An art show, the creative impulse, and why I blog

Almost exactly two weeks ago, my husband and I had the privilege of going to an art show opening at Autumn Space, a gallery on Irving Park. The artist was Makoto Fujimura.

Makoto was commissioned to illuminate the four gospels in celebration of the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible (1611-2011).

He spoke about his art, and the inspiration he gathered from the famous words “Jesus wept.”

Our church sponsors this art gallery and orchestrated the show. Musicians from our church (including yours truly) provided background music.

That bass player–wow.

I ran around snapping pictures, and a professional artist/photographer taught me a quick lesson about the zoom function on my flash.

Believe me–I needed that lesson! It’s challenging to photograph a space with such high ceilings, and such contrasts in light and shadow.

Here’s Brad talking to my husband–Brad manages the gallery and installed the pieces for this show the morning of. Way to go, man. Way to stay calm under pressure.

People mingled, snacked on cheese and salami and root beer, and gazed at the art thoughtfully.

And that brings me to this: I love that our church is so committed to the city and to the arts. We’re in the middle of a sermon series on creativity–how we are modeled after a Creator God, and meant to create. From the things we create throughout the day without even thinking–a meal, a thank you card, an email, a batch of cookies–to intentional art such as a painting or a song–it all happens because we are made in God’s image.

Creativity is at our core–not just Makoto’s core or Picasso’s core, but the essence of any and every human being.

I am so thankful for the past year and a half of my life. Since we moved from Delaware to Chicago and I made the switch from a stressful and all-consuming sales and management job to a low-key office job with absolutely no stress, I have had the energy and time to create again.

Hence, this blog.

Hence, my foray into the challenging art of photography.

Hence, making music with my friend Carrie.

Hence, songwriting with my husband.

Hence, experimenting in the kitchen.

Hence, teaching a cooking class (more about that soon).

I can’t believe how blessed I am. I have the calling–and privilege–to be a creative woman. A person who makes things, because I’m the daughter of a God who makes things.

“Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men.” (John 1: 3-4)

“For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him.” (Colossians 1:15-16)

“By the word of the Lord were the heavens made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth. He gathers the waters of the sea into jars; he puts the deep into storehouses. Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the people of the world revere him. For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm.” (Psalm 33:6-8)

“Then God said ‘Let us create man in our own image, in our own likeness’ . . . so God created man in his own image . . . God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.” (Gen. 1:26, 27, 31)

What have you created lately? Was it a simple spaghetti sauce? A spanking clean house? A feeling of peace in your home? A fingerpainting project with your kids? A blog post? Whether what you made is large or small, take joy in your ability to create. It’s divine–literally.

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21 Responses to An art show, the creative impulse, and why I blog

  1. Wendi says:

    Jenna, thanks for a glimpse behind the curtain of how you came to be here on the blogs.

  2. Wendy says:

    Awesome post, Jenna.

  3. Circe says:

    This is a lovely post, thanks for sharing your motivation, and for reminding us that our own creative spark is Divine.

  4. Sherri says:

    Agree…. all this why I blog too. I am on hiatus right now and miss it terribly. Nice art show. Thanks for sharing.

  5. SoupAddict says:

    You’re going to teach a cooking class? Awesome – how fun!

  6. Well said! What a great reminder ALL things come from Him who created us….may we continue to create joyfully, and give glory to God!!

  7. Jen says:

    Hurray! I love creativity! Recently I’ve been better about practicing guitar and I just started working on a painting project inspired by Psalm 23.

    • Jenna says:

      A painting project? That’s awesome! I had no idea you painted. I’d love to see it (and even your progress) via your blog if you’re open to sharing. =)

      • Jen says:

        I don’t paint…at least I’ve never taken lessons and the more I paint the more I realize how little I know about brushes, colors, strokes, etc. But it’s kind of a fun adventure to discover it all for myself. We’ll have to see about sharing it on the blog :)

  8. This Italian Family says:

    Loved reading this! I love that your church is spending so much time focused on creativity and the arts right now!

  9. surlykitchen says:

    great post! i, too, enjoy having a blog as a creative outlet. i’m a scientist, and writing/reviewing lab reports, testing clinical trials, etc just sucks all the creativity out of me. it’s hard to regain that when all throughout college, as a science major, they do not encourage creativity. i get inspired by all the blogs i read, yours included.

    hope you’re not snowed in today; heard the weather was going to be bad in chicago

  10. I love how you outline various outlets for creativity. I think “non-creative” people don’t necessarily view everything that they do as an extension of creativity, and therefore of the Creator. Really, who thinks of zipping off a Thank You card, or baking a batch of cookies as creative? A very inspiring post. Thanks! :)

  11. LOVE this. :) thanks for sharing. It’s good to be reminded that our God is a creative God. Thanks for sharing your heart. xo

  12. Erica says:

    :) beautifully said.

  13. Twinky says:

    …. someday …..

  14. Oh yeah! A blog post! Something we create! This one triggered a reaction in me. A big smile! Thank you, Jenna! Your church sounds really interesting! Blessings to you…

  15. Weighting For 50 says:

    Lovely post Jenna, thank you!!

  16. Veronica says:

    Catching up on old emails so I’m just now reading this one! Great post! THanks for helping keep things in perspective. My most recent creation was Mediterranean tacos, through which I glorified God! :)

  17. Mads says:

    I’m not religious, but this post was beautiful. I love how you said, “A person who makes things, because I’m the daughter of a God who makes things.”
    Such a way with words.

  18. Kimby says:

    I’m simply stunned by the wonderfulness of this post. The Scripture verses, the art, the artist, the occasion, your church, the photos, the background music, your creative-affirming thoughts — all spoke to my heart.

    As to what I’ve created lately — I love to cook (daily), write (almost daily) and REJOICE (multiple times daily!), plus play piano for our church. God blessed me with an interesting life and an appreciation for all things great and small. Take care!

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