Reformation_Artwork on the Altar_Knitted Willows by the Banksy Truck
As with most days/weeks/pick-your-frame-of-time in Manhattan, things are alway happening here in our fair city (pardon me while I state the obvious ; – ) Some of the happenings in my own personal corner of NYC (defined in the most non-linear of ways) this past week involved:
– TROTTING OUT MY KNITTED WILLOWS (the batches are growing – perhaps making like bunnies… and why shouldn’t they? For, indeed (dear Murgatroyd) they ARE a symbol of spring/growing/Easter in some cultures. Is it significant in yours? Let me know, leave a comment. I’m truly curious about this.
– SHAMELESSLY GRABBING A PHOTO-OP (with said willows) in front of the BANKSY TRUCK that has been making the rounds in our wee little town (ok, not so wee, but events such as art-making foster a connection that seems to make it seem of a size more manageable). For more on the month-long residency of this artist in NYC, check out his BanksyNY site. One of the works documented there is located across the street from Knitty City (see? full circle on the knitting thing and girl’s gotta get in a plug for some classes she’s teaching on stitch exploration and how to knit off the regular plane of things). There are many opinions being bandied about when people talk of Banksy. The thing I find most vital and (hopefully) lasting about such conversation is the creation of MORE ART. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: WHEN PEOPLE ARE BUSY CREATING, THEY AREN’T BUSY DESTROYING… yeah, one could argue that some creation involves some destruction, but go with me on this one and EMBRACE THE POWER OF MAKING SOMETHING. It truly is a restorative and Re-Formative endeavor! Revolutionaries Welcome! Speaking of Martin Luther (were we?) …
– singing at a church that I find to be a wonderful and refreshing place. I’m speaking, of course, of the spirit of the people there… but also, the lovely acoustic is nothing at which to sneeze – however, if you DID sneeze at it, that sneeze would sound, oh, so lovely! You see, Gustavus Adolphus Church was designed by the same architect who designed the “Old” (no longer in existence) Metropolitan Opera building. [History of the church with additional link to NYTimes article about its construction.] Located within a stone’s throw of Gramercy Park and a stone-and-a-half’s throw from The Players.
One of the fantastic and innovative things going on at this church is their invitation to various artists in their midst to bring the art into and onto the altar. This past Sunday was Reformation Sunday. The service involved dancing by the vicar, singing by many of us (and all of us), children’s artwork decorating the sanctuary, an art historical discussion of various representations of Christ being taken down from the cross (and the relationship of the influence of the church on those depictions), and the list goes on. See what I mean? These people are redefining “church” and so welcoming and celebrating of the community gathering therein. There are many fantastic folks there, so I am hesitant to name only one, but, here I go, doing just that … One of the CREATIVE FORCES BEHIND ALL THIS is the church’s Minister of Music, Gretchen Mundinger (who also happens to be running the NYC Marathon this week – her team is running to raise funds for the Leukemia and Lymphona Society). If you’re a regular reader of this blog-ette, you’ll likely remember Gretchen from some of her other work in service of others, such as our concerts for Water is Life.
On that note, dear Readers, I bid you (temporarily) Adieu!