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insights on art, culture, lifestyle, spirituality, travel, music, society and much much more from a jet-setter currently on "furlough"…

Archive for the month “March, 2008”

Lent Journey 2007: Sonya Berg

Lent is the 40 day liturgical season in which the Church as a whole enters into an extended retreat. In Western Christianity, these forty days before Easter are typically marked by fasting and other acts of penance, in order to draw one towards a deeper relationship with God. Today, many Christians choose to give up a favorite food or drink (chocolate and alcohol tops these lists) during this time. They may also decide to take on a Lenten discipline instead, such as devotions, prayer or charity work in a variety of forms.


As an artist, Sonya Berg committed herself in exploring the tension between the hope and chaos of living daily during Lent 2007. For a period of 40 days total/6 days a week [not including Sundays], Berg challenged herself by making a collection of 4” x 4”, abstract squares in a variety of materials and color. She wanted to intertwine the relationship between the art-making process and her personal faith that reflects the beauty of Creation in the imperfect world around us. The final outcome resulted in a beautifully coherent, mixed media body of works birthed out of daily meditation and the utmost discipline.


It is obvious that loads of diligence and hard work went into this project. Each day and square is different: some are more abstract that others; a few exude massive amounts of color, while others present a more monochromatic palate. Berg explains that her art-making process during the 40 days of Lent was not only birthed out of a state of personal meditation, prayer and scripture reading, but also with the audience in mind. These works also serve as a proclamation to presence of the Creator in her life, that art is of great matter and inspires change to help us engage in daily joys and suffering. In this exhibition, Berg has successfully bridged the cultural gap by creating art that is accessible to anyone’s journey in life.


Berg’s works from Lent Journey 2007 was recently on display at the Philadelphia Cathedral. This large Romanesque complex, built in the style of an early Christian basilica, was the appropriate venue for this exhibition. On opposite sides of the nave, starting from the left and working its way around the cathedral, passing the baptistry and to the right, Sonya Berg’s 40 4” x 4” squares were mounted in 10 pairs of 4’s on the walls. Just as the architectural design and furniture prods one to reclaim their Christian roots, the purposeful yet powerful positioning of Berg’s artwork speaks to the journey of exploring the mysteries of faith, which is the call of God in each of our lives.

To see a slideshow from the show’s opening, please click here.
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Sonya Berg graduated from Messiah College (Grantham, PA) in 2005 with a BA in Studio Art. She is currently pursuing a Masters of Fine Arts in Studio Art at the University of Texas, Austin and has exhibited in churches, cafes and galleries nationwide. Though her style is constantly changing and evolving, Sonya specializes in abstract, mixed media painting and prints. For more information, please visit http://www.sonyaberg.com .
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Makin’ the Headlines

Hey everyone! The month of February was uber-crazy, but I’m back, with a few updates on my latest creative endeavors!

GIRL POWER RE-VISITED :: an evening with the Spice Girls

Can I let you in on my guilty pleasure? I was among the esteemed privileged to see the Spice Girls during their final (?) Reunion Tour at the Verizon Center in DC, on 21 February 2008. If you put two and two together, you will realize that I was an original Spice Girls’ fan in their heyday of the late 1990s and, as a shy/insecure teenager, would not have even considered doing half the crazy things I’ve done in my life if it weren’t for their endless promoting of the GIRL POWER slogan. The show was extraordinary [and worth every $ paid], like a post-modern Broadway musical, with its many set/costume changes and special effects. It was a celebration of each individual Spice Girl and what she had accomplished over the years, as well as a tribute to their families and loyal fans. Highlights included the Posh Catwalk, Mel B’s Lenny solo, Mel C’s powerhouse solo performance of “I Turn to You” and last but certainly not least, the confetti pour down at the end of the show. I was able to get some really good concert photos from my 33rd row seat, and got some published on this Toronto-based online magazine called Now Public. Those photos can be viewed here, along with my album on Flickr.

And speaking of photos….

PROJECT 365 :: UPDATE UPDATE!!!

It’s still alive and kickin*… taking a photo of yourself (or some part of yourself) every day for a year is serious business, but it has allowed me to stretch my creativity in unimaginable ways. Click here to see my progress, and enjoy the photo below which was taken on Leap Year Day 2008! Digital photography is amazing!


Finally…

My friend Emily and I recently got accepted to present our research [to be conducted, that is] at the Transforming Museums Conference in Seattle this May! Unfortunately, she won’t be able to make it so it’ll just be yours truly at the poster presentation. We’re discussing curating methods in an era where art is solely considered the commodity and nothing of intrinsic value, so stay tuned for more ramblings about said topic to come.

Stay ARTSY, and make room for creativity in your life!

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