Some of you have probably wondered what exactly we do day to day or week to week in our work here in Rock Hill. So we want to share some of the weekly and monthly ongoing activities we do to create space for God to work—because we believe God works in the midst of what we do.

Friday AM Discussion

Friday AM Discussion group at Amélie’s bakery and coffee shop. —photo by Sara McAllister

Friday Arts Project initially started as a morning discussion group of Winthrop University art students and their friends. They met on Friday mornings to encourage and challenge one another—sometimes discussing topics related to their art and faith as well as sharing their work with one another.

We wanted to resurrect the “spirit” of that original group in a weekly gathering. Every Friday morning we meet at a local coffee shop and discuss content related to life, art, culture, etc. Kirk usually prepares content taken from books we read or articles from the web. We’ve covered topics like the state of the current Art world, the relation of morality to the arts in our current culture, and literature and irony. The hour fills up pretty quick in response to the content and many times we have a vigorous discussion. There have been very very few boring times. Pray for continued challenge and growth in us and the friends and visitors that attend.

The Sourwood Writers

photo taken in our living room during a poet’s group meeting

A monthly group that Kirk helped start is the poet’s group of Friday Arts Project called The Sourwood Writers. This is a group of serious, and serious “dabblers” (which Kirk considers himself), who “workshop” the poetry they are writing, i.e. they give critique and encouragement to each other. It is a fun time and has produced quite a bit of poetry. In fact, on April 9th Kirk and three other members had their first public reading of the poetry written by these writers along with an “open mic” time for others who wished to share their work. We called it “Poems from The Perch” and it took place in the local Irish Pub called McHale’s. We had over 50 people from the community attend and easily filled the open mic time. We’ll have more information about this event in a future newsletter.

drawing nite

from left: Alena—a friend from Amélie’s—was our model for drawing nite recently; Sarah’s oil sketch of Alena

One of the events that grew out of the Friday Arts Project community is a “portrait drawing night” that has evolved into “drawing nite”. Twice a month—on a Monday night—we gather as artists and illustrators to practice our craft. The first Monday we usually set up a still life of some kind.

Our current theme is called “then&now”. We choose a still life from art history and set up something similar. The first week we had a pair of Sarah’s boots arranged and lit like the painting by Vincent Van Gogh—A pair of shoes, 1886. (We collaborate with a photographer friend to light the various still-life’s for this theme.)

The second Monday we usually have a model sit for us. We just finished a series of portraits of employees of the aforementioned coffee shop (from our Friday AM Discussion group) and we are planning a show of that body of work—more about that in a future newsletter).

Our next series will be some new friends we met who are actors in the local “Shakespeare Carolina” theater group, and next fall we are hopefully going to arrange to have some local “cosplay” people come and model for us.

We find that not only are our art friends able to exercise their craft but it is also a great time of interaction. After each drawing nite we retire to a local establishment to hang out and talk. Sarah has been doing oil sketches of these still lifes and producing some really beautiful pieces. These times are a highlight of our month.

Please pray:

  • Still trying to arrange an Art Show with a local business—Amélie’s—the coffee shop/bakery we meet at for our Friday AM Discussion group. We want to create more connection with them and others in our city.
  • Pray that we continue to grow in the relationships we form through the various “spaces” we move through.
  • Recently, Sarah had a brief interaction with a friend about God’s existence. Pray for a continued openness and growth in their friendship.