August's ArtHop showcases our partnership in the Lowell neighborhood.
Portland artist Maureen Heath is a friend of Nancy Donat (mission partner who serves with Bethany Inner City Church). She's coming to Fresno to do an art camp with Lowell neighborhood kids at Martin Park (Oscar & Julie Rodriguez's home). Maureen's excited about this Community Art Project and so are we!
For more than 12 thousand years human beings have been making masks as a way to memorialize, symbolize, tell stories and even explore the inner self. Today we recognize that play; engaging the imagination, is an important part of a child’s healthy developmental process. The ability to playfully explore the world within as well as the environment that surrounds is often lost when that environment is largely chaotic and dysfunctional. A loss of self-awareness and verbal expression of the inner world is often the result.
In this project, the Lowell neighborhood youth will be helped to make a plaster mask of their own face and then instructed to use the available mediums to decorate the outside and then the inside. The outside of the mask will reflect the world as they see it, while decorating the inside of the mask they will be able to reflect on their own inside world and how they feel. They will have the opportunity to look intently at the community in which they live and share all they love about it as well as talk about some of the challenges they face.
About the Artist
Maureen Heath is a native Oregonian and grew up in a small logging community just south of Portland. Her childhood was marked by adventures playing in forests and fields and creeks, chasing after her 4 older siblings. Her imagination was free to flourish in these surroundings and while it was idyllic in many ways, home life was quite difficult in many ways too. God was not a part of her upbringing and after high school she felt no sense of meaning or purpose and fell into a suicidal depression. She sought answers and at age 20 was finally told about Jesus Christ and His great love for her.
Seven years later she sensed the Lord calling her to a life of ministry. She has served as a U.S. missionary on college campuses and to victims of sex-trafficking for the past 20 years. Currently she serves with Artists in Christian Testimony (A.C.T.) International using her artistic and woodworking skills to engage the lost through art-making projects and to mobilize the church by inviting them to participate in these community projects.
ArtHop is a program of the Fresno Arts Council. It happens Downtown Fresno on the 1st Thursday of every month. We are an official ArtHop Venue, with changing art exhibits in The Commons.
We do this to engage with our community - to intersect with people where they like to hang out. Please consider joining this effort. Just participating in ArtHop downtown could be missional! Be a host/greeter in The Commons or on the sidewalk for either the 5-6:30 or 6:30-8 shift. We are looking for a few good men for the later shift each month. Contact Terry Jaurena.