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Eva Crawford: Set Free

ArtWay Visual Meditation September 30, 2018

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Eva Crawford: Set Free

I Choose to Forgive

by Dianne B. Collard

There are times when only a painting can express the deep emotions and spiritual realities of our lives. In a very personal sense this contemporary piece of art by American artist Eva Crawford accomplishes this. The artist describes her motivation in the painting, Set Free, in this way:

Romans 8:2 is the inspiration for this acrylic painting, “For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.” The construction of Old-Testament law offers only the confining cage of our best efforts, whereas the open door represents freedom through Christ for our soul. The bird is a visible image of the invisible spirit living within us fulfilling the law due to his loving grace alone.  

The longing for freedom resides in every person, but never more so when one is tortured with the chains that come with bitterness, hatred, and a desire for revenge. Such were my feelings after the brutal murder of our eldest son. My book, I Choose to Forgive: Expanded Edition, tells my journey from despair to freedom and the healing that came through obedience to the command to forgive the murderer. The Expanded Edition also offers the journeys of my husband (who went from hatred and a desire to take revenge to complete freedom); our daughter (from fear to freedom); and the murderer’s journey from guilt to the freedom of salvation. In the earlier edition of this book I wrote:

Ultimately God demonstrated his love for me with the command to forgive my son’s murderer. Because of his love, he wanted me to thrive again, not merely to survive the deep grief. His design was for me to live in freedom and joy; the one possibility of that happening was for me to forgive without reservation. . .  “Acts of forgiveness” or actively seeking to “bless” the person who has hurt us is God’s method of releasing his blessings of freedom, wholeness, and joy in our lives. It breaks the power of the Enemy in our lives, a power we invite through hatred, anger, and resentment. The command to bless those who offend or persecute us (I Peter 3:9) springs from the heart of a God of love.

Upon completion of the Expanded Edition of my book, I started looking for a cover painting that would accurately and powerfully express the freedom that is possible through forgiving. The publisher suggested many pieces of art that did not express the feelings of joyous freedom that I felt. I began searching through the on-line galleries of artists in my acquaintance and was overwhelmed with this painting by a dear friend and colleague, Eva Crawford, called Set Free. The colors were joyful and the exuberance of the bird experiencing freedom from captivity echoed the journey of my own life, as I forgave the man who killed our son. This piece of art perfectly embodied the message of my book.

The artist graciously allowed me to use her painting and, later, my husband and I were able to purchase this beautiful piece of art. It is a continual reminder of the freedom offered by God through Christ and through obedience to his commandments.

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Eva Crawford: Set Free, acrylic. 30” x 30”. Privately owned.

Book Cover I Choose to Forgive: Expanded Edition, published by Cascade Books, 2018.

Eva Crawford is originally from and currently lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, USA. She earned her BFA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in painting and printmaking. She has worked as a furniture designer, freelance artist and Director of Visual Arts at Charlotte Christian School. Since stepping out as a full-time artist last year she has been an ArtPop Street Gallery Class of 2018 winner and a two-time Honorable Mention winner in the Oakton Foundation Visual Arts Competition. She has received a Creative Mornings HUG Grant for her S E E N Series. www.evacrawfordart.com

Dianne B. Collard is a missionary, a creative catalyst in the arts and faith movement, as well as a writer and international speaker. She serves as the founding director of ArtsCharlotte and is the Director of European Ministries for Artists in Christian Testimony. Her book I Choose to Forgive: Expanded Edition has recently been published. Dianne has her M.A. in Intercultural Studies and a Doctor of Missiology from the Cook School of Intercultural Studies, Biola University (La Mirada, California, USA). She and her family now live in Charlotte, North Carolina, U.S.A. www.montageinternational.org; www.ichoosetoforgive.com

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ON THE WEBSITE   NEW ON THE WEBSITE   NEWS

1. ARTICLE – ‘The Icon of The Last Judgement’ by Jonathan Pageau. “The icon of the Last Judgement is one of the most complex Christian images. As depicting of the final things, it is a synthesis of the cosmic mystery. As an image of judgement, it is also the place where everything is resolved by Christ. From the very first moments of my burgeoning interest in iconology, I have focused on this image, seeing it not only as the image of a cosmic culmination, but also one of the culmination of iconography itself.” Read more

2. ARTISTS’ GATHERING SOUTH AFRICA – If you are in the Western Cape during October please be reminded to book your tickets for the Artists' Gathering 5 - 7 Oct 2018! https://www.quicket.co.za/events/54888-the-artists-gathering-2018-stellenbosch/#/. This is the 3rd year we are hosting this inspiring, energizing, intimate event, with artists from the Stellenbosch community (and broader) gathering to talk about the arts and faith. This year we are spending plenty of time hearing from professional artists, fledgling curators and artist-theologians in our midst. As usual Dr James Krohn who founded Krux Africa - centre for Christianity and Culture will grace us with his insight in theology and the arts.  

3. JAMES TURRELL IN BERLIN - 12 April 2018 – 30 September 2019, Jewish Museum Berlin, Lindenstraße 9-14, Berlin: Ganzfeld "Aural". An Installation by James Turrell. In a temporary structure in the museum garden, we are presenting the immersive installation Ganzfeld “Aural”. “Aural” is the Berlin premiere of a Ganzfeld by the world’s foremost light sculptor. The installation is part of the Ganzfeld Pieces series, in which Turrell creates liminal zones of experience. Upon entering the Ganzfeld “Aural” installation, visitors are immersed in a space that reveals neither its light source nor its dimensions. Their eyes lose their frame of reference; their gaze is unleashed. Light, color, and space melt together. The installation’s gradual color shifts are punctuated by flashes of light. James Turrell demands time from his visitors. Our eyes must first adjust before the light’s effect fully unfolds. Suddenly, we perceive the slightest stimuli and changes. This leads to dreamlike experiences reminiscent of thick fog, expanses of snow, or the dark of night.  Light is a central symbol in Judaism linking the beginning and end of creation. James Turrell’s works can be seen as one of the most spectacular artistic interpretations of the creation of light. Hours: https://www.jmberlin.de/en/planning-your-visit ; https://www.jmberlin.de/en/exhibition-james-turrell-aural

4. BRUEGEL IN VIENNA - 2 October 2018 – 13 January 2019, Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Maria-Theresien-Platz, Wien: Bruegel. 2019 sees the 450th anniversary of the death of Pieter Bruegel the Elder (c 1525/30 – 1569). To mark the occasion the Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna is dedicating the world’s first ever major monograph exhibition to the artist widely regarded as the 16th century’s greatest Netherlandish painter. Just over forty paintings by Bruegel’s own hand have been preserved to this day. The Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna owns by far the largest collection, with twelve panels. This is due not least to the fact that, already in the 16th century, Habsburg collectors had recognised the exceptional quality and originality of Bruegel’s imagery and endeavoured to acquire his prestigious works. Bruegel’s popularity is also down to the stunning compositions themselves, which are often moralising and always teeming with characters, inviting the viewer to reflect on the multi-layered complexity of the image contents. In museums and private collections, Bruegel’s works are rightly held to be among the most precious, but also the most fragile inventories. To date, the vast majority of the wooden panels have never been loaned for exhibition purposes. So once the collection at the Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna is complemented by many paintings on loan from international museums and private collections, the overview of Bruegel’s entire oeuvre is set to be nothing short of sensational. Hours: http://www.khm.at/en/visit/exhibitions/bruegel/

5. NEW BOOK – Aaron Rosen, Ed., Encounters: The Art of Interfaith Dialogue, Brepols (Arts and the Sacred). The 21st century is a new era for interfaith dialogue.  Readers are invited to witness the meetings of faith leaders from across the globe through the eyes of acclaimed artist Nicola Green, accompanied by challenging reflections from leading scholars. See above for exhibition details. http://www.brepols.net/Pages/ShowProduct.aspx?prod_id=IS-9782503580326-1

BBC interview with the artist Nicola Green: https://vimeo.com/290657719 

For more exhibitions, lectures, conferences etc. inside and outside your country, click here

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