ArtWay Newsletter December 2020
ArtWay Newsletter 2020
Dear ArtWay subscriber,
By means of this newsletter ArtWay would like to inform you about the progress of our work and thank you for your support.
As treasurer I have looked up our website statistics to get an impression of the range and reach of ArtWay.eu. They only keep track of the 5.000 most visited pages. Number 5.000 is the meditation of 21 October 2012, which even in 2020 has been visited three times with an average reading time of almost five minutes.
We don’t know the exact number of pages on ArtWay, but they clearly extend the 5.000. Another indication is the number of subscriptions to our weekly visual meditations. We have 4700 subscribers at the moment thanks to an increase of 200 this past year.
What makes the ArtWay platform so special is its worldwide scope thanks to its multilingual character (English, Dutch, French, German and Portuguese). I discovered that there are ArtWay visitors in all countries on this planet. We even had 63 visits from Saudi Arabia this year. Most visitors live in the US, the Netherlands and the UK, followed by Belgium, Canada, Australia, the Philippines, Germany, France and India.
Also, the significance of the ‘In View’ section following the weekly visual meditation should be noted. It is a regular up-to-date place to find news of current art events that are pertinent to those serious about art and faith personally and congregationally. It also serves the faith and arts community regarding arts conferences as well as forums for the academic discussion of art and religion and theology to communicate to a global audience what is happening, thus inviting participation from near and far. It is a bridge to walk over every week for practical communication and connections.
Another feature of ArtWay is that the work is carried out by many volunteers. We are approached regularly by new authors and artists, who all contribute without compensation. This enables us to keep up a high-quality selection without commercial advertisements. We would like to sustain our valuable database well into the future. That is why the website itself will be renewed and updated in the coming months.
Art and faith… I was born above a traditional bakery and as a 25-year old I had never visited a museum, even though there was a sound and socially minded sense of history in our home. Then I visited the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam with Marleen Rookmaaker. She showed me how paintings are visual history books. But that was not all. Art speaks its own language and helps us in our search for comprehension. In the same as my father looked in the oven to judge the condition of the bread, an artwork can help us see the state of the world. You will understand that after my first museum visit many followed. It became part of our lifestyle.
At the end of each visit to a museum or church Marleen and I are in the habit to ask each other which artwork we liked best. Surprisingly enough I never need to reflect on this for long. Even when there are many highpoints, there is always a favorite that has been able to get under my skin.
For this newsletter I asked myself what the highlight was of the past 43 years. This was a baptismal chapel built by the Art Sacré movement of the Dominican Marie-Alain Couturier (1897-1954). It is located in a rather dismal French city close to a large car factory. Once inside one enters a well-designed worship space with striking windows by Fernand Léger (1881-1955). After we had taken in the church, we entered the separate baptismal chapel. The round walls were covered from top to bottom with the finest stained-glass windows. In my imagination I saw the family of a factory worker enter with their treasured newborn child. All drabness disappeared during the baptismal ritual in this special surrounding. The beauty of a new birth was applauded by the chapel, the baptism received with art in the leading role. (For a more detailed account of this church and chapel, click here)
If the work of ArtWay may contribute to carry this further into the 21st century, we are thankful to God for this. In this way we share with each other and with all countries of the world the treasures of art that God has entrusted us with.
We are grateful for you as fellow travelers and supporters of our work. Rest assured that we will do our utmost to permanently provide the church and society with the encouragement of quality in art.
We at ArtWay wish you a safe and healthy 2021 filled with grace and peace.
On behalf of the ArtWay team and board,
May you wish to do so, you can give to ArtWay via the Paypal button on the website, click here and go to the bottom of the page.
For those in North America who wish to make a tax-deductible contribution:
In the United States, contributions should be made out to CMML and mailed to:
Christian Missions in Many Lands
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Spring Lake, NJ 07762
Please include a separate note, clearly marked ‘for Laurel Gasque, via MSC Canada’.
If you are donating online, go to https://www.cmml.us/donate and direct the funds to MSC Canada and then indicate Laurel Gasque’s name when you come to a place where you can send a message to CMML/or maybe it says ‘vendor’.
In Canada: contributions should be made out to:
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Clearly marked: ‘for the work Laurel Gasque for ArtWay’.
To donate online go to https://msccanada.org/give-now/ and follow instructions, again marking the gift ‘for Laurel Gasque’.
PS The window shown at the top of the page is by John Piper and is located at St Mary the Virgin, Lamberhurst, England.