Wednesday, June 13, 2018

2018 REFLECT Conference for the Arts



Since 2012 I've been a part of a planning team, that was birthed out of the VineArts Boise art ministry that I'm in leadership with, for a bi-annual national (and sometimes international) arts conference whose goals it's been to connect creatives with each other and with those who have a heart to minister to them. The conferences allow for creative collaboration and conversation, based around the topic of art and faith, to take place within safe community. It was originally called The Creative Church Conference of Boise but we recently changed the name to Reflect Conference for the Arts. We just wrapped up our fourth conference (the first with the Reflect name) and I wanted to post a bit about it here. 


"The 2018 Reflect Conference for the Arts was a 4-day creative encounter   designed to nourish and develop the creative spark God has placed in you. Featured artists include live painter Scott Erickson (Portland OR), tap dancer Andrew Nemr (NYC), potter Dave Blakeslee (Salida, CO), choreographer/dancer Marlita Hill (Los Angeles), watercolorist Michael Gatlin (Duluth Vineyard, MN), jazz musician/producer Justin Nielsen (Eagle, ID), artist/art minister/founder of VineArts Boise (the local art ministry based within Vineyard Boise Christian Fellowship Church) and Art Fruition (an on-line art ministry school) Jessie Nilo (Boise, ID) and many more. Presented by VineArts Boise (which I'm a part of) who previously hosted the Creative Church Conference in Boise, our new name reflects our passion of fostering grassroots communities of creatives around the world. It's about experiencing hands-on art workshops, live performances, deep personal connections, and artistic formation in Christ. 

At Reflect, our mission has been to create a safe, communal space for all people - beginners to professionals, in every medium and discipline - to come together and express their creative calling. It's a call to foster your imagination through the visual arts, performing arts, writing, and other forms of creativity. Love people through art. Thrive in creative community. Collaborate with God to go beyond what you thought was possible. Whether a professional looking for spiritual formation, a beginner hoping to connect your own creativity to God, or someone who simply wants to enjoy an art-soaked time of beauty, REFLECT is for you...and you are welcomed into the Art Tribe." 

We are all about the LOVE and inclusion recognizing that we are made in the image of God (we are IMAGO DEI....image bearers of God) and we reflect Him to each other. 




THURSDAY NIGHT:

                                      
The conference was 2 years in the making. Lots of hard work and prayer have gone into the planning and preparations, and so many people were involved to make it happen.

Our Safe Space In the Round to experience creative community.

SPOKEN WORD 
Original pieces written by Travis & Kathy Nelson.
In the beginning God created...

KATHY NELSON
Poet and Artist

TRAVIS NELSON
Poet and Artist

JESSIE NILO
Artist/Art Minister. Boise, ID


Jessie Nilo welcomed us all to the conference introducing who we are as a team and what the Reflect Conference for the Arts is all about.

With our 2018 theme being INTENTIONALITY....Artist Lisa Marten (that's me) welcomed us all into the heart of it...this was our time and our space...this was our call to be WHO we are meant to be as creatives and as humans. 

"BLESSED are the weirdos, the poets and misfits, the artists, writers, dancers, music makers, potters, dreamers, imagineers and outsiders...For they (WE) help us to see the world differently.....UBUNTU! I am because We are!" 

INTERACTIVE SPEAKING

TAP BOARD TRANSFORMATION 
MOVEMENT ONE: LIFE

ANDREW NEMR
Tap Artist/TEDtalk Fellow. NYC

Tap Artist Andrew Nemr kicked us off and shared with us his life story and how he found his calling as he tapped on his board that had been very beautifully decorated by artist Amandalynn Lovewell utilizing chalk pastels and charcoal. 

INTERACTIVE SPEAKING
SESSION ONE:

MICHAEL GATLIN
Painter/Pastor. DULUTH, MN

Pastor and Painter Michael Gatlin shared with us about how who we are as creatives reflects God to others

LIVE ART

REFLECT MIRROR PAINTING: THE HEAD (BRAIN)
Collaboration by Artists AMANDALYNN LOVEWELL and LISA MARTEN

INTERPRETIVE DANCE

MARLITA HILL (dancer/choreographer) danced to a spoken word she had written about the relationship of Creator God with us His creation.

FRIDAY:
RAFFLE BASKETS AND SILENT AUCTION
many wonderful gifts and artwork were donated from the speakers, the planning team, and others 



MORNING CORPORATE WORSHIP

Musician JARED NILO & AMANDALYNN LOVEWELL & ANDREW NEMR 
led us all in some morning song to worship 

INTERACTIVE SPEAKING
SESSIONS TWO AND THREE:

SCOTT ERICKSON
Live Painter/Speaker/Author. Portland, OR

Scott Erickson spoke to us through an interactive presentation both sessions (utilizing imagery, song, humor, and story) and got real with us sharing parts of his life story and talking to us about intentional spiritual practices for the creative.

IN THE ROUND BREAKOUT WORKSHOPS:
many workshops were offered Friday and Saturday mornings and afternoons....each focusing on intentional creativity and connection.

COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS AND CONVERSATIONS OVER LUNCHES AND DINNERS were offered and encouraged for attendees, speakers, and the planning team to interact together.

FRIDAY CONCERT NIGHT:
JUSTIN NIELSEN
Jazz Musician/Composer/Producer. Eagle, ID

PERFORMANCE OF ORIGINAL COMPOSITION 
BY JUSTIN NIELSEN OF "DIVINE COLORS" 
ACCOMPANIED BY LOCAL JAZZ BAND AND CHOIR MEMBERS, 
ANDREW NEMR TAPPING AND AMANDALYNN LOVEWELL AND JESSIE NILO CREATING LIVE ART

THE NIGHT WAS AN INTERACTIVE EXPERIENCE AND EXAMPLE OF INTENTIONAL CREATIVE COLLABORATION WITH EACH OTHER AND WITH GOD





HERE IS VIDEO OF A TASTE OF THE MUSIC THAT WAS BEING CREATED BY JUSTIN NIELSEN AND THE BAND 





HERE IS VIDEO OF A TASTE OF THE CREATIVE COLLABORATION IN ACTION
ANDREW NEMR TAPPING AND AMANDALYNN LOVEWELL SKETCHING



THE WHOLE NIGHT WAS A BEAUTIFUL INTERACTIVE EXPERIENCE OF CREATIVE CONVERSATION THROUGH COLLABORATION.

TAP BOARD TRANSFORMATION 
MOVEMENT TWO: DEATH

SATURDAY:
INTERACTIVE SPEAKING
SESSION FOUR:
COFFEE WITH THE POTTERS
Dave Blakeslee (Salidas, CO), Dean Estes (Boise, ID), Rick Jenkins (Boise, ID), and Dennis Sprik (Las Vegas, NV) 
spoke to us about collaboration and connecting in community while they threw pots and formed clay in front of us


DENNIS SPRIK

RICK JENKINS

DEAN ESTES

DAVE BLAKESLEE





INTERACTIVE SPEAKING
SESSION FIVE:

MARLITA HILL
Dancer/Choreographer/Author. Los Angeles, CA

Marlita Hill spoke to us about the connecting our faith with our art as artists who are active in our communities and careers

LIVE ART

REFLECT MIRROR PAINTING: THE HEART
collaboration by artists AMANDALYNN LOVEWELL and LISA MARTEN

SATURDAY NIGHT OF CREATIVE WORSHIP:

SPOKEN WORD
pieces taken from The Singer Trilogy by Calvin Miller

ACT ONE:
TRAVIS NELSON speaking The Singer (who is Christ) and the song that He sings for us

ACT TWO:
KATHY NELSON speaking Creation and the Fall and our human need for redemption 

CORPORATE WORSHIP

JARED NILO AND AMANDALYNN LOVEWELL AND ANDREW NEMR
led us in song while everyone created and worshipped throughout the room.

INTERACTIVE COLLABORATIVE ART

THE HEAD


(3) 5'x7' CANVASES: MURAL IMAGERY: THE HEAD (BRAIN NEURONS)
People painted, wrote words, and added texture to the pre-designed canvases

THE BEAUTY OF COLLABORATION...
EACH OF OUR UNIQUE MARK MAKING ADDS TO THE WHOLE
Representing our minds becoming one with the mind of Christ

THE HEART


STAINED GLASS MOSAIC CLAY POT: THE HEART
People added bits of colorful stained glass and wrote out their "blockages" on pieces of paper and placed them inside the heart to give to God.

THE BEAUTY OF OUR BROKENNESS.
EACH OF OUR PIECES TOGETHER FORMS A WHOLE 
Representing our hearts becoming one with the heart of God.
If we allow Him...God takes our hurts, addictions, fears, insecurities, struggles, pains, sorrows, imperfections, hopes and dreams, joys and celebrations and brings them all together to transform us into a beautiful work of art...our lives. 

POETRY & DRAMA 
WITH LIFE STORY
ACT THREE:
JESSIE NILO, TRAVIS NELSON, KATHY NELSON
presented spoken word and drama with LISA MARTEN
showing the lame being healed by the Singer's Song 

ANDREW NEMR and LISA MARTEN (that's me) sharing a dance in celebration.
Lisa shared about being born disabled (both clubbed feet) and being on the Autistic Spectrum as an adult female with Aspergers....and how God has pursued her head and heart throughout her life to make her whole and calling her to a life of loving others with similar struggles. It opened up a time of prayer and ministry shining light on much God is FOR us...and He gets us and loves us for WHO we are. 

CORPORATE WORSHIP IN THE ROUND

Everyone gathered in a circle in the center. Jared Nilo, Amandalynn Lovewell, and Andrew Nemr led everyone in corporate song and dance to complete the night....connecting our heads to our hearts, connecting with God's mind and heart, connecting with each other as a Body. 

HERE IS A VIDEO OF THE FINISHED HEAD AND HEART INTERACTIVE COLLABORATIVE ART CREATED WITHIN WORSHIP

 SUNDAY MORNING:
CORPORATE WORSHIP SERVICE
JARED NILO and BAND LEADING IN SONG

DOTTIE OLIN CREATING LIVE ART

JESSIE NILO CREATING LIVE ART 
(CONTINUED COLLABORATION WITH AMANDALYNN LOVEWELL and LISA MARTEN ON REFLECT MIRRORS)

TAP ARTIST ANDREW NEMR SPEAKING AND TAPPING WHILE ARTIST AMANDALYNN LOVEWELL DID LIVE ART ON THE TAP BOARD ONE LAST TIME

TAP BOARD TRANSFORMATION
MOVEMENT THREE: RESURRECTION

DAVE BLAKESLEE
Potter/Pastor. Salidas, CO
Spoke while throwing pots.

FRIENDSHIP LUNCH

ONE LAST TIME TO CONNECT AND CONVERSE WITH EACH OTHER BEFORE SAYING GOODBYE

3RD TRIBE
INTENTIONALITY

"UBUNTU OHANA"
c. 2018, original painting by Lisa Marten
24x30 mixed media on canvas.

There is a story of a missionary in Africa who was playing with some children. He invited them to race to a nearby tree and the first one to arrive at the tree would receive a sweet treat to eat. The children looked at each other and joined hands. They ran together to the tree, arriving at the same time. The missionary was so surprised at the outcome but he recognized that he needed to give the treats to all of them since they had all "won". Shortly after they received the treats they gathered sitting in a circle together with their feet touching and enjoyed the sweets. The missionary was compelled to ask them why they had all ran together. They shouted out in unison, "UBUNTU!" and then one of the children explained...

Ubuntu is way of life that they all understood. It means "I am because we are." They knew that if only one of them won the prize the rest would be left out. This didn't seem right to them. So they'd rather give up individual gain and do it together so each of them would experience the win. 

This is a beautiful picture of the Body of Christ and how we are to work together. 
As individuals our unique voice (who we are and what we bring) is vitally important to the larger picture...but there is a larger picture. We are a part of something that is much bigger than ourselves. And together we can do and be so much more.  

We are 3rd Tribe (the creatives, the artisans, the worshippers) and we are better together!