We started in February, 2018 with twelve members, here at Advent Christian Village, way down upon the Suwannee River. My theory was that everyone is creative and some creatives are interested in the visual arts (others are interested in music, or writing, or even cooking.)
We meet formally every Friday and informally throughout the week. Each member gets work and display space, and seeks to reach out to the community at large, with a heavy emphasis on sweat equity, otherwise known as volunteering. The group is close knit and productive, taking road trips together and celebrating life events. Besides members we have many affiliates with whom we exchange services and information.
We have a Youtube playlist (https://bit.ly/2QuxO6C) and were featured in an article last summer in the Suwannee Valley Scene. We have a rotating display at the library, with a mural in the children’s section to encourage reading. We have an online learning station so that anyone may take Art 101 courses and if their work is sufficient, they can receive a certificate. Those outside the Village can complete the DVD course wherever they live.
We have held art parties for the Village church and will do the same for the Library in the future, as well as conduct chalk talks for children programs as needed. We are forming a non-profit organization to apply for grants to fund expansion of our programs.
Suwannee River Studio is a Christian organization promoting creativity, socialization between individuals and other organizations with the same mission, and development of individual gifts.Almost everyone started saying they were not artists, but now look at their gallery on Youtube https://bit.ly/2H8REoD. My theory…that everyone is creative? Yeah, that’s true. You, too.
We’re inspired by Pope John Paul II’s letter to artists:
“Obedient to their inspiration in creating works both worthwhile and beautiful, they not only enrich the cultural heritage of each nation and of all humanity, but they also render an exceptional social service in favor of the common good.
The particular vocation of individual artists decides the arena in which they serve and points as well to the tasks they must assume, the hard work they must endure and the responsibility they must accept. Artists who are conscious of all this know too that they must labor without allowing themselves to be driven by the search for empty glory or the craving for cheap popularity, and still less by the calculation of some possible profit for themselves. There is therefore an ethic, even a “spirituality” of artistic service, which contributes in its way to the life and renewal of a people.”