IAM Encounter: To be a creative catalyst

I was pleasantly surprised yesterday by an acquaintance’s proposal in my inbox, inviting me to be part of a small publication intended to encourage artists of faith in their craft. I have a lot of questions before consenting to the idea, but I’m hopeful it will work out.

This has me thinking again about my role as, employing the phraseology of the IAM Encounter conference, a creative catalyst. I attended the conference as an artist, but ended up being surprised at how much I was drawn to the role of catalyst once I was there. Ideally, and I believe this manifests itself quite plainly on this blog, I would be both a sculptor and encourager of artists.

One of my concerns with respect to the aforementioned proposal is how it will — and it will — cut into my own time working in the studio, time that is already very limited. However, I’ve talked about this kind of project in the past. From a September 2006 post:

    I am glad for the plethora of books on Christians in the visual arts, although I have one complaint. Most of these books are not written by visual artists. Elsheimer is a writer. Author Jeremy Begbie is a theology professor with a background in music. Rory Noland, author of two popular books on the Christianity and the arts, is also coming from a musical perspective — and there are three or four more of these examples on the cusp of my keyboard. Schaeffer and Rookmaaker were philosophers and cultural thinkers, and their writing is important. However, they were not visual artists either.

Since posting that I’ve found a couple examples of writing by Christian visual artists; Mako Fujimura’s Refractions was just published last month (It is, in essence, a compilation of his blog entries.). As [an aspiring] visual artist, to be involved in such a publication would further my own desire to see more writing on theology and the arts coming from a plastic arts perspective.

It would also mark a more formal foray into the realm of catalyst, although I don’t really see myself becoming an author. My dream, the idea that mostly makes me think of myself as a creative catalyst, remains: To birth or play a significant part in a center for artists of faith.

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About pcNielsen
Paul Nielsen founded The Aesthetic Elevator late in 2005. He owns a piece of paper, located somewhere in his house (not on the wall), stating that he earned a B.F.A. from the University of Nebraska around about 2001. While there, he studied studied architecture, graphic design and ceramics, graduating with a degree in studio art. Paul presently serves as communications manager for a small non-profit doing their print design and marketing. He spends as much time sculpting in his studio as possible — which is not nearly enough. Visit his website at pcNielsen.com.

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