W e promised this way back in November (when we printed an excerpt from this essay in our November Newsletter). Here is the full version of the history of our friendship with Stephen Crotts, by Stephen Crotts:
“I first met Kirk and Sarah in New York City when I participated in the summer arts project they were leading. As we worked together over the summer, our friendship grew —and I got to watch them begin to fall in love. Sarah gave me much-needed guidance with my artwork, and Kirk took me under his wing, helping me to work through major questions about my spiritual and artistic development. After returning to the project the next year, we grew to be close friends.
The Irwins continued to work with me from a distance through correspondence and visits. With their encouragement, I gathered some friends on campus to try to build the same kind of intentional and creative community we shared on our summer project. A few students began meeting on Friday mornings to share artwork and talk about the intersection of faith and work. As this small group grew, our work matured and we saw colleagues come to faith.
After graduating, the “Friday Arts Project”* stayed together, and found ways into the art scene in our area. Now, we host a weekly drawing session, concerts and readings, we share a studio & gallery space and we put on an annual conference. Kirk and Sarah have been a help at every step. They’ve made many trips to support our openings and concerts, Kirk has given lectures, and both of them have been very involved in the planning and implementation of our conferences. On a recent trip, someone that attends our drawing group was surprised to learn that the Irwins live in another state, because they have been so present for the important moments in our community.
There is so much already in place for our collective of artists. At this stage, having the leadership and involvement of a mature artist and an arts-advocating theologian will do much to help us be active in the flourishing of our city.”
—Stephen Crotts, Illustrator
We are blessed with good friends!
* For more information about Friday Arts Project, visit their Facebook page: Friday Arts Project
download: June 2013 | Our Friend Stephen