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Day 3 - Session IV

This morning session on our final day at the Arts Conference opened with a talented young artist from California. Kendal Payne soothed our souls with her beautiful voice and captivating lyrics. I think I might have to look her up on iTunes.

Payne's performance catapulted us into a worshipful spirit and we were ready to listen to Richard Allen Farmer, who quickly became my favorite conference speaker up to that point.

Richard Allen Farmer is a seasoned, gifted pianist and vocalist who really knows how to use words to paint some beautiful images. About every other thing he said I was scrambling to jot it down because it was profound, beautiful, challenging or just so eloquently stated that I didn't want to quickly forget it.

Farmer decided to lead us on a tour of the artist's mind.

The first stop gave pause to the insatiable curiosity of the artist's mind.
"We push the envelope, we push buttons...we'll push anything."
"If curiosity is a disease, I'm not interested in being healed."
"It was said that DaVinci would not take 'yes' for an answer."

The second stop was the friction that occupies the artist's mind.
"It is the rubbing - the friction - that brings about the stylistic synthesis that the church so desperately needs."
"Friction is invited to take off its shoes and sit a spell."
"We find it a necessary ingredient in our creative pursuits."
-We must constantly welcome diversity in our creative experiences in the Church - "contrary to popular opinion, the people whom we serve in our churches are not stupid" - they like being led strongly.

Thirdly, he stopped to look at the "pen and lips" of the artist.
"Shame on the artist who cannot articulate the oral, olfactory, tactile or audible creation that has been given for our consumption."
Referring to pro athletes on TV, he said, "I'm almost sure that I'm going to hear someone commit linguicide."
"The artist should be able to explain his sculpture in a way that Stevie Wonder or Andrea Boccelli can himself see it."
-It has always been amazing that Christ has been called the Word of God

The fourth stop was to notice a cloud or vapor that looms overhead.
-Sometimes, we do just get lost in the wonder and awe of God's creation and there are no appropriate words
-Silence and mystery have their place

The last stop was at the Truth (God's Word) that must be the foundation in the artist's mind.
-"In him, we live and move and have our being"
-Our art needs the theological underpinnings
"Don't be afraid to mention God in your art."

I was very inspired by Farmer. He helped me to loosen the chains of insecurity or fear that sometimes come trailing behind me when I seek to be creative. God created first. He wants us to follow him in that, too.


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