For those of us who mourn with Emanuel AME Church, there is something we can do: Make original artwork of healing and blessing, and give it to these brothers and sisters as a gift to their congregation to do with as they need, to distribute, keep, and use however they wish, with no strings attached.
Here is what we’re doing from Boise, Idaho. Feel free to join us.
We are collecting and sending small, sensitive artworks that have the theme of love, support, comfort, affirmation, courage, strength, beauty, and most of all hope, unity, and love. Artists will not receive the artwork back. This will be a permanent gift.
Nine people were murdered in their church by a racist killer during a Wednesday night Bible study at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. It is shocking and so very, very sad. “Mourn with those who mourn,” the Bible says. So we are. We join this national lament.
Pray and ask God what to create for a specific person. Feel free to include a note of love and support for the people of Emanuel AME, or simply let your artwork do the talking. This isn’t about us, and is not a therapeutic exercise for our own benefit. This is a permanent gift of good will, beauty, and blessing with our utmost spiritual and emotional support for a church family in real pain. Because of Christ’s sacrifice, we are truly the closest kind of family; even across distance, God joins us together.
Because of the sensitive nature and timing of these gifts and notes, the package contents will be respectfully screened by us in Boise and by the Vineyard Church in Charleston before being delivered to the people of Emanuel AME Church, so please keep your art and notes accessible (open, not sealed). Thanks for understanding.
Vineyard Boise Church will provide FREE watercolor paper, illustration boards, and flat canvas boards to give out this Sunday June 21 at our sanctuary art tables and in the VineArts Gallery for this project. Feel free to create and send other sizes (read below about the sizes we’ll mail for you). Also you can use all of our art supplies at Open Studio for free; see the last paragraph of this post.
From Friday, June 19 until Friday, June 26 you can drop off your artwork at Vineyard Boise’s front office desk, and we will mail it for you. Donations of $1 or $2 are appreciated for mailing, but donations are definitely not required.
Drop off your art during office hours at Vineyard Boise Church, Tuesday – Friday 9AM to 5PM, June 20-June 26, and we will mail it for you.
Or drop off your art at VineArts Open Studio (see hours under “Create at Open Studio” in the last paragraph) and we will mail it for you.
Alternative: From now until July 15 you can create artwork on your own and mail it directly to our connection, the Vineyard Church in Charleston. See below for their mailing address.
We ask that you please limit the size of your artwork so as not to overwhelm the recipients with more decision-making on their part. Vineyard Boise Church will only mail artwork up to size 11×14 inches; that includes the size of the mat if you mat the artwork. (For artwork that’s rolled up, the roll needs to be 14 inches long maximum). Please consider using standard, easy-to-frame and easy-to-matt sizes which are 3×5, 4×6, 5×7, 8×10, 11×14, etc. It will save the recipient hassle and expense if they don’t have to custom-order frames in unusual sizes.
If your artwork is fragile or would wrinkle, encase it inside a stiff envelope or a regular envelope with cardboard insert. NO FRAMES, unless your frame is extremely lightweight and very slim. Don’t drop off stretched canvases, please (canvases stapled to wooden frames). We’ll make some exceptions, but for the most part please try to paint on flat canvas paper, or on canvas that is glued down flat to a board, or on Bristol board/illustration board, or similar.
If you want to send artwork that’s larger than 11 x 14, or if you live in a different part of the country and are mailing artwork directly to SC, or if you missed the Vineyard Boise mailing deadline of June 26, you can mail artwork and notes until July 15 directly to:
The good folks at the Vineyard will screen and deliver our artwork to their neighbors at Emanuel AME.
NOTE: Please keep smallish sizes in mind. We don’t want to burden the recipients when they open this package. Be careful not to send a huge painting expecting the receiver to do something with it… and yet, I hesitate to say that. Pray and ask the Lord, because He can tell you the exact dimensions and image someone needs to have.
Medium: Use any medium that can be safety and easily mailed. Ask yourself: Is it small, lightweight, sturdy, not likely to wrinkle, and not high maintenance to mail? Lightweight sculpted/carved works, sturdy assemblage, printmaking, flat paintings, drawings, and photography in stiff envelopes, collage, poetry, etc. are all fine to send. (No wax encaustics; they will melt.)
Visually we suggest giving black, white, and red prominent areas in the composition of your artwork to represent redemption and truth in solidarity. However, the palette of black, white, and red is only a suggestion, and you can certainly add other colors you need to add, or use colors that are completely outside of these color suggestions. Please create using whatever colors your particular piece needs to convey hope, unity, and love.
We’ll open the VineArts Studio for special hours all day Monday, June 22 (from 11 am until 8pm) for this project, and again during our regular studio hours Wednesday, June 24 (5:30 to 8:30pm). All art supplies will be provided.