As I spend time working in my studio, as I travel from Washington D.C. , to Japan and back to New York City, I’ve often wanted to have more opportunities to share what has transpired, and inspired me. This is my attempt to do so regularly. Refractions is a way to keep you updated on my journeys in art, faith and travels.
Recently, I have been invited to partake in a very important conversation on faith and life at Yale University lead by Dr. Miraslov Volf. If you are not familiar with Dr. Volf’s writings and work, I encourage you to listen to a recent interview by NPR.
Dr. Volf, in his book Exclusion and Embrace discusses the theological and practical underpinnings of reconciliation beyond strife and division. He is a true peacemaker.
Jesus stated, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God” (Matthew 5:9) . The Greek word for “peacemakers” is “eirenepoios,” so it can be interpreted as “peace-poets.” It certainly suggest that peace is some thing to be crafted or made. We need to seek ways to not just be “peace keepers” but “peace makers.”
Art can play a central role in our making of peace. Jim Hall, the legendary guitarist, in receiving the Jazz Masters Award this January, stated: “Jazz is our great peacemaker.” When jazz musicians travel around the world (they are more respected today outside of the US than inside), their music carries a message of collaboration, the freedom of improvisation, of community — really the fruits of democracy.
As I prepare for my next exhibit here in New York, called “The Splendor of a Medium,” I am thinking about (and listening to) jazz, peacemaking, and the hope of renewal in these days of strife. The gallery, Kristen Frederickson Contemporary was birthed after September the 11th, 2001, right near Ground Zero. Our efforts at TriBeCa Temporary helped to pave the way for her to establish this gallery. Art does not shy away from divisive truths, but rather, as Dr. Volf would have it, gives opportunity for embracing of the “other”. We are, in the very nature of the creative act, exercising the making of peace.