Woodstock, Art and Culture Makers

“The best long-term explanations about our ancient counterparts can be found in the paintings, sculpture, crafts, tools of utility, language and architecture left behind. These are the building blocks of civilization we call culture. These are what we call 'the arts’." - Edward J Fraught

Author Gabe Lyons talks about our mandate as Christians to be makers, and not just critics, of culture. As individuals are reached by the Gospel of Jesus, and as repentance occurs, we know that this must be followed by a lifestyle, a community, a movement of “culture makers.”
And with that in mind, Kevin and I are preparing to move to Woodstock, the art and design district in Cape Town, South Africa. [If you would like to read the full story behind the move please check out our Web site www.klgrimes.com]

Makoto Fujimura, a Japanese American artist said, "The arts have been culturally orphaned by the world and the church."

Art is an expression of ourselves.
As image bearers of Christ, our art is an expression of God.
Therefore, when we create we are creating beautiful light to fight darkness.

Artists are often labeled as different.
Too abstract.
Too messy.

And yet, isn’t that all of us?

Aren’t we all a bit different?
A bit abstract?
A bit messy?

If anyone should welcome the artist, it should be the church.
After all, we are supposed to be known for our love and acceptance of the messy.

We are convinced that our Creator God desires for the artists and designers here to know in whose image they are made, and known and loved.
We are excited to be an expression of the manifesting beauty, peace, joy and reconciliation power of God’s presence.
This is a big reason why Kevin and I are moving to Woodstock and pioneering a new YWAM artists ministry.

The works of reconciliation are creative endeavors - relationships restored, communities united, creation stewarded in a Godly way,” said Matthew Tobias, owner of Empty House Studio in Albuquerque, New Mexico. “These are all the works of THE Creator- who better to join in and say YES than those who have not forgotten their creative DNA?

As we finish out the lease on our little one bedroom apartment in Muizenberg at the end of February, we continue going to Woodstock to deepen established relationships as well as meet new artists. Many artists and designers live, work and gallery/perform in Woodstock. And since it is our desire to be in community with and available for artists, it only makes sense for our family to move to this area. Kevin continues to meet artists and designers and is building solid relationships.

We understand that our first year will be about continuing to learn the community, meeting artists and inviting people into our design space. We want to build a firm foundation, and that doesn’t take a couple months or a couple years. We want to plant ourselves in this artist community for as long as God allows us to, and we plan to be patient.

"The writer does want to be published; the painter urgently hopes that someone will see the finished canvas; the composer needs his music to be heard. Art is communication, and if there is no communication it is as though the work has been still-born." - Madeleine L'Engle

Our desire is to see artists make Lord the One whose image they bear- so that the walls of galleries, the stages of theaters, the printed word, the echoes of recording studios would announce the present Kingdom of God with Jesus at the center! We want to encourage artists in creating and changing the world by throwing beauty against darkness. Beautiful light will drive out darkness!

The Lord has asked us to root ourselves in the heart of the art and design community by renting a studio/ministry space. We have met and become friends with a developer who is renovating a building in Woodstock called “The Pool Hall.” He and Kevin have been talking and brainstorming about the studio spaces, and he wants us to be the first to move in when it’s ready in May.

We believe our studio space will be a holy place where God's presence will rest, making people feel welcome and at peace, where many creative ideas will birth. We want to have an open door policy, in the midst of a country where walls and gates "protect" and keep others out. We want artists to feel safe in our space. Where they can come and vent and be open. And then find Life and Love and Truth. [This is just the beginning of our dreams! We are brainstorming with some of the YWAM Muizenberg Elders at the possibilities of buying a whole building and opening it up to artists. Where they can feel and experience that tangible expression of the Lord.]

One of my former Discipleship Training School students, Tatiana from Colombia, is studying Art and Art History at a University in the states. She plans to come intern with us in the artist ministry and studio over the winter [that's the Northern Hemisphere's summer]. We are so excited she will be a part of seeing this space birthed.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact Kevin and I. We believe wholeheartedly in this vision and love sharing it with others. Pioneering a new ministry is not easy and we could use help. Please pray about and let us know if you'd like to be a part!

Check out my other posts on art:
Art, Beauty and Life Part I - Lindsay, What Do You Want in Life?
Art, Beauty and Life Part II - Is Beauty and Goodness Enough?
Art, Beauty and Life Part III - The Peace-Crafting Power of Art
Prayers & Paintbrushes