by Lindsey Weishar
Special to The Leaven
MISSION — This Lent, Vivify Catholic Arts Collective invites all creatives and makers of the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas to create in their medium during the Lenten season to contribute to an art show entitled “RISEN: Reflections on Resurrection Stories through Art.”
Vivify Catholic Arts Collective thrives on inviting artists into relationship with beauty.
Artist and pastor Father Gerard Alba, of St. Pius X Parish in Mission, is a host and co-leader of Vivify. He describes it this way.
“We are a collective of Catholic artists and creatives who come together for fellowship, prayer and opportunities to share our charisms and artistic gifts — all to grow in discipleship and apostleship in Jesus Christ through faithful stewardship of our artistic gifts under the guidance of the wisdom and teachings of the Holy Spirit embodied in the body of Christ, the church, our mother and muse.”
Father Alba believes approaching Lent with the reality of the Resurrection in mind allows artists to enter more fully into Jesus’ divinity. He recalled, for example, a silent retreat in which he prayed with an outdoor Stations of the Cross.
“When I came upon it, I realized that I had come to the end of the Stations,” he said. “This particular [set of] Stations had the Resurrection as the last station. I decided to go ahead and walk the Stations in reverse, starting from the last Station to the first Station, beginning with the Resurrection.”
“It completely transformed my prayer and reflections, since I was praying with the suffering of Jesus through the lens of the victory of the Resurrection,” he concluded.
Artists who participate in the RISEN art show are invited to create with the inspiration of the following Resurrection stories, each noted by Father Alba for the time and place in which they occurred:
• On Easter Sunday in the garden outside the tomb of Jesus, when Mary Magdalene was the very first disciple to encounter the risen Jesus (Jn 20:1-18)
• One week later in the Upper Room in Jerusalem, when doubting Thomas encountered the risen Jesus and placed his finger into his wounds (Jn 20:24-29)
• Over a week after Easter, on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, when while out fishing, Peter, John and a handful of other disciples encountered the risen Jesus (Jn 21:1-23).
The art show will take place on April 21 from noon-5 p.m. at the parish center of St. Pius X Church in Mission. From noon-2 p.m., visitors can spend prayerful time with the creative pieces. From 2-3:30 p.m., the creators will share about their work and the creation process with attendees. The event will end with a reception.
To participate, contact me by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org by March 1. Whether you create with paint, words, photography, textile art, digital media, pens and pencils, wood or any other medium, Vivify invites you to share your work. The collective hopes this opportunity will fill both the Lent and Easter seasons with extra light for creatives and all who interact with their work.
Vivify Catholic Arts Collective is also looking to grow its membership.
“Creation often has a connotation as a solitary pursuit,” said local creative Sarah Hornung. “However, it doesn’t have to be, and the community forming through Vivify is a welcome and heartening change.”
All are welcome to attend Vivify events. To join the mailing list, send an email to: email@example.com.