I currently live and work in the town that I grew up in, a suburb called Barrington about 45 minutes outside of the city of Chicago. Only a few weeks ago I met for the first time a woman named Christine Danforth. Our first meeting was at a sweet little french bakery called Ambrosia that I've passed by in my car every day for the past 18 years. Christine attends the church that I attend here in my little Chicago suburb, although the church is not terribly small. Christine has a brilliant mind and is led by God to influence the world in embracing and appreciating the arts. She has a way of unleashing the people around her to soar in their gifts and passions. She leads a unique group of individuals as a community leader for the "creatives" in our church. This group of people meet consistently every Sunday, sit together on Sunday morning, and share and celebrate their artistic passions and talents. Each month different artists are showcased, and work is hung up in the walls of our church for everyone to appreciate. I am so privileged to be a part of a church like Willow Creek that supports artists and so highly values the arts.
Sitting down with Christine a few weeks ago, she filled me in on what had been quite a journey in planning a "Passion Art Walk," an idea that has been spearheaded by her but supported by other local artists, business owners, and church leaders in our community.
As she shared with me, the art walk would consist of the following: 12 local businesses in our downtown area hosting 12 different local artist's work. Each artist would work within the theme of "hands," incorporating hands into their artistic pieces. Each artist's work, as well, would represent a different station of the cross. (If perhaps you have a Catholic background, you may be familiar with the Stations of the Cross. The Stations of the Cross are a popular Catholic devotion which commemorates the Passion and death of Jesus Christ. Each of the stations stands for an event which occurred during Jesus' road to the cross and death on Good Friday. A person making the Stations of the Cross is to meditate about each event depicted at each station, and pray.)
Thus, each artist's work symbolically represents the different stations.
It has been truly remarkable to see a community come together- leaders from different churches, business, and artists all contributing their time, resources, and talents to bless and influence our Barrington community in this way.
I have never seen anything quite like the Passion Art Walk set up this week in Barrington- in this little town I've lived in most of my life. I greatly encourage you to journey through the twelve stores involved this week (March 25th-30th) and experience the beautiful art involved and appreciate the meaning of Holy Week.
Local business which are a part of the walk, where a station exists and piece of art is placed: 1. Barrington Flower Shop, 2. Bravura Home and Gift, 3. Egg Harbor Cafe, 4. TT Patton, 5. Acacia Organics, 6. Phillips Men's Wear, 7. Cook Street Coffee, 8. Mia Sorella, 9. Break Basket, 10. Susan McConnell Photography, 11. The Catlow Theatre, 12. M.J. Miller & Co.
I calligraphed these envelopes which enclosed the invitations to a special dinner this previous Sunday evening with the church leaders, local artists, and business owners involved in the Art Walk. Another local artist embossed the image of the wreath on the front of the invitation, which I thought turned out beautifully.
The Passion Art Walk culminates this coming Saturday, March 30th with a showing of Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ at the Catlow Theatre and a live performance by the band Citizen Way at 12pm. TIckets will be sold at the Catlow, participating stores and participating churches for $5.00.
Photography by Aimee Mazzenga