cornerstonearts

Most conversation about Cornerstone Festival centers on the music (especially after a day as amazing as Friday!). But, there are many other sides to the festival — arts, the Imaginarium, seminars, Creation Station, etc. Over the past few years, I’ve really appreciated the cornerstonearts tent and the Art Pilgrimage. These have both made art exhibits and art creation accessible to fest-goers.

Each day, people of all ages bypass music and pull up their chairs in circles and learn new art techniques like fabric dyeing, needle-felting, spindle yarn spinning, and (new this year) cigar-box guitars. While I was dyeing silk Friday afternoon in a multi-generational group of women, dozens of people put the finishing touches on their guitars made from cigar boxes, tin cans, and various leftover bits and pieces. Some of these will probably go on display as a memory of Cornerstone. Others will be given to friends. But, I hope most will be played, proving (once again) that even the most simple items can be used for a bigger purpose.

 

The Art Pilgrimage walk (which goes near the bridge, for those who know the grounds layout) makes art accessible to any fest goer willing to brave the sun for a few moments. All week, casual observers have stopped to reflect on the displays which center around Desert Wanderings. Recycled math homework, fabric, quilting, yarn, acrylics, and all sorts of up-cycled materials come together in mixed media expressions of all types. Even casual observers engage with this very personal art. Stories are told in that art about watching a child suffer in pain, looking at one’s life thus far like rings on a tree (growing from childhood to adulthood and dealing with pain and sorrow), and coming to find a new refuge in Christ.

Thanks to the many artists who share your skills, passion, and love for Christ through these seminars and exhibits.

Intelligent Design by Debbie Baumgartner, made from cardboard, tape, and repuposed math homework (as seen from below).

Dyeing to be different

You’ve got to dye daily….

I’m not afraid of dyeing…

Who knew there were puns about fabric dyeing?

I try to come into each Cornerstone looking for a new experience, not just a list of new bands to see. I never can predict what it will be before I arrive, but it always finds me. This year, I stumbled onto a fabric dyeing workshop as part of Burning Brush. I noticed it in the program and (as a quilter and fabric lover) I decided it would be a good choice. Turns out that it was an even better choice than I expected, since it meant that I weathered Friday’s power outage doing something that definitely didn’t require electricity!

I’m a little ashamed to admit that in all my years here, I’d never before done a single activity with the arts programs, short of walking by the art pilgrimage while on the way somewhere else. I now realize that I’d been missing out. Just like there’s a crowd that favors the Imaginarium, and there’s a crowd that knows all the ins-and-outs of the generator stages, and crowds who love to sip refined coffee and hear refined music at the Gallery, I’m realizing that there’s a crowd who eagerly anticipates the art programs. There are people who mark their fest schedules with not only the workshops they want to attend, but the first moment they can get on the sign-up sheets.

I shared a worktable with a few of these people yesterday, as JPUSA artist Sara van Alkermade showed us the basics of low-water immersion dyeing while another table of eager students learned about needle felting. My fellow students were artists & crafters eager to talk about our hobbies, our hometowns, the bands we’ve seen, swap stories of past festivals, and even talk about our faith a little bit.

Burning Brush 2011 also offered workshops on mosaic, block printing, and spinning – in addition to a guided walk of the art pilgrimage. For just a $5 fee, we all walked away with inspiration, confidence, and little pieces of hand-made joy.

This was a different experience for me, but one that I definitely want to come back to!

An Evening With Doug Jones- Actor, Gentleman, Christ Follower

Are there Christians working in Hollywood? Of course, and I’m not just talking about Kirk Cameron. The Imaginarium, a unique component of the Cornerstone experience that focuses on film and pop culture, hosted actor Doug Jones tonight.

Most moviegoers will be familiar with Doug’s work from his role as Abe Sapien in the Hellboy movies and as The Silver Surfer in Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. He is also known as Pan in Pan’s Labryinth as well as for playing characters on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the zombie in Hocus Pocus with Bette Midler. Most of his characters have a common element of requiring heavy makeup.

In addition to being a talented actor, Doug is also known and respected in Hollywood for his Christian faith, a faith that is evident guides his actions and career as a Hollywood actor. Some may find it odd that he plays so many monsters. Wouldn’t that conflict with his faith? According to Doug, we are all monsters at times due to the problem of sin in our lives. If the entire movie takes us to a positive place in the end, that is a good thing.

I  found it interesting when Doug discussed what guides his decision in choosing to work on a film. He first decides if he likes the script; does it make him laugh or cry? What is the director’s purpose? He has passed on some projects that do conflict with his faith (for instance he won’t do any horror film that follows the formula of half naked teenagers having sex and doing drugs and then they get killed; Doug finds that boring and offensive.) He has also had an influence on directors and their vision for a film. He was offered one film that portrayed Christians in a bad light. When he expressed to the director that this film was going to alienate the Christian audience as well as being something that creatively had been done to death, the director rewrote the film. Another film, Legion, showed God as the enemy destroying the world. When Doug realized that this was essentially a modern retelling of the flood story from the Bible, this gave him a unique opportunity to share his faith and Christian worldview on a national level.

Doug and his wife put their faith into action by intentionally  mentoring young, up and coming actors helping them, giving them a home to spend Christmas in, and generally being there for them.

To say that all of us at The Imaginarium were impressed by Doug would be an understatement. Doug took time to sign anything we had: dvds, pictures, collectibles. I think everyone there received one of his famous Dougie hugs and the encouragment to show BIG LOVE to those around us. Following this, we were able to watch two short films Doug starred in; the most striking of the two was Butterfly Circus, a film with the message of redemption and hope for the hopeless. Butterfly Circus will soon be made into a full length feature starring Doug. Look for it in your local theater.

The sillery (yes, sillery, you have to have been there) is continuing on into the night with a screening of Hellboy 2. Cornerstone has always been about more than the music. If you haven’t made it past the stages, venture out into the outskirts of the festival. You may just find something you had no idea existed here.

J. Robert Parks: Marshall McLuhan & New Media, Session Three

This is the third and final part of J. Robert Parks’ seminar track from Cornerstone 2010.

 

Facebook.  Twitter.  Second Life.  Such “new media” can hardly seem “new” when the landscape changes week to week.  But it seems worth trying to get a sense of the landscape of how digital media is transforming our lives — for good and ill.  We’ll rely on the guidance of that godfather of media studies, Marshall McLuhan — the groundbreaking theorist of “hot” and “cold” media (and Catholic believer, who converted after reading G. K. Chesterton). We’ll examine several of McLuhan’s theories and apply them to social networking, websites, blogs, cell phones, texting, etc in hopes of continuing the quest to understand media.

J. Robert Parks: Marshall McLuhan & New Media, Session Two

This is the second part of J. Robert Parks’ seminar track from Cornerstone 2010.

 

Facebook.  Twitter.  Second Life.  Such “new media” can hardly seem “new” when the landscape changes week to week.  But it seems worth trying to get a sense of the landscape of how digital media is transforming our lives — for good and ill.  We’ll rely on the guidance of that godfather of media studies, Marshall McLuhan — the groundbreaking theorist of “hot” and “cold” media (and Catholic believer, who converted after reading G. K. Chesterton). We’ll examine several of McLuhan’s theories and apply them to social networking, websites, blogs, cell phones, texting, etc in hopes of continuing the quest to understand media.

J. Robert Parks: Marshall McLuhan & New Media, Session One

This is the first part of J. Robert Parks’ seminar track from Cornerstone 2010.

 

Facebook.  Twitter.  Second Life.  Such “new media” can hardly seem “new” when the landscape changes week to week.  But it seems worth trying to get a sense of the landscape of how digital media is transforming our lives — for good and ill.  We’ll rely on the guidance of that godfather of media studies, Marshall McLuhan — the groundbreaking theorist of “hot” and “cold” media (and Catholic believer, who converted after reading G. K. Chesterton). We’ll examine several of McLuhan’s theories and apply them to social networking, websites, blogs, cell phones, texting, etc in hopes of continuing the quest to understand media.

Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove: Does God Want You to Be Rich?, Session Three

This is the third and final part of Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove’s seminar track from Cornerstone 2010.

 

Joel Osteen is partly right–God does want to give you your best life now. But the abundant life Jesus invites us into is far better than the American Dream. And it takes a conversion of our imaginations to receive it. This seminar explores Jesus’ tactics for slipping God’s Economy into the broken systems of this world and beginning to enjoy God’s abundance where you are right now.

Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove: Does God Want You to Be Rich?, Session Two

This is the second part of Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove’s seminar track from Cornerstone 2010.

 

Joel Osteen is partly right–God does want to give you your best life now. But the abundant life Jesus invites us into is far better than the American Dream. And it takes a conversion of our imaginations to receive it. This seminar explores Jesus’ tactics for slipping God’s Economy into the broken systems of this world and beginning to enjoy God’s abundance where you are right now.

Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove: Does God Want You to Be Rich?, Session One

This is the first part of Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove’s seminar track from Cornerstone 2010.

 

Joel Osteen is partly right–God does want to give you your best life now. But the abundant life Jesus invites us into is far better than the American Dream. And it takes a conversion of our imaginations to receive it. This seminar explores Jesus’ tactics for slipping God’s Economy into the broken systems of this world and beginning to enjoy God’s abundance where you are right now.

James Stump: Science & The Bible

The first and final part of James Stump’s Science & The Bible seminar track from Cornerstone 2010.

 

Sometimes people of faith think it is the goal of scientists to disprove the Bible—as if scientists get together each week in some smoky room to agree on what biblical doctrine they’ll attack that week!  Others are sure that we can find confirmation of scientific theories hidden in the biblical text.  This seminar will investigate, from a philosophy of science perspective, the goal and role of science within a larger context that includes the Christian’s commitment to biblical revelation.  As a case study, we’ll look at the Genesis account of creation in the context of other Ancient Near East creation stories.