Commissioned work for congregations is work that is shared with a variety of people over time. I like that aspect of the work. People I never know will be experiencing my art seven years and a Sunday from now. I caught myself in an uncharacteristic act on the second Sunday of June, 2020. I assembled a slide show of work in progress, combined it with an excerpt from a hymn, and added a tune on top. I emailed the results to my Pastor and said. “Let’s do something different for devotions at council tonight.” That evening we had the shortest devotions on record. (No, we really don’t time the devotions at our meetings, but it sounds good.) Click the video to see what I shared.
For years, I struggled sharing art that was incomplete. I didn’t want others to know how messy creative work can be. Or that I changed my mind. And made mistakes. Today every family, business, and organization pours effort and emotion into finding how to continue what is important in the midst of unknown territory. Sharing the process photos with my home congregational council was an expression of compassion. The back message is that it is okay to be messy, to change course, to make mistakes.
The red paraments are completed and ready for Reformation Sunday, the next appointed use for red altar and pulpit hangings. As I review photos of the work, I am surprised again at the placement of the dove on the pulpit frontal. The arrangement of the sanctuary places the dove flying away from the altar, out of the window, and into the neighborhood. The Holy Spirit calls the congregation to go out and serve neighbors near and far. I am called to create art for inspiration, information, and environment, even the unfinished work.