Artist and Revelation | Kirk Irwin

From the Series: Theology & the Arts

Kirk presented these ideas on theology and the arts to the college students and staff who participated in the Tribeca Arts Summer Project 2012* in New York City.

Arts Advocate & theologian


* Kirk & Sarah directed this event. You can read more about it in our July-August 2012 Newsletter.

The first one without…

Reading the Susquehanna Covered Bridge historical marker

Reading the Susquehanna Covered Bridge historical marker together

Today is Father’s Day. The first one I will spend without my earthly father. No call today to hear that deep solemn yet cheerful voice and to find out the latest ins and outs of his life. Instead I will call my mother, brother, and sister and remember.

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Happy Birthday, Billy!

I first became aware of Mr. Collins’ work from an NYU student I worked with named Daniel. I brought my love of Billy Collins’ work with me into my marriage, and Sarah and I have enjoyed his turn of a phrase ever since. Today is Billy Collins’ birthday.

Happy Birthday, Billy!

Some passages found…

I have of late been trying to be more consistent with a reflection and writing time in the mornings. I start with a theological book – at the moment Malcolm Guite’s “Faith, Hope and Poetry”. Then maybe some poetry – Wendell Berry’s “Collected Poems” – a friend recently observed that I had Berry’s book in my bag when I met him seven years ago – that might be true. Finally, I turn to the Bible after getting my mind charged up with others work. After my readings, I write for a short time whatever comes to my mind. In the scripture, I am currently reading through Ezekiel. In chapter 33, Ezekiel is charged by God to be a watchman. In that spirit, I thought I might share a few passages I read that challenged and inspired me.

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The immanence and transcendence of food and relationship

This is an essay based on an introductory talk Kirk gave at A Place at the Table: Creativity in Food and Togetherness on January 18th 2013. This has been edited from the audio version (which will be made available as soon as it has been properly prepared for posting).

Postcards and pins on registration table

I remember in the days following 9/11 when I lived in Manhattan there was a desire to seek out some level of personal and communal healing. The arts group I was a part of sought that out in Tribeca—a half a dozen blocks from Ground Zero. We began to meet weekly in a bakery behind Robert De Niro’s “Tribeca Grill” called the “Tribakery”—we named our group “The Tribakery Group” in honor of that place. We met there for many reasons. One, was for communal healing through friendship and conversation. Two, was to stir our creative juices together as artists, and three we wanted to bring our meager “art income” earnings down to one of the neighborhoods hit hard economically after the attack. That being said, the unstated but very evident reason we met at Tribakery was the great baked goods and variety of strong coffees that we would consume every week. We knew the food and drink would be good because they resourced Mr. De Niro’s grill right next door. I was never disappointed…they had great coffee and croissants. These seemingly minor starches and hot liquids sped our healing, enhanced the creative juices, and satisfied the investment of our monies.

This same group influenced a few visiting college students who later started the Friday Arts Project (FAP) at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, South Carolina.

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