Sunday, October 30, 2011

Water bottle, Altoids Container and a Slum

When an artist is making art or teaching art out and about in this world, it pays to have a water bottle with lid and an Altoids container of paints. Yep. A friend of mine, Karen, has put a selection of my paints in hand made compartments in a little Altoids container for me to travel with. She knows I have ended up in some places where paint is more important than Altoids. For this painting session, my team and I were in the Pattaya, Thailand slum/dump with kids and their families who live there.

I love to see the shear joy, no matter which country or setting I find myself, of each child when the water and paint rolls off a little one's brush on a fresh, white piece of paper. The child is creating anew, something they were created to do. I think they sense, feel God's presence when they make art. It's invisible, but really, really powerfully there.

Here is a picture of one little girl who really got into the painting. I knew right away that she is a fellow artist. I pray she will be able to use her gifting someday in Pattaya. I pray she will make it out of the dump and create beauty in her country.

There is an artist who has started a movement in Cambodia called, "Don't Forget About Art." I feel very strongly that he is onto something big. In Cambodia, with international aid, we can try to throw money on a road making project, and hope the greedy governmental leaders don't steal it. 
If we teach the next generation to create, invent, imagine and dream, produce while asking questions and make decisions using the creative arts, we are empowering them to carry that creativity into all areas of life. (And no one can steal that.)

It probably seems like fluff and even a little silly to some to put so much emphasis on the creative arts in a dump. But, our God is a creative, creating God, and what better way to bear witness to Him then in the making of visual art in a slum?

And the joy can't be beat! With a water bottle and Altoids a slum. I highly recommend it. And, thanks, Karen!

Enjoy a song about our creator God:

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