On the third Thursday of every month I like to go downtown to see what is new in the art gallery scene. My first stop was to see Parker Sketch who had his easle set up outside Nube Nove Salon in Thornton Park. He had three paintings he was ready to work on. One was of Bert and Ernie and another was of Jack Skelington. His easel was splattered with paint indicating it was well used. I really want to sketch Parker Sketch but he explained that he would be handing out business cards more than painting. Besides the sky was filling with dark storm clouds. I realized I should probably seek some cover before I started a sketch.
I walked to Blank Space where an event called "Blank Canvas" was taking place. Jon Glass Man Gardner was outside with a table full of vibrantly colored cans of spray paint. At a previous event he had asked to take a picture of my sloppy, overused watercolor palette. Greeting me, he said, "I wanted to challenge you with that limited palette you use." Jon had spray painted a spiral design on one of Blank Spaces windows. He told me that Pine Street had been shut down near City Arts Factory. This was news to me and I assumed something big might need to be sketched.
The street outside City Arts Factory was indeed shut down. A food truck was parked waiting for costumers. A makeshift stage was in the middle of the street along with a large screen. It began to rain and people rushed to move the amplifiers, microphones and band equipment under cover. Between downpours, break dancers dried off a dance floor with rags. The rain returned with a vengeance however. A lightning bolt lit up the street and the thunder was so loud and sudden that a woman screamed in surprise. My line jumped.
Two drummers started performing under an awning. I was dry thanks to the same awning. A singer started shouting out the lyrics to the beat. A man sat next to me and started telling me of his life on the streets when he was an alcoholic. Since I was focused on the drawing, I only half heard his story. I assumed that in the end, he wanted change. When he turned to leave, I saw "Trust in God" was emblazoned on the back of his T-shirt.
The performers were part of Evoke Ministries. Evoke began in 2010 with ten artists who vowed to do one painting a day for 365 days. The artists prayed, fasted and asked for god's direction as they pursued this artistic quest. They hoped their work might open a discussion on what faith means to this generation. They hoped to unveil the liberty, love and freedom of a life rooted in faith. The 1500 paintings, all executed on four inch square wooden panels was on display in the halls and galleries of the City Arts Factory. The paintings were simple and straightforward. Many relied on writing to express thoughts when images didn't fully express an idea. "A revolution without dancing is not a revolution worth having." An image of a farmer sowing seeds read, "Sow love." "Why http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifnot a flood of love?" "Get your hand off your mouth... expose your flaws to someone you trust...be unbound and move forward." Proverbs 28:13
I was inspired with the artists passions to express themselves, unfortunately their visual journey didn't move or inspire me. Outside the rain continued. A small group of of people were clapping and swaying as a rapper made up devotional lyrics to the beat of a drummer. His rap was fun and inspired until the words got lost and jumbled, he choked. Everyone laughed and clapped encouragement. He dusted himself off and continued to sing.