This week I go to Chicago and set up a show at North Park College where they have given our family a 12' x 8' wall to be included in thier fall show called "A Doll House" along with three other artists. Our contribution will be a collection of art and crafts made by Brenda, the children and myself. Some of the pieces where collaborative (Older siblings helping younger ones, Brenda and I working together on the same painting...) We are excited about this opprotunity in Chicago to take what we do in our home town on the road. We currently have a similar kind of exhibition at the art gallery in the beautiful worship and art center at Grand Rapids Christian High School until the end of this month.
Our children have grown up in a very creative and artistic environment. It has been a sometimes tough and challenging home where we have had to think quick on our feet to survive as artists making a living through what we can create and sell. When the children are small that don't really have much of a sense of what is going on behind the curtian of our mystical cash flow rainy seasons and droughts but the older ones have a quickend sense of why there are so many meals built around a big pot of soup. The children have grown up with our Beerhorst Family Art Shows which have friends and complete strangers waking around in our house talking and looking at the pictures on the walls like there life depended on it. The children have always been encouraged to get envolved buy making their creations available and were thrilled to make a little money at the end of the week end selling ball point pen and crayon drawings or card board painted birds. For our oldest two daughters those few dollars have grown into hundreds as they have developed their craft and handy work over the years. It is very satifying to find ways to work together as a family that leads into the creation of something truely unique and potent in a world dominated by bland junk coming out of institutions like Walmart, Target and McDonalds, a world that is more about conformity combined with modernist efficiency rather than what can rise out of unique small scale local econonomy that is long on labor and short on cash. When we finally sell one of our hand hooked rugs, paintings or pot holders, themoney we make an hour would look very tawdry compared to what it is offered by the typical worker/employer relationship in Ameirica. But we refuse to meter out our success on those kind of terms and tend to think more along the lines of following a crazy call God has planted deep within our our hearts which often makes our life feel like some of the scary places Frodo and Sam find themselves in on their way to dispose of their damned ring. The scarry places our life journey takes us into keeps hour hand on the tuning knob of the makeshift ham radio set in our heart that is trying to pick up God's radio signal among all the other static of competing signals coming through the spiritual air waves floating around out there. We are enjoying a life together that is alot about process and journey more than it is about arrival.