Yesterday, the pastor of the Basilica of Saint Mary suspended me from my position as Artist-in-Residence (a position I’ve held for 15 years). This came 48 hours after I facebooked my intention to spearhead a personal art project turning the archbishop’s disheartening, divisive DVDs into an artwork about inclusion and hope,
Disappointed as I am by my suspension, I do not want to overly focus on it. My primary focus remains on making a great piece of art in collaboration with all of you who donate DVDs.
However, I must note that I am both startled and humbled to find that I join the ranks of people before me who been silenced or ousted one by one for disagreeing with the church. Maybe in 500 years, I, like Galileo, will get my suspension lifted.
The Catholic Church is full of wonderful, loving people. The DVD to ART project is about highlighting those folks who say, “Yes, let’s come together and welcome everyone.”
“All are welcome at the table” is not just an Episcopalian saying. If Jesus was physically here today he wouldn’t be dining with tax collectors, he’d be dining with drag queens.
Please help me continue with my vision by donating your DVDs and spreading the word about the project. I want to create a sculpture so big and beautiful that everyone will see the love that is at the heart of the Catholic Church.
I have a button that says “art changes everything”.
And on September 22, the archbishop sent Catholics in the Twin Cities a DVD warning that the sky will fall if Minnesota legalizes same-sex civil marriage.
I want to create a beautiful piece of art using the free art materials being sent out by the archbishop: in other words, to transform the DVDs of fear into art of hope. I need as many DVDs as I can collect.
When you receive the archbishop's DVD please resist the temptation to send it back, burn it, or use it as a Frisbee. Save it for me!
Collect them from all your friends and fellow parishioners. The more dvds, the larger the piece of art, and the bigger the statement the art makes: that being Catholic really is about love and inclusion. I want to make a BIG sculpture!
Please spread the word among your friends, family, anyone who might be interested. I need volunteers to help collect the DVDs.
Would you be willing to collect DVDs from fellow parishioners or other Catholics you know who get the mailing? Or stand with boxes near your church (on the public sidewalks or streets) before/after mass to collect the DVDs (this Sunday and/or next Sunday, depending on when the mailing arrives in your zip code)? I will be arranging pick-ups from people who collect them.
If you are non-Catholic and belong to an "open and affirming" church, would your church be willing to act as a drop off site? Or do you have a business that might be helped by new people dropping by? Please contact me if you can help with providing a drop off point for the DVDs.
In addition, I will post a location where people can drop off or mail DVDs.
More details will come as things develop. In the meantime, please share the link to this blog with anyone you think might find it of interest, and join our "DVD to ART" group on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001318740117#!/group.php?gid=129383097110848&ref=mf
For this to work, people need to hear about it first---so, again, please, spread the word---go viral, go ART!