Who Is ArtConnects?
Here’s what our group looked like on an early Saturday morning!
Pictured from Top Left to Right
Sharon Thompson, Indiana
Kriste Sveen, Illinois
Susan Ferrell, Illinois
Cassia Karin Ferrara, California
Claudia Root, Illinois
Kayla Yerger, Florida
Lisa Pires, Illinois
Jane Beal, California
Pat Conneen, Oregon
Claudia Root, C.S. Lewis Institute Fellow and former Wheaton College Adjunct Professor, invited several friends to join her in an online small group study during the pandemic. When each of us received Claudia’s invitation, we were feeling alone and isolated by Covid 19 and searching for new styles of connection. Zoom made it possible to bring us together as strangers across the US –– California, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Oregon and Florida. We shared a Christian faith but were surprised to learn that we shared many other values, including a love of art and for supporting artists.
The book Culture Care:Reconnecting with Beauty for Our Common Life by Makoto Fujimura launched deeper discussions on how art helps a culture helping express new experiences. Covid was certainly our new experience that was hard to put into words or find the images that captured our constantly changing experiences. The book challenged us to find border stalkers who translate these new experiences into a shared language and art that speaks to the present moment. We were in that time. The book inspired us to search for beauty and to bring different cultures together. It encouraged creating an experience of an estuary for the nurture and growth of artists and art. During the isolation of Covid, we felt the need to help others connect as we had found connection. An online Art Gallery seemed like a way that all these elements could come together.
ArtConnects was created as a result. An online art exhibit designed to support artists and promote their artwork. We will build the estuary for them. We provide a way that artists can share their work and support their efforts both in audience and financially.
We hope that this online digital art experience also helps viewers connect and express their experiences over the last difficult year. We hope that it helps you to ponder new connections too. We hope and pray that it moves you to connect in new ways with new art, new artists and even less familiar cultures.
Our online journey has encouraged us during this season of isolation and connected us in new and unexpected ways. We have shared moments of beauty, healing and encouragement. We hope that you experience this through ArtConnects. Browse our gallery and encourage an artist, purchase their work, share a gift of art or an ecard with someone you haven’t seen. Help us share that Art does Connect us.
“Culture care starts with the identification and articulation of brokenness.
It creates a safe space for truth telling. But it does not stop there.
It starts with listening and then invites people onward toward beauty, wholeness and healing.
As we become able to acknowledge the truth of our situation and can tell that story, we are encouraged to move into caring for artists and all other participants in the culture, into creating context for deeper conversation, into fostering spiritual growth, and sometimes into problem solving.”