Advent 2017 Artwork

Person

Jeremy Grant is an emerging artist and award-winning graphic designer. He was born in California in 1985. He studied Graphic Design and Illustration at John Brown University. Grant has exhibited his collage and assemblage work regularly across Colorado since 2008. An active member of local arts communities, Jeremy has been invited to participate in numerous group shows, donated art to charity, and been awarded a PPAC micro-grant. His work explores themes of destruction and creation, death and resurrection, and chaos and familiarity. Jeremy Grant currently lives and works in Denver, Colorado.

Piece

Isaiah 40Mark 1

Often during Advent, I contemplate the calling of John the Baptist—“to prepare the way of the LORD,” and to “make straight in the desert a highway for our God.” This calling feels just as relevant for us as it was for him.

The people of God had been waiting for Messiah, their Savior King, for hundreds of years. Generations upon generations had lived and died and not seen the promise fulfilled.

John’s prophetic calling took him on a difficult path through the desert to preach a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. John was asked to clear the path for the coming Messiah, Jesus.

The scriptures that refer to this calling paint a picture where “every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low.”

The subject of the piece is a landscape that visualizes the work of John the Baptist—the transition from rough, mountainous terrain to open plains is making smooth the way of the LORD. The mountains are cut from pieces that I felt had a sense of static and a feeling of brokenness. We still live in a broken reality. Some brokenness is obvious and agonizing, and other times brokenness is characterized by the monotony of existence—the lack of joy, color, and celebration.

The extra-long proportion of the piece is meant to convey the passage of time, a sense of waiting and of a long journey still ahead. The dark to light transition hints at the coming sunrise, our current reality is dim, but the bright light of the coming messiah is a dawn on the horizon.

Click on an image below to enlarge.

The complete, final piece:

The sequential pieces, with Advent 2017 sermon series titles:

Process

Hand-cut paper collage inspired by the themes of the season of Advent.

At first, I sought to express brokenness through fragmented pieces—tiny windows into pain. Ultimately, this felt a little one-dimensional and I left it in favor of the landscape idea which had a more rich meaning (see final artwork above).

In another early concept, I envisioned cracks and a shattered pattern getting less and less cracked -the color getting brighter and brighter as the collage progressed. U;timately, I felt like it was—again—less robust of an idea, and cracks don’t really “heal themselves.” It’s difficult to express that idea, even though I liked the graphic potential of it.

Lastly, an image of the final collage in-process, before I added the pink squares. The squares sort of came to symbolize markers in the passage of time, little ebeneezers if you will.

Advent Prayer Guide, Week One

As a part of our engaging in the season of Advent, we are inviting everyone at Park Church to join us in prayer on Wednesdays (Dec. 6, 13, 20) during the lunch hour in our sanctuary to pray. If you can’t join us physically, we hope you can join in personally or even get together with others and pray through the prayer guide offered below! Throughout these prayer times we will be focusing on particular phrases and petitions within the Lord’s Prayer.

What is the Lord’s Prayer and why are we praying it?

One of the main markers of Jesus’ life was not merely His powerful ministry, but also the intentional space Jesus made to get alone and pray to the Father. One might even say that prayer and dependence on His Father was the precise reason His ministry was so effective! He knew that apart from doing what His Father was doing, He could do nothing. From the beginning of His public ministry to the end of it, prayer was a centerpiece in the life of Jesus. When asked by His disciples how to pray, He taught them what is now known as “The Lord’s Prayer” and is found in Matthew 6:9-13:

Pray then like this:
“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

This prayer is short (only 52 words in the ESV!), and yet it is rich in depth… It begins with an address and then gives us 7 petitions. We’ll be focusing in and praying through the address and the first petition today.

The Address

“What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” -A.W. Tozer

Close your eyes for moment. Picture yourself walking into the throne room of God in order to speak with Him. As you come closer to His throne, what immediately comes to your mind? What does God’s face look like? Does he have a scowl or a grin? Is He busy and bothered, or caring and loving? Do you have part of His attention or the whole of it? For Jesus’ disciples to have a healthy prayer life, He knew they’d have to think rightly about God, so He intentionally starts with this address.

Jesus teaches us that we must see God rightly when we come to Him! Jesus calls Him Abba Father. First and foremost, God is our Father. We don’t come to God as distant servants, but as cherished sons and daughters who through the work and blood of Jesus have been adopted into God’s very own family. Not only is God our Father, but He is our Father in heaven. Our Father isn’t some weak powerless dad who can’t stand up for us, but rather is the King of the universe with unlimited power at His disposal. There is nothing impossible for Him, and there is no request too great!

Let’s begin by worshipping our Father in heaven! Let’s start by praising Him in prayer… Think about God’s attributes and actions toward you, particularly as a Father. Meditate on those things, express gratitude for each one! Let’s take also take a moment to pray that Park would be a church that prays regularly because they know of their identity as children of God! Pray that God wouldn’t be a theoretically good Father to those at Park, but rather a Father whom they know intimately and walk with through His Spirit.

Song Ideas For This Prayer Section: Good Good Father, In Tenderness, Before The Throne

Petition #1: Hallowed be Your name

The first petition Jesus teaches us to ask our heavenly Father for is that His name would be “hallowed.” God reveals Himself throughout Scripture as the God who is thrice holy. If God is already holy, why would we need to pray that God’s name would be hallowed? Jesus wants the name of God to be the most important name in His disciples’ lives! What’s in a name? In Bible times, names got at the heart of who someone was. A name was tied to a person; to an identity and an essence. To pray for God’s name to be “hallowed” means to pray that His name would be set apart in our lives from every other name. That His name would be uncontested in our hearts! That we would honor God’s name, revere it, and ultimately treasure His name above any other name, even our very own names!

Take a moment to think about your own life. What are you treasuring most? What things are you honoring and seeking? In all of those pursuits, where does the pursuit of God lie? Is He chief among all pursuits or one among many? Or is He not even on your radar? Let’s take time to pray that God’s name would be:

  • Treasured in our lives first and foremost.
  • Esteemed by our friends and families.
  • Known and loved by our co-workers, neighbors, and those who don’t yet know Him!
  • Lifted up in Denver above all names! That Jesus would be the name that resounds the loudest throughout the city.

Song Ideas For This Prayer Section: Be Thou My Vision, Set A Fire, Forever Reign, Be Lifted Up (Josh Baldwin)

Resources

Psalm 77—Artwork

Learn more about Christ in the Psalms artwork and download artwork guides here.

Person: Jeremy Grant

Jeremy Grant is an emerging artist and award-winning graphic designer. He was born in California in 1985. He studied Graphic Design and Illustration at John Brown University. Grant has exhibited his collage and assemblage work regularly across Colorado since 2008. An active member of local arts communities, Jeremy has been invited to participate in numerous group shows, donated art to charity, and been awarded a PPAC micro-grant. His work explores themes of destruction and creation, death and resurrection, and chaos and familiarity. Jeremy Grant currently lives and works in Denver, Colorado.

Piece

Collage

PROCESS

You will drown. Fall headlong into the tempest. Arms reach, strain. There is nothing to grasp. You will drown. Your last sputtering breaths will be witnessed by no one. Your eyes water against the rush of wind. And pain. Drown.

Hot crackle of lightening snakes around your body.
A cradle of fire that stunts your fall.
Return the embrace of pain. Your salvation.

Feeling abandoned by God, and achingly alone, the writer of the 77th Psalm is lead to consider God’s “miracles of long ago.” Israel was pursued by Pharaoh, and their slaughter was eminent, when God performed a dramatic miracle and parted the sea, unveiling an unlikely escape route.

And yet that provision was immensely terrifying—the sea a symbol of chaos and terror in the ancient world. “Walk through the terror,” it seems God told them. But where was God in the middle, when the sea could, seemingly, crash down at any moment, crushing all beneath? God’s footprints were not seen, yet it was His hand at work.

Psalm 76—Artwork

Learn more about Christ in the Psalms artwork and download artwork guides here.

Person: Taylor Powers

I’m a portrait photographer who grew up in Colorado. I live in Denver with my husband Alex.

Piece

Photography

PROCESS

As I read through Psalm 76, two words stuck with me every time: humbled and stunned. The people mentioned in the Psalm seem to be the greatest of mankind: kings, princes, and men of war. The greatest of men, the greatest of us, were humbled and stunned, unable to stand in the presence of God. I really wanted to create an image that captured the feeling of being both fearful and reverent at once. I could relate to being humbled and stunned, because it reminded me of spending time in prayer while in the mountains. Whenever I spend time in the mountains, I feel small. Not small in a bad or insignificant way, but in a way that puts me in my place, so to speak. It’s scary and comforting. It reminds me of how incredible and wonderful God’s creation is, and it’s always given me clarity and perspective.

The title of Psalm 76, “Who Can Stand Before You,” became the literal idea behind this image. With my image, I wanted to capture that feeling of being stunned and humbled by something much greater than yourself, to the point that you can’t even stand before it. I wanted to capture a surrender. My goal was to put a physical sense of scale of the mountains being that much greater than man, and God being that much greater than “the mountains of prey”. I hope that this image is seen as a man not praying to or worshiping a mountain, but instead being overcome by his smallness in its midst. If the mountains are this much greater than the greatest of mankind, and God is that much greater than the mountains, how can we not be humbled? How can we even stand before Him?

I knew I wanted to get as close to the mountains as possible, preferably at sunrise. My husband (the man in the photo, who was a trooper) and I camped in Rocky Mountain National Park so we would get to this spot for the sunrise. The color and the light of sunrise in the mountains always seems much more jarring and harsh than the softness of a sunset. We hiked around and tried a few different spots, which didn’t work as well. On our way back to the car I found this spot and this was the last photo I took of the series.

Psalm 75—Artwork

Learn more about Christ in the Psalms artwork and download artwork guides here.

Person: LouAnn Summers

My name is LouAnn Summers. I grew up in Littleton, Colorado and have since lived in Missouri, Texas, New Mexico, and Utah. I have now been in Arvada, Colorado for five years. I’ve been married to Brent going on 38 years and am a mother of four and a grandmother of six. I come from a very artistic family, a few of whom are professionals. It was not until adulthood that I discovered a knack for painting. I am an amateur artist and make art for the sheer joy of it. I was fortunate to have the chance to teach art to 6th graders for five years in public school.

Piece

Watercolor

PROCESS

This piece was inspired by Psalm 75:8 (NIV):

In the hand of the Lord is a cup full of foaming wine mixed with spices; He pours it out, and all the wicked of the earth drink it down to its very dregs.
(Psalm 75:8 NIV)

Upon my first reading of this scripture, I immediately saw an image of this foaming cup of wine spilling over the earth—liquid and crimson like blood. I imagined God “lavishing” grace upon us (Ephesians 1:8) because “He so loved the world…” (John 3:16). These images reminded me of Jesus saying about the cup of wine, “This is my blood…which is poured out for many…” (Matt 26:28). I then imagined this precious, crimson flow and its effects on our world. I see in this picture the blood cleansing the earth (turning from red to yellow) and from that cleansing life grows (green and blue).

Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.
(From John 7:37–38 NIV)

As I formed the stars I was reminded of Psalm 8:3–4 (NIV):

When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have set in place, what is mankind that You are mindful of them, human beings that You care for them?
(Psalm 8:3–4 NIV)

I experienced a most awesome time of worship feeling God’s joy as He created the heavens! Praise be to the majesty and glory of His name!

This project is watercolor on Yupo, a special kind of paper that is synthetic and does not absorb liquid. This is what enabled such a glowing effect. It also came with great challenges which emphasized my tendencies to struggle. God graciously saw me through with the patience to continue. Then He did this most surprising thing! This “lightning burst” was a completely unintended surprise. I watched wide eyed as the paint and paper formed this awesome display of its own accord! I now view it as God’s motion.

Psalm 74—Artwork

Learn more about Christ in the Psalms artwork and download artwork guides here.

Person: Benjamin Rogers

Benjamin is an art instructor at Red Rocks Community College in Lakewood, Colorado. His work has been exhibited across the country and been featured on the covers of New American Paintings, Fresh Paint Magazine and ArtVoices Magazine. He studied painting at Northern Kentucky University, Louisiana State University and finally Arizona State University, where he received his MFA. He lives in Arvada with his wife Emma and son Everett.

Piece

Oil

PROCESS

Psalm 74 is a cry of anguish that questions why God would allow His enemies to destroy the sanctuary and His people’s home. To communicate this, I made a copy of Thomas Cole’s “Destruction of the Empire,” which I obfuscated through transparent layers of paint. Then I painted a toy hippopotamus as a “viewer,” examining the destruction depicted in the painting. The hippopotamus is representative of God’s people lamenting His once great empire, though distinctly separated from it.

This painting was created using an indirect oil painting method, which begins with a burnt umber value painting and gradually builds up color through transparent glazes of paint.

Psalm 73—Artwork

Learn more about Christ in the Psalms artwork and download artwork guides here.

Person: Keli Hogsett

Keli Hogsett is originally from Austin, Texas and moved to Denver in 2013. Her husband and her have a 1.5 year old son and live in the Highlands. Keli is a Creative Director at Made Movement, an advertising agency in Boulder, Colorado.

Piece

Sculpture (Wood & Glue)

PROCESS

When reading Psalm 73, I related to being distracted by envy towards unbelievers who seem not to have a care in the world. In moments where I catch myself putting God’s presence aside, following unbelievers’ ways can seem like the path of least resistance. However, this Psalm is a good reminder to me to always focus on God’s end promise, both now and in the afterlife.

This piece is made entirely of “ends.” The wood colored ends represent nearness to God, where the darker pieces represent the opposite. The darker ends can attract and manipulate the wooden ends, but the darker they get, they turn downward and are swallowed by the wooden ends.

Psalm 72—Artwork

Learn more about Christ in the Psalms artwork and download artwork guides here.

Person: Bruce Butler

I am a graphic designer and musician from the East Coast. In 2012, I moved to Denver from Buffalo, New York to be closer to family and began designing for WorldVenture, a missions organization in Littleton. I’m currently designing for Olsson Associates, a civil engineering consulting rm in Golden. I co-lead a Gospel Community in the Sloans Lake neighborhood and, in my free time, I enjoy playing music, cooking with friends, and spending time with my nieces and nephew. You can see more of my work on Instagram at @madebybruce or by visiting madebybruce.com.

Peice

Mixed Medium

PROCESS

Psalm 72 is a beautiful psalm of God’s triumph. Imagery like “Let the mountains bear prosperity for the people, and the hills, in righteousness!” and “May they fear you while the sun endures, and as long as the moon, throughout all generations! May he be like rain that falls on the mown grass, like showers that water the earth! In his days may the righteous flourish, and peace abound, till the moon be no more,” paint a vivid picture of God prospering His people. However, those who are in Christ yet are not experiencing God’s earthly providence are not excluded from the blessing: “For he delivers the needy when he calls, the poor and him who has no helper. He has pity on the weak and the needy, and saves the lives of the needy. From oppression and violence he redeems their life, and precious is their blood in his sight.”

In this piece, I added the sun above all, breaking frame, depicting how, through night and day (times of prosperity and adversity), His light shines over all. The rain is a mirror of His showers that water the earth. Though I usually do digital art, I enjoy woodworking and wanted to attempt some new techniques. I started by using a propane torch to bring out the grain. Next, I masked off those areas and applied a stain. Unfortunately the stain bled, so I masked o the stained part and applied spray-paint to the alternating strips. I then masked o the edge and painted it black. Because I wanted a rough cut, I used a screwdriver to add definition to the mountains. I added the trees afterward with a Sharpie and chipped away for the grass effect with a razor blade. To add contrast to the grass, I applied a quick stain. For the rain, I used a hot glue gun and a hand drill for a raised and recessed perspective. Lastly, I spray-painted the sun and touched-up some lines with a Sharpie. It definitely wasn’t the vision I started with, but that’s how most physical artwork goes.

Psalm 71—Artwork

Learn more about Christ in the Psalms artwork and download artwork guides here.

Person: Lane Geurkink

I am a local graphic designer and painter. Originally from Oklahoma with a BFA from Baylor, I have been living/working in Denver the past six years. I love to paint as an expression of the things I’ve seen, places I have traveled, and my journey with Christ.

PIECE

Acrylic & Charcoal

PROCESS

I made this piece with acrylic and charcoal pencil.

The abstract is a recreation of the things I feel when reading the Psalm. The colors are intended to give a sense of peace as well as the motion/rhythm of the composition.

Psalm 70—Artwork

Learn more about Christ in the Psalms artwork and download artwork guides here.

Person: Will Whittington

My name is Will Whittington. I am currently based out of Denver working as a freelance photographer while a college student. I got started about eight years ago when I wanted to capture images of my friends skateboarding one night. I had a small digital camera that I had found in a drawer at home. I have always felt that I had a message to convey. I wanted people to experience the joy I felt from skateboarding and, eventually, from the world around me. Photography gave me the outlet and ability to make this possible. I had begun to beg my parents for a real DSLR camera, and after learning how to develop film at a school summer camp, I was just hooked. The process of creating something that could evoke feeling in a person was the most incredible experience. My school used to have offices to run for, like president, vice president, etc. In 6th grade, they ran out of offices, so the admin decided to create a school historian. This was my shot. I made a deal with my mom that if I could win, she would give me her old Canon Rebel XTI DSLR from 2001. She accepted the deal and it was on! I whipped up an incredible speech, proposed it to my class and ended up winning by one vote! My mom agreed to give me the camera and every single day after school I went to the skate park to capture my friends skating. I eventually took my camera everywhere I went to be able to capture life itself. Since then I have progressively been shooting more and have also trickled over to a little bit of design. Everyone is an artist, and everyone is creative. From the outfits we choose to the captions we write to the food that we cook, art is among us. I hope that my images will allow you to think and interpret your own thoughts and motivate you to see the world around you in a more creative manner.

PIECE

Photography

PROCESS

I created the image from a waterfall that I shot in the mountains.

Psalm 70 is a short and simple Psalm but is powerful in that God reveals His power and our need for deliverance. The image I kept seeing in my mind throughout this Psalm was that of “outpouring.” The black around the fall is meant to symbolize the enemy that surrounds us—those who seek to devour us. Our days easily start out with the stresses of life and anxieties of the world and it so easily consumes us. For me, it often feels like I will never get out alive, but God’s great deliverance and outpouring of love never ever ceases to be faithful. God prevailed mightily through the cross, and the outpouring of Jesus Christ’s blood on our behalf is the source of my rejoicing and life, like water pouring forth from darkness into my dry soul that’s thirsty, needy and desperate for His grace.