Art Church is intended to be a casual, lively, relatively unstructured, come-as-you-are, come-and-go gathering, with opportunity – but no obligation – for participation and engagement. Coffee, tea and home-baked goodies will be served.
Why ‘church?’ you may well ask.
Good question. There are a few reasons.
We wanted this monthly event to represent a spirit of community, friendship, and a commonality; to open a conversation between our visitors and our artists; and to be a regular, welcoming, community-based happening to meet and converse with others who share a love for art, whether they create it themselves or not.
Lastly, perhaps most importantly, there wasn’t another word we could think of that better expresses the certainty that we need art to live fully, joyfully and meaningfully. Or that particular reverence for the artwork which speaks to your deepest self so profoundly that it touches your soul.
We will be open to the public from 10-6, as always! If you prefer to come just to shop for a gift, or float around in the gallery, please do.
By Larry Kapustka and Susan Kristoferson
The provocative sculpture All in the Valley was the launch point for an exploration of the role of art in the depiction of the relationship among humans and the environment. The oversized brown clay human arm crushing Mother Earth, and holding tiny white human skulls, presents powerful imagery of the oversized influence humans have had on the environment – the piece is both unsettling and inspiring.
A far-ranging discussion about art as a vehicle to prompt introspection ensued. Art as a statement can be disturbing, inspiring, awesome. It can be genuinely beautiful if the goal is to inspire calming serenity; it can be deeply unsettling if the goal is a call to shock viewers to take action – to see a looming problem in stark terms.
Other artworks on display in Bluerock Gallery served as examples of elegant beauty, whimsical portrayals, abstract scenes to play on ambiguities, and the provocative. We compared the messaging in David’s sculpture to that of Verna Vogel’s planetary series that signals evolution and chaos as perhaps two approaches to similar visions.
These artworks inspired philosophical exchanges about the human condition, the long history of tribalism, the seemingly inherent drive to reshape our environment with little regard for long-term consequences. A distinguishing difference now compared to earlier times is the presence of 7.5 billion humans and the inability to curb human population growth. All in the Valley was inspired in part by Yuval Noah Harari’s 2015 book Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind. Musing about evolution, science, religion, spirituality, paranormal explorations, and science fiction swirled through the discussions.