A few weeks back we were able to share a weekend with Michigan Artist Joel Schoon-Tanis and the whole weekend felt like an acknowledgement of the power that art holds to be able to retell familiar stories in a way that breaths new life into them.
Joel spoke both Saturday and Sunday on creativity, the power of metaphor and imagery, and lamented the loss of art being created and appreciated in the church. Really all of us at roughhewn people felt that Joel was a kindred spirit in a lot of ways, articulating well a cultural call to create art and a theological one as well, bridging a gap that has existed for a long while between the Church and the Art World.
Specifically talking about the project he worked on called 40: The Biblical Story, Joel talked about the quirky style of layering kid-ish art and more "polished" artwork, creating the idea of more voices added to the story, and a final image that can give some new meaning and life to young and old alike. Make no mistake, for the bold colors and child-like feel to many of the paintings Joel is an amazing painter and theologian, with layers of meaning in each piece, well thought out and executed.
We are both feeling like we want to partner on another project together, so here's hoping that 2017 brings another collaboration with Joel. in the meantime, check out his website: www.joelschoontanisart.com where his prints and books are for sale (we sold out the ones he brought with so please check out his site for purchasing!)