Light as Well as Dark Artwork
A crowd gathered on the evening of Oct. 3 as artists from around the country showcased their works and sharing one simple message: Artists Creating Art from a Christian Worldview.
The event was presented by the Arts and Entertainment Ministries as it was the fifth anniversary of "An Evening of Arts and Entertainment."
The evening was filled with music, poetry, short films, sculpture, paintings and photography in an intimate setting. Located at the Westside Vineyard Christian Fellowship on 3838 South Centinela Ave. where the event was a big success.
A cheering crowd kept the performers going for hours inside the dimly lit hall. The wooden ceiling above with hanging lanterns helped set the mood.
Some of the highlights of the evening was a young female poet by the name of Faith Gobeli who read her work as a single spotlight shone down upon her. Her poem "God and Gods" was able to encapsulate many different aspects.
Her pieces were informative heartfelt and humorous. She was a crowd favorite with her down-to-earth approach of her religion and was relatable with stories that focused on her own struggles. The crowd cheered hard after her insightful words, and as she left the stage more talent was showcased throughout the night.
Another favorite of the evening was Christopher Wray who swayed the audience with his jazz inspired electric guitar accompanied by keyboard, drums and bass. He entered the stage with a warm hello and informed the audience, "You are allowed to move. I definitely wanna see a little head nodding every once in a while."
His voice was reminiscent of John Mayer as he sang to the crowd one of his songs "There's a Place" in his white fedora. The crowd did sway to the music and clap along with the chorus as he sang his heart and his talent shone through.
Throughout the night short films were viewed and showcased some real talent such as Josh Weigel's film "Stained." The film is a dark look at a futuristic world where sick people are marked by stained green hands. This film won eight awards at the 2008 168-Hour Film Project including Best Film and Audience Favorite. At the night's event audiences fell in love with the short film all over again and the ending was left for the viewer's own interpretation.
To end the night Jahman Holland performed two songs from his EP "Overtime" and livened the crowd with his soulful words. He rapped about his past, about his faith and about the hardships he has experienced all around him. His words were insightful and left the crowd wanting more as they cheered him with a standing ovation.
Hip hop was the only tool Holland could ever imagine using to express his views. "To me it's like a language...there's nothing like hip hop music," said Holland. His childhood was hard and his faith helped him to stay strong.
After the performance, the gallery was open for guests to take a look into the minds of the artists whose work wasn't live.
Beautiful paintings such as Will Carpenter's were full of wonder as his soft brush strokes depicted normal everyday scenes with a subtle religious touch. He incorporates God into his artwork and is inspired by the things around him as he sees God in every day form by taking walks around his neighborhood and capturing it in photos.
Some other pieces were more straightforward with deep and thoughtful messages. Denise Weyhrich included two powerful pieces for the night's event: an ironing board cabinet filled with medication she uses in her everyday life as a diabetic and another with over 70 communion wafers that had razors stabbed through the middle. Her thought provoking pieces are sometimes hard for people to understand.
"People either really hate the ironing board piece or they really get it," said Weyhrich. "It's even been destroyed, vandalized, or broken because people are so mad."
She believes people have a hard time including drugs in their lives and she embraces the medical drugs that have helped her survive as she battled diabetes. The ironing board piece speaks to the audience about the struggles Weyhrich has in her everyday life.
Underneath the iron is a hidden chocolate éclair because she struggles with both her faith and her condition, but still is herself through all of this.
The event showcased the work of many artists and helped shine a light on the role that religion plays in their lives. Faith united the artists and their artwork expressed a true love and devotion.
As the evening came to a close and the event ended there was one thing that would continue to last, and that was the genuine emotions expressed through the artists and their artwork.