Monday, November 15, 2010

Interfaith Arts Connection's FAITH IN ART

Greetings readers :)
Yesterday I had the unique privilege to both participate in and photograph The Interfaith Arts Connection's (IFAConnection) first event, Faith in Art. After meeting people briefly in some icebreakers, we all sat down to create visual stories about our faith backgrounds. During the creation of this art, there was some minor chatting at the beginning, but soon people were totally immersed in their own thoughts, quietly drawing, cutting and gluing, and painting their paths on paper. The results were incredible. Just as differently as 20 people would describe their connections to their own journeys through religion, spirituality, or faith, the art they made was at once unifying and distinctive. We all shared our story- some described what religion was like in our childhood with imagery from "a fertile soil" to "full of judgment".

We all shared where our spiritual paths or faith had led us, and where we hoped to see it go in the future. There was certainly a common thread. Almost everyone spoke of using what they had learned to open up, to branch out, to share, to keep growing, and to nurture themselves and others. Muslims, Buddhists, Jews and Christians (of varying denominations and levels of observance) all colorfully imagined themselves as whole, searching, and open people. Some people had a clear idea, or so I thought, from the sharing we did before we created art, and some people seem to have had insight through the process of creating and sharing their art with others.

By having to make my story come alive I learned about what is important to me, and by sharing it with others, my values became quite real. I am so glad I was there. Being able to see an event like this as a photographer gave me a bird's eye view. I have included a handful of images I think capture the event and our collective process of artful interfaith dialogue.