This is Janet. She is helping children make art, last Saturday at the Arsenal Center for the Arts. She has a gift for this, and she clearly loves it. My children have taken a large handful of classes from Janet, usually during the hottest week of August, while they enjoy the air conditioned comfort of the Arsenal Center. Janet is one of those great teachers who makes a space where children can bring their actual selves, and their great imaginations, and use it to make a holy mess. No xeroxed coloring sheets. No “I didn’t tell you to draw a butterfly,” (Another art teacher actually said this to my daughter….).
I’ve aged out of Janet’s classes (OK, I aged out decades ago….), but I still yearn for time and space for just letting color and texture and memory and feeling come together through the making of art. Even as a pastor, I find that much of what I am asked to do or required to do is pretty solidly left-brained stuff. In intended and unintended ways, those around me can say, “I didn’t tell you to draw a butterfly,” too.
Early last week a wonderful artist-priest said something to the effect of, “I am a created being and therefore called to create.” I’m rededicating myself to doing that. And I want to make time and space for others to do so, too. I’d love to hear from those of you who build art into your busy lives in a regular way. How, where, and when do you pick up the paint brush? or the knitting needles? or the glue gun? How does it work spiritually in and through you?