For Your Inspiration: Spain and Art in Everything

This year, I have the extreme pleasure of being enrolled in a mid-level art class that is actually required for my Communication major. I’m not just squeezing it in because I can’t stand the thought of completing college without take at least one fascinating art class. It’s legitimately required of me. It gets even better. This required course which I am only all too happy to take is a digital film course. Will wonders never cease? It’s like they know me over in the registrar’s office!

Introduction to Digital Video I has not only given me the technical and editorial knowledge to go with my creative filmmaking brain. It has also conditioned me to see the art just waiting to be realized in every moment of every day. I can hardly walk down the street without planning intricate shots and envisioning impossible choreography atop buildings and trees. My mind is being retrained to be aware of color and light, movement, and line, even good and evil.

Parallel by Richard Serra. Part of a collection of sculptures entitled Equal.

In such a state, I haven’t been able to help myself these days from recollecting the invigorating creative atmosphere of Europe–all of the rich and inspiring history and the equally inspiring movements of modern thought and art. Months ago in a world across the ocean, I took a daytrip to Madrid with two precious friends. We all agreed to make a stop by the world-famous Reina Sofia museum. While less-known compared to the classical Prado museum, the Reina Sofia proved not only equally impressive, but even more inspiring to me than the Prado did.

This museum expanded my mind when it came to what I consider art to be and what I consider to be art. I can’t wait to share these thoughts and impressions with you.

This post is proving difficult for me, as it is an attempt to capture in pictures and words something that I don’t believe can be captured by anything less than what it is. 

I can’t recommend enough that you make an effort to venture to a contemporary art museum and offer yourself over to the sheer wonder as well as the sheer confusion. you will not regret it.

Surprisingly mild sculpture for someone with a mind like Salvador Dali’s

A more typical Dali piece

Negative photos and metallic handwritten text. Love mixed media . . .

The little orange and green nubs are slices of giant hardcover books. The one said “Are You Confused?” as the title.

Amazing. Makes me think of a window display in an Anthropologie store.

Accurately reflecting my not always particularly deep thoughts on abstract art.

Never fool yourself into thinking that art ends once you leave the museum

For Your Inspiration: Yom Kippur Poetry

The following piece of spoken word poetry is “Hebrew Mamita” by Vanessa Hidary. I have to admit that I wasn’t planning on posting anything specific in honor of Yom Kippur, one of the holiest of Hebrew holy days. I wasn’t expecting to feel so compelled to share something beautiful about this beautiful day appointed by God to usher in atonement for sin and sin nature.

The decision to post “Hebrew Mamita” on my art and lifestyle blog came after a spontaneous visit to an informational event sponsored by our campus’s chapter of CUFI (Christians United For Israel). A good friend of ours who is now Josh’s coworker is the vice president of CUFI here at Roberts, and we went to support him.

I was so glad that we decided to attend what turned out to be an (admittedly long) message about the human need for atonement and the ways that different people seek to achieve it. I could be wrong, but the “Hebrew Mamita” seems to be one way that Jewish Vanessa Hidary attempts to atone for the sins done to her people still today by the ignorance of the popular culture.

So much power–religious, political, personal, etc.–can be communicated through art.

Christian Musicians Conquer the Countdown

Today I received some very exciting newswhile perusing my Facebook newsfeed. Go figure. I’m not used to the “news” articles I locate via Facebook being both relevant to my interests and decidedly uncharged by ignorant bigotry and contention. On this particular day, however, a certain link led me to the following introductory paragraph from an article found on none other than

“Earlier this month TobyMac jumped to the top of the Billboard Top 200 chart with Eye On It, the first Christian album to reach the No. 1 spot since Bob Carlisle’s Adult Contemporary hit Butterfly Kisses 15 years ago. But TobyMac isn’t exactly AC. His blend of rock/pop/hip-hop—’schizophrenic pop’ he jokes to TIME—is a new sound to reach such levels of success: an overtly Christian artist who sings, talks and raps about Jesus.”

It appears that the 17th of September was a banner day and an important triumph for Christian artists everywhere, particularly former DC-Talk vocalist, TobyMac. Never mind that Toby has been one of my personal favorite musicians, Christian or otherwise, ever since high school. He is an outspokenly Christian pop artist whose album is number one on Billboard’s Top 200 chart! Billboard, people! As if that’s not enough, equally in-your-face Christian artist Lecrae is the current occupier of the number two slot. It’s all a bit overwhelming for CCM fans who have grown accustomed to the misrepresentation and sometimes totalabsence of faith-based media in pop culture, and it makes a powerful statement about what it takes to influence that culture.

I think these two progressive artists (and other believing performers on mainstream labels such as Switchfoot, Skillet, and others) are an excellent example to the Christian art and music communities. They are living proof that in order to “make it big” in the pop scene, you don’t need to sell out when it comes to your message. You don’t need to be afraid of explicit declarations of faith. You don’t need to water down your truth to appeal to the masses. You do, however, need to make good music. 

Now, there’s a shocker.

I will now leave you with a quote from my favorite Christian artist, Madeleine L’Engle who says, 

Christian art? Art is art. Painting is painting. Music is music. A story is a story. If it’s bad art, it’s bad religion, no matter how pious the subject.

With that bit of wisdom, I’m off to celebrate the victory of my fellow brothers-in-arms in this battle to reclaim the arts for Christ.