Asthe sunfoughtto catch a glimpse of the landscape through the clouds, it was quite the opposite for the 14 artistsaround me. Our soulstooka collective breath as wesurveyedthe olive groves and vineyardsofthe Tuscan hills, rich with the colors of fall.
We had reachedthe end ofatwo-week pilgrimage through Europe and were sharing stories of how our hearts had been shaped by the experience. I hadcuratedthis journey for my fellowartiststo see them awakened to something bigger than themselves—to release their lives and art further than they couldimagine. Little did I know when I began the planning how much Iwouldneed this experiencetoo.
Fear is something that unites us all. Our fears are uniquely intimate to us, and exist at the very core of our being. I think most people would say that fear is natural, even healthy in some aspects; fear is a mechanism of our survival instinct, and in many cases can keep us from harm.
This to me is the most dangerous way to define fear, for though it may preserve or prolong our life on this earth, a life sustained by fear is rarely a full one.
Jennie Schut is an award winning visual artist, mentor, and author who is passionate about connecting others with their God-given capacity to create. She uses the mediums of oil paint, encaustic and mixed media collage to creative beautiful images that capture moments in time and express the unspoken through color and forms.
There were about thirty of us creative types sipping coffee and conversing at round tables covered with black cloths spattered with melted wax from past and present candles. The Australian-born Creative Director of our church sauntered to the front, and with his engaging smile explained what the topic of the night was going to be.
When I was seven years old, my parents bought me my first guitar. It was some Ibanez beater for ten bucks at a garage saleand was the last ten bucks my dad had in his pockets, as the story goes. My relationship with music has always been immediate. It was the first thing in my life that came totally naturally to me, but not in some sort of prodigy way by any means. Academics were tough for me and I wasn’t competitive enough to be great at sports, but music was different.
The other day I was talking to an old, dear friend of mine. We were sitting in a restaurant processing through all of our issues together, as we do, coming to epiphanies completely on our own. It’s in conversations like this that I find my fight again. A crowded restaurant suddenly felt like a living room. Everywhere I went that day did, actually.
Partnered with his wife Kristen, Kris Rae Orlowski has a wedding and engagement photography business. His passion for documenting pivotal moments is well expressed in this quote from their website, KrisRae.com:
"What we do is about preserving life, promoting love, and recording history...The moments we capture and the portraits we craft are the visual foundation of a new journey."
Local artist, designer, and stylist Aimee Siegel recently created a series of mixed media art called "City Pieces." Each one was created with scraps of things she's collected on her travels, and then layered with acrylic paint and an assortment of papers - handmade, vintage and others.
A few years ago, I was very excited when I heard Brett Mabury speak about creating the Arts Collective. He talked about artists. Visual and Musical. I waited for the Written Word to be spoken as art. After a few weeks with the ‘V’ and ‘M’ words being thrown around, I went and talked to Brett about the ‘W’ word. Writers. “Yes! Yes, Susie. We’d love to have your writers incorporated into this collective.”