Arts for Easter's sake at North Wales coastal resort

An Easter story arts exhibition opens tonight (Friday, March 30) and runs until Sunday April 8, thanks to an enterprising crew of local Methodists in Colwyn Bay, reports Karen Carter from Fresh Expressions.

The 10-day show will include film screenings, contemporary jazz, arts workshops, guest lectures, candlelight communion, acoustic music, poetry, spoken word – and a community ‘big feast’ on Easter Day.
 
Organised by Engediarts.com, the Imperial Hotel in Colwyn Bay has been given a community makeover by hundreds of willing volunteers in preparation for the celebratory Easter Story Arts Exhibition.

Project manager and curator is Gavin Mart, a student on the CMS Pioneer Mission Leadership course and the recently appointed Methodist VentureFX Pioneer Minister for the Conwy and Prestatyn Methodist Circuit. VentureFX is the Methodist Church’s pioneering ministries scheme.
 
Gavin says, "My vision is to seek the development of a creative hub which would serve local established organisations such as the theatre, the arts and media as well as encourage things such as community kitchens and an arts café. The hub would also resource local churches by creating an open space which they could harness for their own events. I am working on Engediarts.com because, rather than directly serving the traditional church life, I was appointed to work outside of the walls of the church to seek out fresh expressions of church within the heart of the local community."
 
The exhibition has accepted submissions from local and national artists to reflect 40 Bible passages telling the Easter story. The artists are mostly chosen to represent ‘non-churched’ communities as Engedi Arts is interested in what Jesus’ story looks like to non-Christians, without the perceived ‘barrier’ of the traditional church building. 

The 40 passages chosen are intended to highlight issues concerning life, death, women’s role in the gospel/Christendom, betrayal, economy, the Eucharist, loyalty, justice, gambling, denial, self-denial, violence, doubt, theology and friendship, and the community’s relationship with the Church.
 
The venue will also play host to many evening and daytime events throughout the show.

Gavin adds, "We have received nothing but support locally and we’re extremely excited to be presenting such an event here in The Bay. Over time, and through further events, the project aims to develop non-confrontational relationships with people who express an interest in its spiritual dimension. Some folk may decide that one of the local churches is a place where they can explore their faith more deeply, whilst others may begin to form a new faith community around the project hub itself."
 
Event listings include:

  • Arts Workshop day on 3 April – free introductory workshops including, glass enamelling, pottery, mosaic and print
  • Jazz night on 3 April – Neil Yates presents an evening with five of the UK’s top musicians including Scott Stroman, Huw Warren, and Percy Purseglove
  • Guest artist lectures (4 April) with Maria Hayes and Sonja Meskin Mesher RCA
  • The Big Feast – daytime 7 April: free food celebration of Easter throughout the day
  • Poetica at Engedi – Evening 7 April: Martin Daws hosts an evening of the finest local and national poets, including UK poetry Slam Champ 2011 Harry Baker

 For more information contact Gavin Mart on 07818 028084, mail curator@engediarts.com or visit www.engediarts.com

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