The purpose of the group is to "encourage artists to use their creative gifts to glorify God," and use art as an "expression of their relationship with Him."
"It's put together to encourage visual artists to come together and do art together and to learn about art, enjoy doing art. Basically, it's the main idea that we use it to glorify God," said Bill Rademaker, the visionary behind the Collective. The components of this purpose include offering regular meetings and classes for learning, and being able to present the Collective's completed art to the church as a source of encouragement.
The group was put together last year as a result of Rademaker and a number of other artists from Grant Memorial Church (GMC). They meet a few times a year to take art classes together, developing both their individual art skills, and supportive connections between fellow artists within the church.
"Last year, earlier in the year, I sort of had a vision, being both a visual artist and musician," Rademaker reflected. "I noticed that musicians are getting together quite often to practice and rehearse, but the artist's aren't getting together at all." This led to his gathering of a few other artists within the church to initiate the group.
Rademaker sees the Collective as a way of strengthening community. "I think it's important because I see the church as a gathering of a community of believers who need to get together to find new and exciting ways to serve. Since there's not much at all happening on the visual arts side, I thought this was a great way of getting a group of believers together to do that."
The Artist's Collective will be offering two class types beginning in September, in watercolour and acrylics. More information can be found at http://www.grantmemorial.ca/ministries/worship-the-arts/pages/grant-memorial-artist-collective.
"We'd love to have as many as possible!" Rademaker enthused. Registration is open to anyone interested in developing their skills in the visual arts and connecting with other faith-based artists.