My friend estella (who is a friend of Stefan Eicher's) referred me to your website and I just wanted to let you all know that I was blessed by my visit. Though I'm not an artist myself, for many years I've been saddened to find that the children of the Creator are often so poorly represented in the creative arts. I'm always encouraged to find believers who are creating authentic work dealing with spiritual themes.
I was particularly moved by the "the weight," "the pain of the world," and "the winner" from the 2003 Gathering and the accompanying statement about these works. The visual and written reflections on suffering and the incarnation struck a chord with me because of some recent work in a community clinic that serves a population who are dealing with drug addictions, abuse, poverty, HIV/AIDS, and sexual confusion.
Trying to find the point of resolution between the struggles of my patients and Christ's incarnation has been hard and my understanding is far from complete, but it has made me learn the love of God in a broken world in a new way. The images and these statements were helpful in framing my lessons of the past months: "Not only is God 'caring' about this person, he is literally taking his or her suffering into his own body. Suddenly this person's experience takes on infinite value."
Equally revelatory were daniel Baltzer's "bread" and "wine"—perhaps the most honest, shocking, yet comforting depiction i've seen of Jesus' demands that we eat his flesh and drink his blood.
Thank you all for your vision and commitment and may God continue to make your efforts prosper.
Just saw your work. The paintings haunt. Seeing the paintings was like getting infected with something forever, infected with a desire, a deep longing to know Him better, understand His passion. For that I need to allow Him to speak to me. And today He has begun to speak.
Thanks for opening my ears.
November 30, 2009
RE: The Art of Enduring
I hope to memorialize some observations about The Art of Enduring, an eight-day “paint in” and juried exhibition/charitable auction that was held in Orlando this past October. I am writing from my perspective as an invited artist, or guest Limner.
When I applied for this event, I never expected the outpouring of support and supplies that we received. I was astounded by the copious and seemingly unrelenting donations provided by such organizations as Jerry’s Art-A-Rama, Monte Olinger’s firm Baker-Barrios, the City Arts Factory, the congregations and spiritual leaders of the Orlando area, the Limner Society, and the community at large. Patrons viewing and purchasing our art at auction also formed a rare bond with participating artists. They were able to interact with us in our studio space over the course of eight days, observing and critiquing art in progress.
An instant camaraderie formed among the Limner artists. Within 24 hours of arriving, the 12 of us forged friendships and a strong support system. Many of us were new to the Limner Society. My fellow artists were all accomplished, talented professionals who shared a deep faith. Besides relying upon one another for artistic guidance and knowledge, we provided each other with spiritual wisdom and inspiration. I formed friendships with all of the participating artists and hope to work with them again.
Thank you for inviting me to be a part of this enriching experience. You have reminded me that we as artists are blessed with a special gift that must be shared with others in a manner that benefits our community.
Very truly yours,
Patricia H. K. Zalisko