"Your life is a sacred journey. And it is about change, growth, discovery, movement, transformation, continuously expanding your vision of what is possible, stretching your soul, learning to see clearly and deeply, listening to your intuition, taking courageous challenges at every step along the way." -Caroline Adams
Life is indeed a sacred journey.
It is a journey of twist + turns, wins + losses, births + deaths, pain + joy, tragedy + celebration--sometimes all at the same time. About this time three years ago my life was dramatically interrupted with the death of my child who was born prematurely. With that interruption came new questions + a new understanding of myself. With that interruption came a deeper appreciation for the gift of life + a desire not to merely survive but to thrive-- honoring the life of AJ + the gift of her existence.
I found myself naming out loud with certainty + clarity that I was not called to ministry within the institution of the church as a pastor, which I had been doing for almost 10 years. Based on this awakening, I mustered up the courage to be the artist I'd always been—not being satisfied with only wondering about being an artist in my imagination, but to, in practice, live that out as a matter of faith, to be an artist professionally as a sense of calling that I had come to understand in new ways. I’d always pay close attention to my longings and hold my vision for LAR Art Studio loosely even as it manifested into reality, so that they could have room to breathe + expand in ways I had yet to even imagine.
A while back, Jacob Breeze (Pastor and artist of Holy Family HTX), shared with me his vision for a new church he was planting in East Downtown HTX + how he imagined that the arts would be an important part of the life of the Holy Family community. The vision was intriguing + beautiful. So over the next couple of months I continued to pay attention, imagine, share some of my visions for LAR Art Studio with all who asked about it, and I spoke honestly about my understanding of my vocation +, eventually, co-created with Jacob a partnership between Holy Family HTX + LAR Art Studio (me) that I am delighted to be able to share with you.
I am now serving as the Artist In Residence with Holy Family HTX.
Friends, I'm excited to share in life's unfolding with such a dope community of people, as I continue to build LAR Art Studio to be all that I envision it will be.
I'm grateful, of course a bundle of nerves, still living with the questions, trusting the unfolding sacred journey of life as I continue to hold it all loosely + looking forward to co-creating some beauty in HTX with Jacob Breeze + Holy Family HTX + other artists in HTX!
MY WORK AMONG THE COMMUNITY WILL BE:
I will provide time for artists to reflect, exhibit and/or create work.
As I continue to research + study the "fragile friendship" between faith and the arts, I will guide Holy Family HTX into an intentional theological study and reflection on the “fragile friendship” between faith and the arts.
BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR:
1. Monthly Art as Prayer Gatherings:
Opportunities for the community to gather around the table, creating space for art to happen once a month in my studio!
2. A Holy Family Artists Community: I will be connecting, listening to, supporting, walking with, and encouraging artists within the community. She will make space for exhibitions, collaborations, and ways for artists in the community to offer whatever gifts they are stirred to offer that will contribute to the life of Holy Family + the City of Houston.
3. I will help Holy Family support the arts/artists within East Downtown/the neighborhood, making the church aware of ways we can patronize the arts with our presence, resources, and active interest in the work of arts at Holy Family.
4. Finally, I've been commissioned to create nine MASSIVE art pieces that will serve as liturgical paraments.
Our first art gathering will be Sunday, December 18--an Advent Encaustic Workshop. Encaustic painting involves using heated mixture of beeswax + damar resin to paint. The word encaustic originates from the Greek word enkaustikos which means "to burn in." Encaustic painting is an ancient technique, dating back to the Greeks of the 1st century, who used wax to caulk ship hulls + for decorating warships with pigmented wax. Perhaps the best known of all encaustic work are the Fayum funeral portraits painted in the 1st through 3rd centuries A.D. by Greek painters in Egypt.
In this workshop you will be guided in an creative process that involves reflection, collaging +/or painting with acylics on a small wood panel surface that will be encased with encaustic wax medium.
There are three different time options available, so sign up for the time you prefer. Space is limited, so please fill out the RSVP form below before Monday, December 12 to sign up. I will respond within 24hrs. with a confirmation email.
We look forward to hosting + creating with you on Sunday, December 18.
Lanecia A. Rouse