Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Tuesday, June 29, 2010: Christian Hedonism urho

Today I was paired up with Caleb and we went out to Washington Square park after receiving training in Soularium. We already know how to use the tool but today we learn how to use the tool in telling the gospel using images from Soularium. The focus was to explain the gospel using the images provided by Soularium today. Before I share with you who we talk to, I just want to express we talked to two european males so I won't bother spelling out their names because its foreign to me and I probably misunderstood their names when I heard it so I will refer to where they came from their country.

He was right near the stone benches near the water fountain eating his salad and bread sitting down. It must've been his lunch time because when he left he said he had to get back to work. He is in New York City to get his PHD in mathematics at New York University. We went through Soularium and my understanding is he does not believe in God yet he see what he refer to "God" in everything. He highly value the spiritual in obtaining an understanding of the world and how everything function. He talked a lot of mathematics theories which are over my head. I sense he needs a firm solid evidence of God to believe in him. But when we ask him the question: "If God speak to you would you believe in what he says?" He went on to say 'yes' and that if God spoke then everything would be answer and that the world problems would be answered. We didn't get into the gospel because he had work and had to leave but we did invite him to our art show.

Belgium Man
This young man just finish his school year in New York and working to relax with his friends in Washington Square who are from Belgium. Apparently he will leave in two days to L.A. for a vacation. At first he didn't want to talk explaining he didn't want to talk about God, since there is another group of Christians in Washington Square park who are giving a spiritual survey as well. We went through soularium anyways and by the end of it he opened up to us about his life. We didn't get into a spiritual conversation other than that we know he was raised in the culture of Catholicism but does not want to do with any of it. We talked about how he hate the city life but after getting acquainted with it he loves it and the diversity and variety of people in the city. He's staying in Harlem and he talks about how it is much quieter there than the other parts of the city. We talked about Belgium and the difference between there and America. I got a sense he got a good impression from us as Christians.

Today was our first critique of our group collaboration and we want to express the critique in this special community of Christian artists we want to play a key part in shaping our collaborations because ultimately each group will represent everyone of us. We want to produce the best high quality work yet still be purposeful in our art to express Jesus' story and the God factor in our art. Overall we had fun with mock-up American Idol judges Simon played by Piper, Paula played by Robin, and Randy played by Steve. It provided comic relief as we honesty open the floor for any concerns, questions, and suggestions each group should hear about. We are to take these comments from other people and revise and represent our pitch to the entire project this upcoming Saturday for final review and administration of financial commitment.
Questions asked:
Your personal responses:
What draws you to this piece?
How does this piece challenge you personally?

What is received by the viewer:
What does this piece actually communicate?
What questions does it ask?
What questions does it cause you to ask?
How do you see this piece exhibit intersections with culture, personal experience, others' stories, and God?

Critical Evaluation:
Are the medium and materials chosen the most effective ones?
What are this work's strongest/weakest points?
What would you change and why?
Should this work(s) be produced? Why?
How much money should be given toward it?

My "betrayal" group got some interesting comments about the word to consider. What would the images be of in term of desiring to shoot personal memory (places/scenes people would recognized) How would we regulate the number of people who be in the small dark room for the light boxes? Confrontation of not being as personal or genuine to the group. The word "betrayal" brings up strong memories which we do not like to dig up from the past ourselves may hinder the impact of our piece to be view by the audience. There are still baggage we have about "betrayal" which makes my group feel unsafe to talk openly in our work. This topic can bring about healing and theraputic carthesi for not only us but for others. We did receive good comment from Daniel who express that he had seen all our work and our group possess substantial skill in accomplishing something powerful. He goes on to mention it is up to us if we feel comfortable in pushing our art piece into our personal lives but whatever we come up with will be well done knowing our work already and that we don't have to force the word into our work that it should come out naturally.

After a time of hitting the streets, Caleb and I pay a visit to one of my old acquaintances John Jacobmeyers who is Dean of New York Academy of Arts located on Franklin Street. Story behind John Jacobmeyers was I knew him through my painting Professor Chawky Frenn. John came to my school and gave a lecture and critique some of Chawky Frenn's students and I happen to be one of those students. He was very engaged with my theme of war and death and wounds of Vietnam War victims. He said I should pay his school a visit and suggest I look into New York Academy for graduate school. Fast forward two years since that conversation I facebook John and explain my stay in New York on this Tribeca Arts Project. I thought it be beneficial for Caleb for being a painter to go with me and pay the school a visit. John was welcoming and we took a tour of the building facility. By the end of it we invite him to our art show at the end of July. He says he will be in Ireland for an artist in residency but be back July 15 so he can come visit the show the next day. I'm not sure if he believes in God but hopefully he can come and we will find out what he has to say about our theme words. On the first floor was the New York Academy Summer Exhibition of students, faculty, and alumni work. The work are high quality with different medium from paper mache sculptures of handicap people to oil paintings of dirty laundry submerge under sea water to painting of painted toe nails on top of articles about South and North Korea. John gave me a tour of the first year graduate students narrow workspace verse the second years graduate square space 120 cubic foot each. The french greeco tradition for first year students in intensive development of drawing skills from french nude sculptures on loan by the Metropolitan as a gift as well honing on fundamentals as well working once a week on Wednesday copying old masters at the Metropolitan and working conceptually with the human figures including the spatial function along with the figure. The human figures is stress in this academy with antonymy/ecorche classes which makes you build a 24" human antonymy in clay from the bone skeleton, to muscle and lastly skin. It looks highly intensive but good training of the formal structure and shape if you like to paint realistic accurate portrayal of the human body. We met some of the graduates who goes to the school there like Peter Simon Muhlhauber who currently one of two artist in residency at the New York Academy on his third year after graduate school working on his project of sculpted realistic baby models in twisted position and pose. Overall it was good learning experience for Caleb to see top quality graduate program and we talked more about where God may convict us to go after undergraduate whether that is full-time college ministry, seminary in Canada where Caleb's father is the Dean or graduate school.

"God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him". This is a popular John Piper'squote and he has a lot to say about Christian Hedonism and about 'grace is the pleasure of God to magnify the worth of God by giving sinners the right and power to delight in God without obscuring the glory of God'. Our devotion was on this topic of duty verse fulfillment and joy spoke by Anthony Lam. Anthony expressed his concern with parachurches use of the four laws coming across as dutiful or obligation which a lot of Christian or churched people is motivated by in their walk with Christ. Anthony read an exert from Desiring God book by John Piper. It talks about the idea that all people are incline to follow their pleasures, it happens that Christians follow a different pleasure than the world. As a Christian we believe God is the final and lasting pleasure.
Luke 6:35 says, "Love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great."
This verse talks about what shall our motivation be as Christian. Anthony best described it as an empty vessel where God fill our thirst with water and because we have so much water than it would happen we would spill some on the left and right. This water is suppose to represent love that in other to love others we must first be loved. Because everyone has a yearning to be loved, even those who hung themselves. The discussion turned into "What about truth?" Shouldn't truth be the main reason we follow God? I would argue we need both but how much more would our desires be met by God? How much more sustainable would carrying the cross be if we find pleasure in imitating Christ? The rest of the time we spent on quiet mediation on the God who gives us a joy that satisfies forever.

Favorite Quotes of the Day
"Chicks like scribble" Jayson
"Want to go to a concert? You [Larry] could be jay-z and she [Kristine] can be Beyonce." Jayson
"I never thought pickle and cheese taste this good..." Kari
"It just look like you're having a seizure.." Adam talking about Larry eating chips

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