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Launching Artists

Interview with Pastor Kurt Trempert, HarvestDowntown (Alliance) in Colorado Springs, Colorado

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AL: Briefly describe the ministry you launched.

Our church’s Easter art show, Perspectives on the Passion, is a project we created for our city’s art community. We invite artists to use Lent as an opportunity for reflection and expression. We give them each a station from the Scriptural Way of the Cross and invite them to offer their perspective on the Scripture. Each artist then presents his or her piece at an art show that runs throughout Holy Week, culminating on Good Friday.

art-shattered
Shattered, Broken . . . Still Undefeatable by Janessa Anderson. (Photo by Daron Short)

The art show is not intended to be an outreach event; rather, we want to reach the local art community by inviting them to participate.

How did God uniquely prepare your church for this ministry?

Our church is located in downtown Colorado Springs, the artistic and cultural center of our city. So when I heard a conference speaker mention the idea of reaching the art community in his town, I immediately began dreaming of how we could pull this off in our context.

I knew some artists from the various coffee shops in our area and a woman in our church who used art in her therapy sessions. So I reached out to them to see if there was interest and whether they thought the idea was feasible. Soon we realized that there were “closet artists” all around us.

What’s one risk you took to launch this work?

The first year of Perspectives on the Passion we were desperate to find 14 artists to each take a station. We placed Facebook ads and asked all of our church’s “artist types” to participate. When we still didn’t have enough artists, we reached out to other churches.

art-here
Here . . . by John Alderson. (Photo by Daron Short)

Once we had enough artists, we found ourselves wondering, What if the artists submit theologically inaccurate representations? We concluded that we had to trust the Spirit to speak through His Word to the artists—and He did, believers and nonbelievers alike.

Share an example of what God’s done through this art show to build His Kingdom.

Art begets art. We have seen an incredible influx of artists into our church because of the art shows. Two of our artists-in-residence first met us through being invited to participate in the art show.

art-exhibitOur current music director’s first contact with our church was coming to our first art show with his then girlfriend. They are now married and over the last three years have stepped into the role of helping to curate the show. Our first artist-in-residence and her husband are now serving with marketplace ministries, an association of C&MA lay professionals employed in international, secular settings.

What’s your advice for someone desiring to step out as you did?

First, know your community. Ask your neighbors, “What is your biggest frustration about living here?” Then ask your church community, “How would Jesus have us respond to this need?”

Furthermore, we had to choose to trust the Holy Spirit with the process and the result. This was particularly hard for me. I don’t like surprises, but we have to relinquish control to Him.

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