• 13.02.08 JSE CJS SUMMIT

    Learning to live what we learn

    STORIES FROM THE ROAD: William Jewell College, Liberty, Missouri, USA. We were honored to be part of the Center for Justice and Sustainability Summit at William Jewell College...

  • © Genesis+Art_WORKSHOPS_Dar Al Kalima_Discussion

    Art of collaboration

    STORIES FROM THE ROAD: Dar al Kalima College; West Bank, Bethlehem, Palestine. This tempera painting is a collaborative work created 4 January 2013 by twenty Muslim and Christian...

  • © Genesis+Art_WORKSHOPS_Dar al Kalima_Painting around the table

    Art making at Dar al Kalima College

    STORIES FROM THE ROAD: Dar al Kalima College, West Bank, Bethlehem, Palestine. Our trip to the Holy Land was layer upon layer of experience that will require a...

  • © Genesis+Art_WorkshopGhost Ranch

    A time of sabbath for those in ministry

    FROM OUR STUDIO: Genesis+Art Studio, Kansas City, Missouri, USA. Ghost Ranch has a long tradition of supporting those in ministry with rich respite and continuing education. In 2013,...

  • © Genesis+Art_Travel_East Belfast

    Painting as prayer in East Belfast

    STORIES FROM THE ROAD: Ballymac Community, East Belfast, Northern Ireland. We try to create a space for both the physical and spiritual aspects of our art making. We...

  • © Genesis+Art_CommunityArtBelfast

    Do we really need art?

    STORIES FROM THE ROAD: Ballymac Community, East Belfast, Northern Ireland. It’s been a few weeks since returning from East Belfast and the completion of our mural project....

  • © Genesis+Art_STUDIO_SKETCHES

    What does art have to do with reconciliation anyway?

    FROM OUR JOURNAL PAGES: St. Paul, Minnesota It has been a time of both sacrifice and learning over the last couple of years. My study at Luther...

STORIES FROM THE ROADWilliam Jewell College, Liberty, Missouri, USA.

We were honored to be part of the Center for Justice and Sustainability Summit at William Jewell College the past several months. We worked with the college over a five month period that included an art exhibition of our work titled, Intersections: Finding Our Common Ground at the Stocksdale Gallery. We also lectured and facilitated several workshops, including working with William Jewell students in our studio. The lecture and art workshops explored the intersection of art, spirituality and reconciliation. We are grateful for what we learned from our time with students and faculty and their commitment to social justice. Click for more information about WJC Center for Justice & Sustainability.

STORIES FROM THE ROADDar al Kalima College; West Bank, Bethlehem, Palestine.

This tempera painting is a collaborative work created 4 January 2013 by twenty Muslim and Christian artists at Dar al Kalima College in Bethlehem, Palestine. We gathered for a day of creative, artistic and spiritual exploration and concluded our time together by offering painted prayers on the World Canvas. Dar Al Kalima is located in the West Bank and was created and founded by the Rev. Dr. Mitri Raheb, a Palestinian Christian. Dar Al Kalima College promotes ideals of tolerance and respect for the thinking and beliefs of others. It encourages active communication between educators, theologians, journalists, musicians, and artists from Palestine and the rest of the world cultivating the region’s renewal and sustainability in a time plagued by destruction and unemployment.

STORIES FROM THE ROAD: Dar al Kalima College, West Bank, Bethlehem, Palestine.

Our trip to the Holy Land was layer upon layer of experience that will require a lengthy time to process. In addition to visiting ancient sites, experiencing the contemporary culture of Israel and Palestine, we were met with heartfelt hospitality. We also had the privilege to lead an art workshop with the art students at Dar Al Kalima College and our group from Bethlehem Lutheran in Minneapolis. This tempera painting is a collaborative work created 4 January 2013 by twenty Muslim and Christian artists at Dar Al Kalima College in Bethlehem, Palestine. We gathered for a day of creative, artistic and spiritual exploration and concluded our time together by offering painted prayers on the World Canvas.

Dar Al Kalima is located in the West Bank and was created and founded by the Rev. Dr. Mitri Raheb, a Palestinian Christian. Dar Al Kalima College promotes ideals of tolerance and respect for the thinking and beliefs of others. It encourages active communication between educators, theologians, journalists, musicians, and artists from Palestine and the rest of the world cultivating the region’s renewal and sustainability in a time plagued by destruction and unemployment.

FROM OUR STUDIO: Genesis+Art Studio, Kansas City, Missouri, USA.

Ghost Ranch has a long tradition of supporting those in ministry with rich respite and continuing education. In 2013, we will dedicate two special weeks to helping support those in all fields of ministry (ordained and lay).

Heaven of the Heart: Creating a Space for Sacred Imagination.  What connects our spirituality, creativity, and living out our vocation? How might an intentional engagement with our creativity and our spirituality increase our ability to lead and live as people of faith? In this workshop you will push back the boundaries of familiar distractions and enter a Sabbath time in which to explore the intersection between creativity, spirituality and creative leadership. Using hands-on exercises, personal reflection and imagination, see how your creativity can form sacred community.

Join us at Ghost Ranch for our workshop Heaven of the Heart: Creating a Space for Sacred Imagination October 14–18, 2013. Ghost Ranch is situated on 21,000 acres located in northern New Mexico, stands proud as an ecumenical and interfaith education and retreat center of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). For more than half a century people have come for spiritual development, to discuss issues of peace and justice, to work together in creation care, to paint and write, to hike and ride horseback, to research rich and globally renowned archeological and fossil quarries, to see where Georgia O’Keeffe painted or simply to rest and renew their spirits. For more about our workshop or to register click on Heaven of the Heart. Hope to see you.

STORIES FROM THE ROADBallymac Community, East Belfast, Northern Ireland.

We try to create a space for both the physical and spiritual aspects of our art making. We have a studio where we have a physical space in which to create or at least attempt to create. But perhaps a greater challenge is to create a spiritual space in which we can be truly present and mindful to one another and to the creative process. Peg and I work together on the same canvas at the same time, forging ideas together that neither of us would create alone. We experience this as both visual and verbal communication and believe that it takes courage, faith and time within this space to be transformed by the process. We believe we have to allow chaos early on in order to get to the deeper order that unifies. Our rushed and thoughtless behaviors give way to the quiet gift of being together.

We bring this process into the workshop setting as well, where we create paintings in large groups. As with our own work, these workshop settings involve prayer, silence and visual conversation. The visual language of color and shape facilitate thinking together and, as in all life, it can get messy. But out of the mess can come transformation. In life, as in conversation, ideas don’t move in a straight line. Idea development is organic and flowing in nature. When we begin our conversation it is important to let each of our voices be heard, allowing individuals to express unique perspectives. Arising from this conversation is a third element: the spiritual. At this stage, we begin to uncover the collective wisdom revealed from the depths of the painting. If we are willing to listen, be curious and respectful about the possibilities that come from these diverse voices, unification can rise from the chaos. We are always surprised by what we discover, what we hold in common through this process we call Painting as Prayer.

STORIES FROM THE ROAD: Ballymac Community, East Belfast, Northern Ireland.

It’s been a few weeks since returning from East Belfast and the completion of our mural project. I’m still excited by this work and the people it touched along the way. I believe art has the ability to connect us on a creative and spiritual level and in the process has the potential to transform us.

We began the project with the folks at East Belfast Mission. They worked with the East Belfast Partnership to secure a site for the mural, through Translink in Belfast. Those connections brought us in contact with the Ballymac Community, the site of the mural, who’s community members participated in painting the mural. That took place on the east side of the pond. Before the actual painting could take place, our studio began the design process back here in Kansas City. We mentored and guided four design students from the University of Kansas: Amanda, Jared, Lauren and Samantha. They invested five months working in our studio on the design and presentation of mural ideas, followed by two weeks the two week adventure in East Belfast. Daughter Heidi helped us both with the painting and with capturing the story in photography.

I’m proud of our group of designers and feel privileged to have had the opportunity to work with the folks in the Ballymac. We will be sharing more of our story in the weeks ahead. We hope to illustrate with word and image how works of the heart help to create and to transform communities.

FROM OUR JOURNAL PAGES: St. Paul, Minnesota

It has been a time of both sacrifice and learning over the last couple of years. My study at Luther Seminary has taken me deeper into the questions for which I don’t have any answers. Perhaps asking and wrestling with sacred questions is what it is suppose to be about. How do you answer the questions of suffering in the world. How do we hold one another up when the weight of the questions press to crush us with despair? Where is God in our suffering? The Book of Job seeks the questions and while not answered directly Job seems to be satisfied with the depths of mystery. When all we seem to want is answers we are given more questions. Questions that make us look deeper into each other and into ourselves. Art helps me bring that internal eternal mystery to the surface and gives me hope.