The following blog was written by Anita Beyer who attended our end of camp art show at Casa Bernabe as a guest. We appreciate her thoughtful reflection and support of I AM ART camps. The photos in this blog are from the art show she attended.
Our daughter has been affiliated with I AM Art camps for the past couple of years. We have seen her pictures and heard her stories. We have been introduced to the goals and methods of the camp and twice have attended the ceremonies at the end of the week of classes and activity. We did this again this past weekend as the camp being held at Casa Bernabe was coming to a close.
We arrived early so there was a lot of time to look over the week’s projects. As I did, I stopped at the table where the sculptures were displayed. Having personally collected quite a few toilet paper rolls to be used in this particular workshop I was intrigued at the beautiful and creative end products. Ly-marie, the instructor and great personal friend, told me how she had led the participants to make shapes on day 1. Shapes. That is all. On day 2 she directed them to construct something out of the shapes. Anything they could imagine.
Then she described how on Day 3 they had taken all of their projects outside where she directed them to spray everything they had built black. BLACK!! She told how one little girl in particular, “J”, had protested. “No, I don’t want it to be black! It is supposed to be colorful and cheerful.” Ly-marie, unable to give an explanation just had to stick with her instruction. The young girl painfully and tearfully complied.
On day 4 they were able to begin adding color – to bring the project of their imaginations to life. To redeem the destruction of the previous day. Ly-marie reported how whereas they had been quite selfish and grabby on previous days by day 4 they began to work together, share and help one another. By day 5 the projects were completed and ready for display.
As I studied the display it was the project of little “J” that stuck out to me and kept drawing my attention. It was very colorful and cheerful – just as its creator had intended it to be from the start. However, on closer examination I could see some black shining through – on the insides of the shapes and some on the edges. But surprisingly, the black that was still visible brought a rich depth to the project. It truly made the color more colorful!
It occurred to me that the lesson had done just as it had intended. As it walked these children through the creative process, it had walked them through life. “J”, like their Creator, had had a plan, something specific in mind, an end product with a purpose. It would be cheerful and have lots of color. Black did not fit into this plan. When they were instructed to “destroy it” by painting everything black they were walking through the pain of the bad that comes as an attempt to foil the plan of the Creator. Never do we look for these experiences or even desire to go through them. And the process of doing so is painful. These children know that at a level I can’t even begin to imagine. BUT regardless of how hopeless things may look on the “day 3s” of our lives the Creator is able to bring a new day in Day 4. Hope has sprung. Color flies. Cheer renewed. And the black of day 3? Forgotten? No, though we might wish it so. No, it is now used to bring the depth and richness to the creation. Actually, the end product is more beautiful than if it had never gone through “the black day”.
Yes, bad things do happen in this fallen world. Yet our Creator, God, Father still has plans for good, not for evil – plans of hope and a future. I love that this camp is showing the children, and others like me, that though ugly and very black things may come into our lives the purpose of the Creator has not changed and the end product can still be one of beauty and color and do as He originally intended – bring Him glory!!!