Connecte two April 2014

Tammy TappanIt started with a personal experience. After attending a non-denominational church with a friend, I left the service with the distinct feeling that I didn't belong. It wasn't that the people were unfriendly; they went out of their way to welcome me. It had a lot more to do with the fact that I didn't understand what they were talking about. This lack of knowledge on my part lead me to withdraw from the people in the congregation. I didn't want anyone to know that I wasignorant about the bible, especially in the middle of the church!

One day out of the blue, as I was leaving the Sunday service, a man I didn't know approached me. "I hear you are an artist", he said. I responded with a little hesitation, "I paint occasionally". Apparently that was reassuring enough for him, because he dove head-long into a description of a vision he had experienced and then rattled off some scripture that I was completely unfamiliar with. Then he looked up and asked, "so can you paint that?". I am not sure why I said yes, I suppose partly because of the challenge it presented. I had to look up the scripture and frankly that didn't help me much. I had several more conversations with the man and eventually presented him with the finished painting. He fixed the mirror on my car in return. Shortly after that, I had another member ask me to paint her vision and so it continued. Slowly I became part of that new group.

None of the paintings were masterpieces, but what became very obvious to me was that the art created a bridge for me. Painting was a way for me to communicate with people that were different; different ages, different backgrounds, different beliefs. The art took away all the obstacles. There were no wrong answers and the process required me to listen to the other person so I could really understand their perspective. It was a life changing moment. I got it. I wanted to share that same experience with as many people as possible and this project helps me reach that goal. In an effort to stay true to my own personal experience, I developed a system of randomness - and yes I realize that is an oxymoron! The point being, I wanted to allow complete strangers the opportunity to meet and talk about very intimate topics, each from their individual experiences. Then I wanted to be able to capture and share the results of these
connections with others.

Connected 2014


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