I just got back from the John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, NC, where I spent the weekend with three colleagues. Each of us had our own art we learned - two in quilting, one in blacksmithing, and me in printmaking. I took some of my favorite photos through the years and transferred them to solarplates for printing, and I loved the results. I'll try and post those soon.
Last year we received a grant from the Lilly Foundation to form a group rooted in service, study, and sabbath. The crux of our project is to look at the creative arts - whether that be musical, visual, or written - and to spend time together for refreshment and exploration. This weekend was part of that. In a way, it's our desire to connect more deeply with the God of creation and the Spirit who continually re-creates us, shapes us, and calls us to serve the church with imagination and creativity. In some ways, there is something in this act of creating which moves us a breath closer to that divine, creating character.
One of our group noted that the artistic process has three movements: inspiration, creation, and exhibition. We have the idea and we give it form. But the piece doesn't really exist until someone else sees it and interacts with it. Could the same be true for God's work of creation? Is that part of the reason we need community with one another, that we creatures need to see and know one another to become fully created beings?