Rev. Pat Raube from RevGals offers this week’s Friday Five!
It’s art, art, art in my life today, because I’m on the organizing committee for an all-women’s art show that opens tonight! This means life has been about hanging paintings, arranging sculptures and assemblages, and doing everything we can to make sure we show off the women’s work to its best advantage.
Something that has struck me in particular this year is the idea of art as a venue to give voice to the voiceless. But that’s certainly not its only function. We have angry art, as political protest. We have joyful art, art that conveys the sheer buzz of being alive. We have spiritual art, reveling in the sacredness of the body or the earth. And just about every year, we have some form or another of “biblical” art, representing or commenting on something in scripture…
This Friday Five, reflect with me upon art and the role it plays in your life (and ministry!)
1. Do you have a favorite piece of art in your home? Was it made by you or someone you love? Was it a gift or something you decided to purchase?
Bohdan Piasecki painted his vision of The Last Supper. (You can read more about it here.) It included men, women, and children at the table, celebrating the Passover feast. I have it hanging in my study. When I look up and think as I am writing or studying, it is on the wall facing me. I love its message of celebration, remembrance and inclusion. I asked for a copy of this print from my family for my ordination, so it has a special significance to me on many levels.
2. What do you think of the the art in your place of worship? Does it enhance the worship experience? Would you add to it, take away from it, or otherwise change it?
The senior pastor (and his wife) at our church are both artists. Many of their works have been used in the sanctuary. With the exception of a Smurf-like Jesus (I can’t get over the blue torso and face!) I have enjoyed their talent and artistic expression. Wherever I worship, though, I am drawn by the light playing in the stained glass windows.
3. What public art have you loved– or hated?
In Dresden, there is a mosaic of porcelain tiles which depicts the leaders of Germany through history. The Fürstenzug (Procession of the dukes) is stunning in its size and detail. I stood and stared at it for over an hour, walking back and forth on a cold, sunny December day. It captivated me.
4. What piece of art (famous, infamous, personal, or very, very well known masterpiece) speaks to your soul?
It would have to be the Pietà by Michelangelo. I saw it when I was about 8 or 9 years old at the New York World’s Fair. (That was (AHEM) just a few years ago!) The impact of that sculpture… I can’t put it into words. It still speaks to my heart of hearts.
5. When is the last time you created something beautiful, just for you?
What a great question! Most of the time, I default to sitting and playing my piano in the stillness of our home. But that is just for my ears and God’s. Recently, something I created just for me, became a more public form of artistic expression. I created a music video to the song “Planting Trees” by Andrew Peterson. I pondered the impact of ministry in the present to the future. Then I ended up sharing it (via YouTube) because I believed that my photography, combined with the lyrics and music of the song, had a deeper message that needed to be heard. Hope you enjoy it.
Play along if you’d like! 🙂