Though I just began my visual arts endeavors in February, I hesitantly pursued an opportunity to share my work as part of a public art exhibit. Both “Psalm 104” and some of my hand-crocheted infinity scarves are now on display with my faith community’s annual Holy Week Art Show: “Blessed to Be a Blessing” (Calvary Lutheran Church, Golden Valley, Minn.).
My artist statement reads:
It’s during the cold winter months that I seem especially taken by knitting and crocheting projects. It was just this past winter that I amassed quite the pile of infinity scarves crocheted in a variety of hues for gift-giving and sale. Our guest bedroom is now home not only to baskets full of scarf upon scarf, but also to envelopes packed with colorful yarn scraps left over from those crocheted creations; I couldn’t bear to throw those fascinating fragments of my projects away and knew a use for them would surface someday.
Crocheting is often a meditation in and of itself for me but, through those leftover scraps, God revealed a new avenue by which to meet Him and know Him better. One day, I was compelled to cut each scrap into thumbnail-size shreds and to glue them quite randomly to an old painted canvas. Upon filling the canvas, I studied the background. A design emerged and, to me, it resembled a landscape. Upon this observation, the work then revolved around Psalm 104 and turned into a personal expression of praise for the Lord’s creation.
Given the theme of this art exhibit, the work also became a metaphor for what it’s like to use our gifts for the sake of others and God’s Kingdom. When we give of ourselves and serve in the power of the Spirit, God never leaves us totally spent and wrecked and wrung out of anything that may benefit our own lives of faith. Instead, our acts of service often bear even greater opportunity to grow closer to Him on a personal level; they produce material that later helps us to delve deeper into His Word and to heighten our adoration of His power and providence. In this way, we are blessed to be a blessing.
Perhaps with more experience in both art-making and art-showing, my hesitation will dwindle and my confidence with grow. Perhaps my own acts of boldness will spur others to share their stories and contribute their own expressions of hope and beauty to the world (by the way, this is exactly what you’ll see if you’re able to take in the “Blessed to Be a Blessing” show). Time will tell, but for now, I’m taking much joy in the journey.