Thursday, March 11, 2010

Reflections on IAM Encounter 10: Making Our Art an Expression of Love

Guest post by Julie Robertson (photo at right):
We received a massive blessing from God last week— he allowed my husband Eric and I to attend the IAM Conference in New York City! Due to short notice, we were not certain if we would be able to attend… but then funds started coming in from unusual places. We knew then that God was telling us to go! Paul Nethercott met us there, and it was a blessing to be able to connect with him over the weekend.

IAM (International Arts Movement) is an organization that encourages artists worldwide to change their world through faith and their chosen art field. The conference was held March 4-6 at Cooper Hall in the exciting Greenwich Village area of New York City. We attended seminars by prominent musicians, fine artists, sculptors, designers, writers, and illustrators. Studio Re:'s collaboration, the film Jitensha, was selected from a number of other entries to screen at the Conference. It was encouraging to see the positive reaction and thoughtful questions that people were asking Paul after the showing.

We were encouraged to go out and explore New York City. For those of you who have been/lived there, you know that just being in this city is an
inspiration… it is so busy, exciting, artistic, diverse… and (just like Alicia Keys sings) you truly feel that “there’s nothing you can’t do.” We attended several art shows of a caliber beyond anything that we could possibly see in our current home of Oklahoma.

Eric (photo at right is Eric at Grand Central Station) learned valuable information about music from Jacob Marshall, lead singer of the successful band “MAE.” Among the other fantastic friends we made were Makoto Fujimura (in photo beside his painting), a world-renowned Japanese artist and founder of IAM; Dave and Corey Fuller, who are involved with IAM in Oklahoma City; Kiwa, a Japanese exchange student studying fine art near Boston, and so many others!

The thing that sticks out most in my mind is what Mr. Fujimura said about making our art an expression of Love. We all know the famous description of love in I Corinthians 13, but how many of us artists think of applying these characteristics to our work? How many of us make art that is not envious, boastful, proud, rude, self-seeking, or delighting in evil, but rejoicing with the truth? So much of modern art is purposefully intended to shock, aggravate, horrify, or otherwise celebrate evil. How wonderful it would be if we artists would all use our energy to create art that points people to life in Christ instead of hopelessness and death.

It was also great to see so many successful, prestigious artists who are Christians... something that sometimes I don't think exists. We don't have to stay caged in our small little ambitions that only reach a few people in our immediate area. We can truly make a huge impact on the whole world, like many of these people are already doing. That was what I will always remember from this conference.

That, and the 99c pizza by the slice.