seeing a dream come alive: Mwanzart Studio

30 03 2013

The road God takes us down is so often a really interesting journey!  Often dreams can be so deeply buried that it can only be the Creator’s touch to find those dreams and to breath life into them.

One such dream is my interest in art.  I always admired art growing up, but was never really good at it and so never put effort into it while in school, and then after that there was never time or money to give to such pursuits.  Until I met Deon.  After I was able to stop teaching I had time to explore some longings of the heart and art was one such dream.  I could join some art classes and learned a great deal from Gerda at Weltevreden farm (Klay and Co). Being part of a class in such a creative environment and trying to suck up as much knowledge as I could filled my heart with gladness. 

But then we started traveling.  Mbale in Uganda is not a place to find a new art teacher, and although I made an effort to get something going, I could never get into an art community there. While in Hoedspruit I had the chance to continue lessons with Anne on Raptor’s View, and these encouraged me to try new media and to attempt new styles. 

When we saw our new house in Bwiru, Mwanza, I got excited: there is a perfect space for a studio as part of the house, and I knew I had to do something about it.

So all of this year I have been getting equipment made, traveling as far as I can and investigating all options near and far to get materials( there are no artists’ quality materials here, and we learn how to work with what we have, but then also send in a few items with any willing body travelling from a place where art supplies are available.)

Within the last 2 weeks we have finally started real classes with real bodies, getting going and being creative. Wow! What a blessing!

Mwanzart kids

There is a great abundance of things to inspire art here, but there are not many opportunities for western styles of fine art to be learned, especially by adults.  I have a kids craft group, a group for intermediate children and a group of ladies, each class once a week.

It is so special to be part of a person’s journey in discovering skills, seeing beauty unfold and delving into the self.   The benefit for me is that I struggle to do any activity alone: I love classes, community, working together; and this encourages me to be disciplined in preparing for classes and to do my own art too.

It is a wonder to me to know that God cares about our dreams and longs to see them fulfilled, if we entrust our lives and plans to Him.  He has also amazed me in seeing how He adds new abilities and talents where we are willing to be faithful to Him.

So now I get to be a part of people’s journeys, seeing awesome growth along the way and the most exiting creativity and skill, especially from the young ones coming into the class.  Seeing smiley faces, pigment-smeared fingers and a gladness to be creative… what a rush!

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