Called to share in creation: an art experience for all ages

Published 10:08 pm Friday, November 9, 2018

By Joni Woolf

AMERICUS — A tradition that began four years ago at Calvary Episcopal Church continues to grow and expand — with art and enthusiasm. Entitled Calvary Cornucopia Creations and chaired by artist Mary Beth Rogers, this year’s art weekend begins on Thursday, Nov. 15 and runs through Sunday, Nov. 18. There is something for everyone, beginning with a free chalk event from 3-5:30 p.m. Thursday, when sidewalk “chalkers” of every age are invited to participate in decorating sidewalks around Calvary. Elise Miller created this event and chaired it for the past three years. She is enthusiastic about the reception it has received, across age groups and circumstance. Again, she will be recruiting sidewalk artists to engage in this fun event.
A little history of the event reveals that it is about art, but it is more than that. Several years ago, Elise Miller and current Senior Warden Carey Wooten were involved in a project, offered by the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia, called Church Development Institute, or CDI, as it is commonly called. A training program for the laity, part of the process involved coming up with creative ideas for the participants’ particular parish — a ministry that would reach beyond its members to invite the community to visit and perhaps learn a little more about what motivates this particular group of worshipers. The Episcopal church offers a liturgy rich in symbols and language, and art in many forms plays an important role. So, it seemed a natural extension of the church’s outreach to offer an event that would welcome visitors to come and see: to view the art, not only of its own members, but of artists throughout the area. And, since music is also a part of the church’s “arts,” an evening presentation by a local group has been a part of the celebration.
Since its beginning, the art show has grown in numbers and in scope. This year, following the Thursday event of sidewalk chalk meeting, the Cornucopia continues with an opening reception at 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 16, in Calvary’s parish hall. An Americus band, The Pluck Tones, will perform during the reception, and weather permitted, they will appear in the parish hall’s outdoor cloister, while attendees enjoy a reception and peruse the galleries that have been set up by Mary Beth Rogers and her volunteer crew. The number of featured artists has grown every year; this year is no different. An added attraction this year from 2-6 p.m. on Friday, will be the beginning of the Christmas season at the Mustard Seed House, Calvary’s popular thrift shop, which will be open for Christmas viewing and shopping.
The art show and sale will be open from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday. Also on Saturday, there is a luncheon at noon, by reservation (229 924 3908) for $15. So, a visitor might spend the morning browsing through the galleries, and then enjoy a luncheon with friends, in a setting enhanced by the talents and generosity of local artists. The last day for viewing and purchasing art will be Sunday, Nov. 18, at the end of Calvary’s morning worship service (11:30 a.m.).
This event is about art, and how art broadens and enriches our lives. But the show is also about outreach. The participating artists are asked to donate 20 percent of their income to outreach causes chosen by Calvary. Some of these funds have gone to the Food Bank; this year’s proceeds will be given to Liberty House in Albany, a shelter for battered and abused women. And some of the participating artists donate 100 percent of their earnings to these outreach efforts.
Michelangelo’s famous painting in the Sistine Chapel portrays the creation of Adam by the hand of God. So, if God, the great Creator, made humans in his image, it follows that humans, at their best, are creators. The artists who will be featured at Calvary chose a specific art form to express their passion for creativity. There is much one might learn from beholding the works of these creative hands and minds. Come and see.