An Invitation to InteractNorth Africa 2011
For 3 weeks in July, 3 artists from 3 nations came to North Africa to work alongside local artists and long term workers. The artists were generously given space in a cultural complex to be used for studio and exhibition purposes. This complex, located in the heart of the community is a hub of activity as it houses a library, theatre, offices and café.
Locals came to the open studio to view the artwork in progress, interacting with the artists and their creations. One of the art pieces encouraging collaboration and interaction became a magnet for people as it welcomed them to write words of wisdom, memories, prayers, cries for help, etc. This work grew throughout the time, taking on a life of its own as it gave locals a voice to speak freely in a safe space.
As one artist said: "That's the effect of the Arts, inviting the viewer to interact with the artist; calling the artist to speak about the world around them."
The artists desired to challenge the people to search for and form their own opinions instead of accepting and believing superstitions and stereotypes.
As Michael, a long term worker and artist shared:
"We've been utterly amazed at what the Lord has done among us. The Art exhibition was a great success, we all produced beautiful artwork inspired by our God and His Word was spoken. We placed verses beside our titles in English and the local language. Many at the expo, including the Director of the association, noticed we produced quite spiritually based work. They were most intrigued and many good conversations resulted…
I am convinced that Art made with inspiration from God our Maker touches the hearts of those who need Him. Please pray for more talented artists to come…
These summer experiences have renewed my passion for painting and making quality art in order to make disciples of Jesus. Last week the Lord provided a one room apartment for me to rent as an Art studio. I can't wait to get my materials and equipment in there, use it as a place of prayer, worship and making beautiful works of Art for God's Kingdom coming on Earth as it is in Heaven."
Another artist spent much of her time in the local cafe drawing portraits of anyone who came by. A couple who came to the exhibition was most intrigued with her work. This talented South African artist shared from her heart about her relationship with those she draws:
"...There is a connection made when we sit together; we make a relationship through looking at one another, talking, listening and drawing. We make eye contact and I can see into their soul."
Please pray for the furthering of ministry in this community and that God would indeed send more artists.