me in. CANVAS is for...
I spent many years wrestling with faith & theory, art & real life practice. I was unsure how to find spaces asking the questions I asked. Grounded in faith, yet fully aware of my political and personal climate. Yes, the personal is political. There were many times I’d given up on the church, and I was fine with that for a time. However, I ultimately knew something was off and there were things I needed to reconcile in my relation to the church, and to God.
There were many elements of this conference that made strides in my heart towards my perspective of the church, faith, theory and art. However, what rang most soundly by the end of the weekend, was CANVAS answered years of prayers that went unanswered.
I can't fully tell this story now as it's still being written, however I’ve let go of my personal art for the past year to focus on my spirit. The CANVAS conference actually marked my year since officially making this move emotionally and physically. Throughout the year, many new questions arose, challenges, and good healthy growth towards being both a better artist and person of faith. CANVAS was such an incredible space to think and reflect through these ideas.
CANVAS creates space for artists and thinkers often dismissed. It's for people of faith who might be shunned by other artists that don't believe, or people of faith who simply don’t desire an understanding of artists. There was a particular talk that keeps finishing my thoughts, it introduced a new term for me, the “bruised artist.” At first I meditated on term as it may relate to others I know. But as it sank in, I began to resonate with that identity myself.
Aaron Ivey described the bruised artist as a person who creates, often feeling the woes of life another may be apt to ignore. They feel misunderstood or hurt or angry, because these emotion are not seen as a plea for better. They are the ignored, ignored.
So often when we are creative thinkers our hearts hurt deeply because our minds are so vivid. How can the church heal this? Do they even care? At the core of every talk was a deep desire for us to care about and understand the nuances of walking out our lives in art and faith. There's distrust in the church from artists often times for good reason, but the most meaningful work often blossoms from our need to heal. Where needs the most healing, is also where I find my work. This is my best life, the one that calls me without hailing.©
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