Keep your face always toward the sunshine – and shadows will fall behind you.
Through creativity, we pursue freedom. Through submission, discovery. Through losing Self, the perpetually present. The intangible. The ambiguous that holds the totality of truth. Through creativity, we pursue Him. Our aim is that art would provoke ourselves and others to self discovery, to freedom, to Him. Together May we aerate the earth Through creativity, we pursue freedom. Through submission, discovery. Through losing Self, the perpetually present. The intangible. The ambiguous that holds the totality of truth. Through creativity, we pursue Him. Our aim is that art would provoke ourselves and others to self discovery, to freedom, to Him. Together May we aerate the earth
Thanksgiving this year was completely different than any other Thanksgiving that I’ve spent. We picked up a friend from the bus stop in drove over 300 miles to Pennsylvania. Grazing throughout the day we assisted in Thanksgiving dinner preparations. And then hopped on a train to New York City. This is where we encountered our first ever vegetarian Thanksgiving. We topped off dinner with a play by the rules, charades game. Played with a room full of strangers other than my hubs and the one friend we were staying with. We followed it up with yummy desserts. It was a fun friend filled day!
I was cautious about being in NYC on black Friday. We stayed clear of the shopping districts. After a morning drink and veggie patties from a local Haitian coffee shop In Bed Stuy, we headed to Manhattan. Our first stop, China town, to pick up our annual supply of loose leaf teas. Suns tea shop. We wandered through China Town markets. Exploring the fresh fruit, fish, and sea cucumbers. Entering Little Italy we stopped at a famous Italian bakery to pick up some cannolis for a friend. My hungry friend popped in to a Vietnamese restaurant for some fresh spring rolls. We found a local park sat on the bench and enjoy the fresh spring rolls and sweet cannolis well watching a guy practice his soccer dribble. Walking towards the alphabet blocks we looked for a new ramen restaurant because our favorite one had closed. Spotting a new hole in the wall we popped in and sit down to some fresh yummy ramen as the sun went down over the city. Our day was full of fun and fellowship. Later that evening as we prepped for the trip the next day we talked over leftovers, tea and coffee about God’s goodness and what we sense Him doing in this season. The best part was being able to pray and encourage our friend on her journey with the Heavenly Father. New York always brings warm memories for us. It is our second home away from home.
Back in PA we watched movies with a room packed of kidoes and enjoyed a traditional Kenyan dinner mixed with leftover Thanksgiving trimming and traveled back to North Carolina safe and sound on Sunday. I hope that your Thanksgiving remind you of how blessed you are. And creates new fond memories of blessings to hang on to through this coming year.
Much love and thankfulness.
by Art + Dialogue intern Maddie Fritz
M: How has your style developed through the years and how did you, as an artist, arrive at the works that are featured in the show?
Krystal: My style grew through my doodles and Kerith’s through painting. You couple that with my travel, and my style grew all throughout that process. Well both of us, we got in the call, and we decided we should do it together just for the sake of it, and I guess that’s the main purpose behind it. And we really talked back and forth and used our gears so we could really work together and it wouldn’t be just one style but both of our voices at the same time.
M: You mentioned your travels: where have you been?
Krystal: I was in NY for a while, but I’ve traveled to Africa, and central Asia, a lot of places that have a massive landscape, so you know, the mountains, I was always looking at the mountains along the central Asian and Chinese border. I was in a huge city so I got really inspired by those vast landscapes. And Kerith’s traveled extensively as well. Kerith: Yeah, I spent time in Northern Kenya. Just the piece we’re working on, the central part of it is going to be a tree, so also, Krystal and I met in NY and we take a lot of inspiration from wherever we go.
M: How did you become an artist and are there specific life events that have impacted your work and/or contributed to your evolution as an artist?
Kerith: I guess for me I had doodled some in high school, but I never really pursued it till after Krystal and I had met. And we started going to a life drawing class from there. So I guess it kind of reignited a flame that I didn’t know was in there.
Krystal: For me, I drew in high school a little and I went to Weaver, this was before they changed the school, I graduated, as soon as they changed it into the Academy and I was so mad about that! There’s not much creative outlets as far as where school is concerned, and don’t you think? So I thought, well you know, I like video games and so I went with that and ended up going to New York and painting, I studied computer graphics, so I would paint on the computer or draw, big 3D animation. Then I moved to Florida and had this revelation one day, because I had really wrestled with painting and with being an artist, I wrestled with the idea. So I said, OK, if I want to be an artist, if I’m supposed to be an artist, I want to be a show before I’m twenty-five, and I was like twenty-four and a half. So it was, impossible, kind of. The next week there was a call for artists, and I actually got accepted to it, all expenses paid, and painted my first painting and sold it next week.
M: The theme being racial tension in America, and the Art + Dialogue goal of uniting the arts and community in an exchange of ideas, do you have anything to say about connecting with the other featured artists?
Krystal: For me, I like, I have kind of a film background, there’s something amazing about being on the set and then you see all these walks of life coming together for a bigger purpose. And I feel, like this project, we’re bringing our tragedies and our triumphs and our brokenness and our own experiences together to say, OK, this exists, but how can we move beyond this? And so I just value that camaraderie and, you know, we’re going to have different perspectives. You know, our heart and soul, how can society be better by having these discussions. I’m excited about that part.
M: Do you have any words on creative confidence (what never fails to inspire you, etc.) and how that comes into play with the works you submitted?
Kerith: Well, I have a wife, and this is what she does. She has been pretty adamant about pulling this out of me. And it’s so funny, too, because at the same time, while we sit brainstorming about the whole planning process, I get lost in it. And, when I get lost in it, it’s like a disconnect for me from the normal job that I have. So, with that said, I’m able to actually just plug into it and just have fun with it and not really care if, not from an offensive viewpoint, but you don’t really care what other people think. It’s like, I’m doing this because I love it. I do this because there is something greater tied to this that I can’t see yet.
We walked into the Native American gallery last week and it’s different as a white male walking into a place where my ancestors have affected their life. A lot of time, the Native Americans have often gotten looked over in the process. It’s just the way media has gone through history. I told my wife that it amazes me: the things, the roots that the tribal people have. They’re resilient in their culture. Looking at my own self, I don’t feel like I have that same cultural richness that they do. White people, we tend to get up and go and go and go. But, we’re also pretty good at disconnecting from where we came from. It’s, this whole process, will be interesting because we’ll be able to look at not just a present history in the making, but I’m also going to be forced to look at a history already taking place.
Krystal: I think for me I try to have a ritual and I go to the studio more frequently, so a big thing for me, generally, is to pray and clear my mind, you know and spend time with God. If I don’t, then I feel like I waste time. I have an injury from an accident that really makes it challenging to focus for long periods of time. So, to clear my mind, is a big battle, to get to that place. It seems like it was easier before, to get to that place, that’s one thing, you know mental health, is broken. It’s so easy for me to lose focus and lose track of what I’m doing. You know, I’m trying to do ten things at once, and that’s not helpful for the focus part of it. For me, at the core of the tension, there is a sign of injustice or suffering. Or a sign of having to move towards something or the overcoming the idea of it. And, like, taking cues from my own experience of suffering, and not just as a black woman, you know, I’m not going to say “as a black woman I’ve suffered,” I’ve been pretty blessed in the family that I’ve grown up. But just the idea of suffering and the idea of overcoming it and perseverance kind of runs, that thread runs through my work. And I’m so inspired by those who, like Kerith says, have that resilience. Looking for that resilience and looking for that beauty, despite of the harsh realities of what we live in, is what fuels me forward.And I know we don’t have time for a quick story, but like, the idea, well part of the idea, this also inspires me, there’s this daughter and father, this little girl and her father running, somewhere in the middle East, I can’t remember where this is set, and they’re running from death fire and in the midst of running from gunfire in this tense situation, this little girl stops in her tracks because there was a flower in her way. You know, it was either, run over this flower and keep running for my life, or stop. And in that second of stopping, she was shot. Ever since I heard that story, I was captivated by, you know, how can we live in a crappy world sometimes. How can beautiful things or creativity, we’ll just say that in general, creativity be healing for the soul or force us to stop and breathe, or pause, in the midst of racial tension. So that, in my head, really ignites us and fuels my work.
Kerith & Krystal Hart are creating an original sculpture for Art + Dialogue and it will be installed outside on site at Greensboro College on the grounds of the Cowan Humanities Building.
For more information about the Harts and their work, please visit www.krystaljherae.gallery.
Art + Dialogue: Responding to Racial Tension in America
Sept. 24 – Oct. 11 @ Greensboro College
Art + Dialogue (A + D) is a collaborative project bringing community together using visual art as the catalyst for dialogues around racial tension in America. A + D aspires to make the issue of race and racial tensions more tangible to its audiences and participants and promote greater understanding of different perspectives and experiences.
For a full calendar of events, click HERE.
We attended the Nazarene concert and benefit. It was a concert brought about in lieu of the increased Christian persecution in the middle east. As refugees stream by land and sea into other countries we sit, watch, and wait looking at our TV screens, scrolling through our phones, posting our opinions and reactions on social media. Some responding in fear. Others respond in compassion, wanting to help every soul. As music mourns melodies from the three performers in Finch Chapel my thoughts linger on the loss. How will you, how will I be a part of today’s history in the making?
The hosts of this concert wanted to create an opportunity for people to react, reflect and reaspond on the violence, the loss, and may I say also and opportunity for new life. New life birthed through the love and help of our fellow man. They also wanted to bring in opportunity to increase awareness and avenues through which we could be a part of helping. By partnering with different organization that are on the ground giving support. We also watched this video at the end of the concert to bring the all things together.
I remember first responding to the violence in 2014 and creating from it early 2015. My work often focus is on the cross. The intersection of beauty in this midst of pain, that intersection of life and death, the double binds of man’s existence.
My favorite part of the concert was when these three very gifted musicians played pieces together. We all gather for one one purpose. And that was to lift our hurting brothers and sisters up to the one who is Lord of all things. We thought on how we, in our own the parts big and small can help support our persecuted family. I do encourage you if you would also like to be a part of supporting lease people check out some of the resources below.
In August when we left for Dulles airport we had no idea what to expect once landing in Nairobi. There was no strict itenery like most western organized trips. Hubs and I had submitted to walk by faith, obedience, and by His Spirit. And boy did He move!
During our two and a half weeks there our team was apart of a paster’s conference, a church faith conference, visited orphanages, and spent some days in one community near the city trash dump. We prayed with people, lead others to Christ, visited a hospital, and encouraged the saints, speaking in churches.
Working with Christ we were anxious to bless lives. But we had not anticipated the gracious love, prayers, prophecies, and blessings that would be poured out on us. I mean WOW! We gleaned so much from our sweet brothers and sisters there.
Different from other travels, Kenya opened my eyes to the tangible power of the Gospel in a way I had not seen before. From the stories we heard and the things we experienced, men were lifted out of poverty, women received back their dead, loved ones were healed, the fatherless became sons and daughters… The Gospel, is not just words, but it is power, and the presence of God rest on His Word. Truelly it is living and active. And it saves.
It is the solution for all things, not in just divine healing, salvation of the soul from eternal hell, but also, living by it, it is the power of provision for all things in this life. The spiritual and the natural, the miraculous and the mundane.
We already miss the new sisters and brothers that we met. May this trip be the first of many blessing the nations with His light and love.
Kerith and Krystal
I recently visit a neighbor in apartments near mine. I always see the bright eyed woman with her walker either entering or exiting her car. We briefly speak and I’ll say “I’ll stop by and talk some time.” Well this particular day I was creaitivly derailed as natural circumstances and thoughts of failures flooded my mind constantly while in the studio.
I ended up leaving and coming home early. I saw this bright eyed woman again attempting to empty her car and carry her items to her apartment. All, her and her bags clinging to her walker for safe travel to their destination. After offering my help I decided that today was a good day to stop and visit.
Finding a small spot on her couch we reintroduced ourselves both unsure of if we remembered names correctly. She begin to tell me that she has MS. After discovering that we had similar life altering experiences the same year, my auto accident and her diagnosis, we begin sharing our journeys of trials and overcoming.
I just had to ask her, “So how do you keep a positive outlook despite so many hard things.” She said well it’s not always easy, but I also read the Word at times. I told her that Christ has also been my rock.
As the conversation continued there became a point of very hard memories. Of which she could not bear to think on any further.
Changing the subject, I showed her some of my artwork and our recent sculpture. I was thrilled to bear my heart about the work and its purpose to this audience of one. She soaked up the works and the imagery. She encouraged me to continue in my work expressing her enjoyment of them.
As we said our ” until next time” I left resolved and refocused. Why do I create? Why have I been given these gifts? For fame and fortune, drinking of the fountain of selfish ambition? Or for the audience of One, for the fame of His name, glory, and to love His people. To bless lives with the beauty and life of creativity.
– Krystal J F Hart