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December 3, 2015

Art Connecting Lives

A friend sent me a photograph of a young child being baptized at her church. It showed the priest anointing the child’s forehead with water. I don’t know the child, but the picture is important to me because I made the baptismal bowl. I feel a connection to the child in the way that art connects people.

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These past few months there has been so much senseless harm in our world. A major loss has been the destruction antiquities in Syria by ISIS. To me, this speaks of the power of art. If art were merely fluffy, pretty, and inconsequential, those antiquities would be intact. People would continue to connect with them when they look at and admire them, and appreciate their craft and beauty.

Recently I saw an interview with U2 band member, The Edge, who said that music is the voice of freedom.  After the Paris bombings the band rescheduled their tour dates. They felt it was important to bring their music to Paris after their attacks and give the Parisians an opportunity to connect with each other.

The bowl I made is the vessel that holds the water used to baptize the baby or child. It rests on a massive stone font. I don’t know how long the font has been used by the church, or who made it. I do know that the previous vessel was enamel; well worn and chipped. The church decided they wanted a new glass bowl that would add visual and functional beauty to the sacrament. The artist who restored the stone font and I worked together and the finished product will touch the lives of the children baptized there in the years to come.
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I’m thankful for artwork that has touched me. I’m thankful for artist friends that encourage and share their critique with me. I’m connected to a larger world and my life has been enriched.