Revivification

Great news: sometimes blogs die. But sometimes, blogs are revived after you have two babies, and remodel and sell your house, and move to a new city  (say, Denver) and buy a new house, and start new careers, and then return to your old love of blogging about Christianity and the arts once again. Such an age-old story. 😂

So, you guessed it: that’s what’s happening with Art in Love! We (Jeremy and Liz) are hard at work, and we’re planning big things for the future, so keep an eye out for the revivification of this little old blog.

We’re excited to reconnect with you.

{By the way, that gorgeous image is one of Jeremy’s recent works – paper collage, encased in resin, and pasted to wooden closet doors. This one is called, “Loading with Obstruction that Threshold.” View more of Jeremy Grant’s works here.)

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Creative Fires

In the last few days, tensions have built to almost unbearable levels in my city. In case you haven’t heard yet, Colorado Springs, CO, scenic outdoor paradise, is on fire and has been for six days. People have lost their homes even as firefighters desperately defend our city day and night. (We are safe, by the way). The air reeks of smoke and of fear. What can we do?

Living in Colorado, I’ve never tasted the fear and uncertainty that accompanies natural disasters. Along with this week’s fire in Colorado Springs has come a new compassion for the victims of Katrina, Japan’s tsunami, Ground Zero, and the countless other disasters worldwide. At this point, no one has died in the Waldo Canyon fires, and for that I am extremely grateful. Even so, it’s frightening and painful knowing that my parent’s home has likely burned to the ground, along many of my friends’ homes as well.

It’s easy to feel helpless, restless, and angry. I can’t fight fires. What could I possibly do to help?

Two days ago, a friend of mine and owner of a local design firm, sent out an email to a few designers and artists who live and work in Colorado Springs.

“Let’s make some t-shirt designs and give the profits to the relief efforts,” he said.

Everyone was in and “all-in” at that. We worked with feverish energy, fueled by those same feelings of restlessness and frustration. Our creativity burned as fierce as the fires outside. My friend Troy’s design said, “fight fire with fire.” We nodded somberly and kept working.

Within 24 hours, we had three shirt designs and a website. We had hoped we could sell maybe 200 shirts and raise $3000 (much more than any of us could have donated). The site went live the other day with eight shirt designs, and in the first hour sold 50 (my design is below). Last I heard we had made $50,000. I’m still astonished. (UPDATE: we have now raised over $120,000 $200, ooo $270,000.)

My wife Liz is pregnant. During a recent “nesting energy burst,” we rearranged our small house to make room for our little girl who’s on the way. But suddenly, with uncertainty hanging densely in the air, Liz found herself listless and on edge.  What could she possibly do except try to stay cool and out of the smoke? It was simply maddening.

“I need to process,” she said to me yesterday, getting up and grabbing her iPad. “I’m going to a coffee shop to write.”

“Alright,” I said, “try to stay cool and out of the smoke.” We kissed and she left.

Two hours later she returned with a beautiful piece of writing about the fire, about this place we love, and about fear and trust. She submitted it to the arts magazine The Curator, and this morning heard it would be published. (UPDATE: the article can be found here.)

We all have destructive energies inside us. We all have the potential to act out of fear or out of apathy. But there is a better way. We can choose to be creative. We can choose to walk in trust and faith. We can choose to trust in Jesus who was called “Emmanuel,” meaning “God with us.” Jesus who was called “a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief.” We grieve as the land around us is turning to ashes, yet even so, scripture says that God creates “beauty from ashes.” He CREATES. And in the single greatest creative act in all history, Jesus turned a horrible and disgusting death into redemption, into freedom from guilt, shame and fear – for absolutely anyone who believes in him. That’s pretty creative.

I can see beauty from ashes. I can see this community coming together to help the helpless. I’ve read about teens buying toys to give to children in the shelters, children who have lost their own toys to the fires. My co-workers have made care packages for displaced employees, and they have donated to Care and Share. And these creative friends of mine have channeled their energies to help raise money with a few t-shirts. We are fighting fire with fire.

Contemporary Santa Fe Roundup

Just a few weeks ago, Liz and I celebrated our first anniversary in Santa Fe, NM. Being the art geeks we are, it was a great decision. Santa Fe has a thriving art community with lots of contemporary and even ground-breaking art.

Here are our favorite artists and selected works.

David Nakabayashi’s collage work at the Box Gallery.

Jon Lee‘s work at the Jay Etkin Gallery.

We saw Nina Tichava‘s show being hung at the Nuart Gallery

 We LOVED Mark Horst‘s work. This is “Embrace #37” at Canyon Road Contemporary Art.

“The Invitation #3” by Mark Horst.

Detail of “The Invitation #3” by Mark Horst.

“I am not I (brothers 17)” by Mark Horst.

Some gorgeous, abstract found object work by Randall Reid at Nuart Gallery.

Paintings by Pam Cobb at the Jay Etkin Gallery.

We caught an emerging arts festival here at The Railyard. Aside from being our favorite art district in Santa Fe, the Railyard is also home to Second Street Brewery which has a real solid Imperial Stout.

And then there were giant fish head sculptures by Colett Hosmer. What’s not to love?

Contemporary Sculpture Roundup

It’s been a while since we posted, and that’s because we’ve been hard at work making art! You can expect to see a few updates in the flickr widget soon (see the right side of your screen).

In the absence of any particularly deep thoughts, here is a round up of what has been inspiring me (Jeremy) lately.

These are my top picks in contemporary sculpture. What I like about them: unexpected use of ordinary materials, borderline abstraction and borderline chaos, brought together through shape or color.

Follow the links under each photo to see more work from these artists, it will be worth your time.

"Giant" by Juan Angel Chavez
"Mushroom Form" by Juan Angel Chavez
a "soundsuit" kinetic, wearable sculpture by Nick Cave
by AJ Fosik
"The Fighting Solar Bros" by Max Boufathal
"sponge painting,sky light, light years away" by Lynn Aldrich
"Quantum Cloud" by Antony Gormley
found object sculpture by Miquel Aparici
"Nude IV (Delilah)" by Jeremy Mayer

Links:

Juan Angel Chavez

Nick Cave

AJ Fosik

Max Boufathal

Lynn Aldrich

Antony Gormley

Miquel Aparici

Jeremy Mayer

Art show in Colorado Springs this weekend!

Jeremy has a show opening this weekend!

Through the first week of September, Jeremy will be showing a handful of robot sculptures (including a six-foot-tall portrait of the artist as a young robot ;)) in a group show at the Modbo Gallery in downtown Colorado Springs.

Theological Robots?

Jeremy loves to make robots out of discarded items because they bring up questions about what it means to be human. Personally, I love the fact that he spends his time building sculptures out of materials that others have discarded and called “not valuable.” Jeremy, however, sees great value and worth in this trash, and he makes something beautiful out of something once named ugly. There is a profoundly redemptive aspect to his work that gives me goosebumps if I think about it for too long. (By the way, the official name for what Jeremy does is “Found Object Assemblage Sculptures,” just in case you were curious)

More information about the show.

The gallery is located in the alley right next to Taste of Jerusalem cafe, in between Bijou and Kiowa immediately after you get off the highway headed toward downtown. For more information about the show, including their exact address and information about the other artists’ work, check out the Modbo’s facebook page.

Stop by to say hi!

The opening starts at 7, and we’ll both be there, smiling and eager to talk with you. Come say hi if you can!

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One Note of Warning: If you have children, please be aware that the Modbo Gallery often shows art that may not be child-friendly. What we’ve seen of this show does not appear to be offensive in any way, but we thought we’d warn you just in case. You may want to consider leaving your kids at home. 🙂

The Grasshopper King

Hey folks!

I (Jeremy) have a little something different for you today — it’s a free download of my senior illustration project (2007)!

Using a hybrid of my “found object” art and digital illustration, I retold Aesop’s fable of the ant and the grasshopper. I hope you find it interesting and enjoyable.

Click on this link to download a PDF of the story: The_Grasshopper_King_lores2.

Celebrating Easter

Resurrection Close-up

He is risen!! (He is risen indeed)

This season of Easter has been busy for Jeremy and I, as both of us sought out creative ways to help our church celebrate!

Jeremy and I worked together to hang an Easter-themed found object show entitled “Redemption Story” (he made the art and I wrote the descriptions), and I wrote a piece entitled “Grandma’s Resurrection,” which I read during our Easter service. We thought we’d share both pieces with you Continue reading “Celebrating Easter”

A Love Story: Part 4

The human heart is a mystery. We don’t know truly how it works, how it changes, how our wills or feelings are moved. We just see the results in our actions and in others’ actions. No one can predict where it will go; it is like the wind. Moreover, we cannot determine or will that it move at a particular pace. All we can do is wait and watch for its movements.  Continue reading “A Love Story: Part 4”

Our Story: Part 1

Featured Artists: Richard Seldomridge (photos), Elizabeth Charlotte Grant (writing)

Genres of Art: Photography and Creative-Nonfiction

All these photos were taken by a friend of ours, Richard Seldomridge of Wapangy Imaging. Check out his stuff!

And I, Liz, mentioned in the last post that probably some of the first posts we’d put up on here would be “our story”– our story of meeting, dating, and falling in love. Well, here it is. I’m taking this from my other website, so it may be familiar to some readers. As I’ve said before, this is a barely edited version of what happened– the point in me writing this was simply to get it all down on paper (so to speak).

More parts are coming… 🙂


A Meeting: Part 1

Where do you begin to tell a love story? Does it start on the day that you meet him or the day that he tells you he loves you, or does it begin much earlier, before either of you were born, with your parents and their parents, or even earlier, at the beginning of the world, when molecules were racing around and life was first created?

Jeremiah Edward Grant and I, Elizabeth Charlotte Graves, met in January 2009. I wish I could recall the day offhand, but of course, I can’t. It seems we always forget the days that are most important, because we never knew they were so important at the time. Jeremy was born in 1985; I was born in 1987. I was born in Illinois; he was born in California. He moved to Colorado when he was six, only thirty minutes away from where my aunt and uncle lived—they got married four blocks away from where his parents bought a house, and for years, my uncle worked at the MCI building near Garden of the Gods, only two blocks away from the house where Jeremy grew up.

Jeremy loved to draw, and his mother, noticing it, encouraged him. She homeschooled him, but had artists friends from church tutor Jeremy in art. By high school he was taking advanced classes and winning awards. He illustrated an entire series of Sunday school curriculum for Summit Ministries. He won a local art show.

My parents noticed that I loved stories and read to me when I was young. In elementary school, I wrote stories (which I also illustrated, of course). In my second grade report card, my teacher told my parents that I was an excellent story-teller and that I had a wild imagination. By high school, my father, who was educated in journalism himself, was teaching me that editing was a part of writing. I still remember the day when he read one of my papers during my sophomore year and told me he wouldn’t change a thing.

Jeremy went to a college in Arkansas; I went to a college in Illinois. My grandmother started pestering me to do a program called “The Institute” at Focus on the Family. The pressure increased around the end of my freshman year. She wanted me to apply for the fall of my sophomore year (2007). I refused. That fall of 2007, Jeremy attended the Institute after he’d graduated from college.

During the summer in between my junior and senior years in college, I went on a school trip to England. We studied literature at Oxford, hiked in the Lake District, and visited art museums in London. That summer (or was it the summer before?), Jeremy also went on a school trip. He visited London and France, studying art and culture and eating lots of European cuisine.

We never met. In spite of all these funny coincides, we never met– not until the January after I finished college. My last semester had been hard, the hardest one yet, and instead of following through on my original plans to stay around the Chicago area, I felt that God was opening a door to come to Colorado Springs. My aunt emailed me and said, “Liz, I know you already have a Plan A, but in case you need a plan B, you can come live with me and your Uncle Ron for free out here. We’ll feed you and you can work with me at Goodwill.” I told her that no, thanks, I already had my life figured out. And then two weeks later, I emailed her back to see if the offer still stood—it did.

Three weeks after I’d taken my last exam, I drove halfway across the country to go live in their basement. I knew only three people in Colorado Springs: my aunt (my mother’s twin), my uncle, and my grandmother. I cried on the way to Colorado, because I knew that my life would change forever. And it did.

Meanwhile, Jeremy had graduated from college, had finished his time at the Focus on the Family Institute, and was looking for graphic design jobs. He started pursuing a job working as a graphic designer for a ministry in England. But as the process stretched out for months, he started to realize that he really wanted to stay in Colorado Springs to connect to his church. “Sorry,” he told them. “I’m not interested anymore.” And he planted his feet in Colorado Springs.

However, I came to Colorado Springs ready to move away. I didn’t want to make new friends or live in a new place. I wanted what was familiar. But before I’d come, I’d made a commitment that I’d try anything out here, that I would say yes to everything (within reason) in this new place. So when my aunt started dropping hints about a guy named Chad—“Liz, he’s really cute and smart and not dating anybody…”—I sighed and said that yes, I’d go to the Mill with him. I wanted to see what it was like anyway.

(What’s the Mill, you ask? It’s a young adult church service put on by New Life Church. Yes, that New Life Church. Basically it’s a gathering of 1,000+ young people in Colorado Springs, and at the time, I thought it would be a great way to make new friends.)

My aunt and uncle arranged for Chad to take me to the Mill on the second Friday after I’d arrived in Colorado Springs. I met him there. He brought a friend, thank goodness. We sat through the singing and listened to a man talk about one of the ten deadly sins, and then, another man came up to say hi to Chad. “Liz, this is Jeremy.” I was distracted. We shook hands and smiled, and excused myself to go ask one of the New Life people to pray for me.

Just that morning, I’d been struggling with God about staying. I’d just arrived, but already I wanted to leave. He kept impressing on me the story of Abraham and Isaac, how Abraham was called to give up Isaac to death, without knowing the reasons of God. I did not know God’s mind. But I went up for prayer and the prayer minister said, “I think you need to give something up to God. I’m reminded of Abraham giving up Isaac…” I knew that I needed to be open to staying in Colorado Springs and not leaving at the first chance I got.

I walked back up the aisle toward Chad and the other guys and passed that guy Jeremy on my left. We saw each other and smiled, and I congratulated myself on not being attracted to him, even though I knew he was an artist.

Chad and his friends decided to take me to dinner. We went to a restaurant and talked for two hours. Chad kept mentioning that Jeremy guy—“Man, I wish Jeremy were here. Do you know what he’s doing, Evan? We should call him.” And he told me stories about Jeremy—about his art, about his spiritual life. It seemed odd to me, but from Chad’s stories and high opinion of Jeremy, this man I hardly knew intrigued me. I tried not to think about it.