By Jenny Neyman
God is in the swirling oranges and streaks of blue. God is in the glowing menorah and the assembled angels. God is in the eagle’s wings, the budding tree leaves and the lion’s mane. God is in what’s seen on the canvass, what’s experienced when it is painted, and what’s felt when it’s viewed.
For the artists contributing to the “Emmanuel, Light of the World” exhibition at the Kenai Fine Arts Center this month, what better way than art to demonstrate their tenant that God is in all creation — and, thus, their creativity?
“One of the most natural parts of being created in the image of God is the ability to dream and create. We humans were born to create, build and advance. When we purpose to create from being in God’s presence, we can mirror the reality of heaven here on earth,” writes Rebecca Hinsberger in the artists’ statement for the group show.
“Emmanuel” is an example of prophetic art — works that are not only about God, but created through God’s influence, as though the artist is the paintbrush yielding to the strokes of divine inspiration.
Hinsberger, of Kasilof, has been exploring prophetic art since her conversion to Christianity in 1975, becoming involved with a larger community of like-spirited artists in the area in the late 1990s and teaching workshops in the practice. Like praise music or liturgical dance, she explains that it’s an expression of worship.
“And also a means of hearing from God and transmitting a message from God to whoever is viewing the painting. The message would be transmitted through the medium of the painting, whether it’s symbolism or the emotion or capturing the moment or conveying something biblical or historical that we feel is important,” she said. “… You might call it intuitive, but we call it painting by the Holy Spirit in an inspired way.”