Spirit of the Wilderness’ Third Annual collaboration with The Grand Marais Art Colony
submitted by the Rev. Mary Ellen Ashcroft
Spirit of the Wilderness, Grand Marais just finished its third annual collaboration with The Grand Marais Art Colony. Over sixty artists participated in this year’s show, “Rhythms of Darkness and Light.” Over a hundred people attended an opening reception (provided by the church), featuring a lecture on the show’s theme by Dr. Wayne Roosa, professor of art history at Bethel University and chair of the New York Center for Art and Media Studies.
On a different night, Spirit of the Wilderness sponsored a “Night Without Hunger” event, providing food for the community—who also got to feast their eyes on the art and their ears on music by local musicians.
Artists—ranging from some who are known nationally to some who found courage to make art after many years—created new work for this show in a variety of mediums—glass, fabric, paper, acrylic, pottery, oil, watercolor, pastel. The Art Colony produced a booklet, cataloging the artwork and featuring each artist’s ponderings on the theme.
The collaboration started, partly out of Spirit of the Wilderness’ vicar’s interest in art and spirituality, but also because of the young mission church’s sense that the large artistic community in Grand Marais is a group that are largely un-churched and could find a home in the Episcopal tradition with its emphasis on aesthetics, sacrament, as well as its open mindedness.
Some artists have come to Spirit of the Wilderness because of the collaboration; some Spirit of the Wilderness folks have started producing art again. Perhaps most important, articles in the local newspaper and on the radio, have put Spirit of the Wildernesson the local radar as a different kind of church.
We’ll soon start planning next year’s collaboration (always during Lent)—next year, come for the show!