Monday, July 9, 2012

Parables: Re-imagining the Bible through Art

Let's face it, the Bible is boring. Psychological motivations aren't explored, timelines have major gaps, and characters randomly appear and disappear.  Plus, all the major stories are soaked with dogmatic interpretations.
So let's re-imagine the Bible! Let's retell it in ways the are interesting and meaningful to us. Artist of all types are invited to bring their materials, make art that re-imagines scripture, and share what they make with each other. Each week we’ll spend about 15 minutes examining and discussing paintings, poetry, music, and midrash that artists have already created around a biblical text.  After asking what questions, characters, and perspectives we still want to explore, people will be given 45 minutes to create in whatever way they are inspired.  At the end of the evening, people will have a chance to share what they've made and talk about the choices they made in creating it.  The goal is not to create a finished work, but to explore our stories and our art together.

The whole month will be focused on a single text. This month we'll tackle the first chapter of the Book of Ruth. People are free to either spend the whole month developing a single work of art, or create multiple pieces along the way.  The goal is for people to really dig into the stories and have time to be influenced by what they see other people creating.  Ideally folks will come every week to deepen the conversation, but if they can only make it occasionally, that’s fine, too. 
We'll be meeting in the bell tower of St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Williamsburg on the corner of S. 5th and Rodney, Sundays at 7:30pm.  Enter through the doors on Rodney, turn right, and climb the stairs until you're in a bell tower. We'll have our first meeting on July 15th and meet weekly through August 12th.  Then we'll decide what we want to do next.
Let me know if you'd like to join us!  Also, there's now a Meetup group if you like to keep track of things that way.


Cristeen said...

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Ben McKelahan said...

Glad you found it to be useful!

Ellen Ayres said...

Great idea!