Tag Archives: Artists


Exciting Missions Training and Trips for Creative Types!

Ooo la la, do you want to go on a missions trip to Italy? Europe: A needy mission field. Italy especially. The church is in decline in Europe and people like you can go and use your skills and talents to reach people with the message of hope through Jesus! Watch the video for more information and be inspired! Then pray about your next step!


Artistic Missions Team Reaches Out to Earthquake Victims in Italy

One year after an earthquake hit the town of L’Aquila in central Italy, citizens remain angry, depressed and frustrated. Except one.

A student asleep in her dorm when the earthquake hit, Antonella flew out of bed and cowered under a table, crying out to God to save her. In those horrifying moments, she gave her life to Christ—a true ‘foxhole prayer’, bearing fruit a year later. Miraculously, Antonella escaped; the stairwell in her dorm collapsed, but she found herself outside the building, running up the street away from the crashing structure.

Behind her, a human pyramid formed to rescue those trapped on the dorm’s upper floors. Several students died, but most made it out to safety. If you ask most Aquilinos about the earthquake, they will share their grief, their anger and frustration. If you ask Antonella, she will answer that it was the day her life truly began.

An OM ArtsLink short term missions team visited L’Aquila with the desire to bring a message of healing, salvation and hope. A local pastor introduced the team to Antonella.  Her joy, energy and laughter were infectious. Antonella became the team’s inspiration as they began to sketch, photograph, and paint her story.

“Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain.” (Ps. 127:1)

While the goal was to bring a message of hope and restoration, God seemed to continually point to the corruption. That had to be dealt with first; if the city was to be rebuilt, its citizens would have to rebuild their hearts. Not an easy message to deliver! But in Antonella, a person whose heart had been radically changed, we had a compelling story. Rather than succumbing to the fear and blame, Antonella found her hope, strength and joy in Christ. The OM Arts team focused on that, producing 40 pieces of artwork that captured her story, and called the Aquilinos to examine their hearts. An exhibit was created in the town square and the final section portrayed the refreshment and healing that can come when God renews the heart.

The international OM Arts team literally created an outdoor gallery out of the rubble, fencing and scaffolding that surrounded them. They created a circular gallery, surrounding Antonella’s “foxhole” table. On the table: her story, with a stone sculpture of the cross, created from the rubble by our artist from Hong Kong. Hundreds of people filed through, reading her story, or hearing it personally from Antonella, studying the artwork, reading the artists’ statements, talking with OM Arts team members,  responding with written prayers on paper bricks, and posting them on our simulated “brick wall”—symbolizing a rebuilding of the walls of the city. Many lingered for over an hour.

Countless conversations and scores of books and Bibles went out to the hundreds of visitors that were welcomed. Antonella’s story also went out in the form of 500 printed brochures. Seeds of hope and truth were sown and will hopefully be watered by our loving Heavenly Father, who desires good things for the people of L’Aquila.

On the cover of the brochure of Antonella’s story was the following scripture.

“Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you.”—Isaiah 54:10

Shortly after the OM Arts team visited the city, two more earthquakes hit. You can find dramatic photos of the earthquake here: L’Aquila earthquake.

Below, you can watch a short video of the short term arts missions trip to Italy.


Artists: Start Carrying Candles!

March 2010 the International Arts Movement (IAM), founded by Mako Fujimura, hosted “Encounter 10” in New York’s historic Cooper Union.  OM Arts International staff person Pat Butler attended and deliberated with hundreds of other creative catalysts on such questions as “Can creativity be the foundation of a new vision in education?Can museums and galleries be catalysts for cultural transformation? From Where Will the Audience Come?”
Mako, a professional artist working in the Japanese art form nihonga, led off with reflections (he would call them ‘refractions’) on “The Question of Success”—including the new capitalism, the goal of shalom, and art as gift.
Speakers Jacob Marshall, Jeffrey Overstreet and Dan Siedell, among others, challenged us during interviews and panel discussions. We were then launched out for lunch and an afternoon to continue the discussion while exploring the great galleries and museums of the city.  Performances in the evening, readings between sessions from poets and authors, an exhibit of a juried art show, a short film, and a book table to go into debt over, rounded out the offerings of this unique gathering.
An interesting feature of the conference was the iphone app, created for “Encounter 10”.  Anything you wanted to know, from schedule, to locations, to a speaker’s bio, could be found on the app.  One did well to either own an iphone, or hang with those who did!
Especially on Friday, at 2:10 pm EST, when everyone was encouraged to participate in Worldwide Moment: a simultaneous photographic event.  Participants were instructed to take a picture at precisely 2:10, capturing a representation of shalom peace wherever they were, and load it up immediately to the website.  Check out the results at www.worldwidemoment.org!
IAM’s mission is to gather artists and creative catalysts to wrestle with the deep questions of art, faith and humanity in order to inspire the creative community to engage the culture that is and create the world that ought to be.  Mako frequently refers to us as ‘wedding planners’—preparing for that great feast when the Bridegroom comes for the Bride.
As one presenter quipped, “Start carrying candles.  You never know when you’re going to need to celebrate!”

Excelling in arts in missions
imagine – illuminate – impact!