Friends General Conference

Together we nurture the spiritual vitality of Friends

Quakers and Art

Image credit: Mike Goren
FGC Communications Resource
Marta Rusek, Communications Manager | 5/21/21

This resource was originally created for the May 2021 issue of the Vital Friends eNewsletter.

 

There are quite a few Quaker artists and resources we encourage you to check out!

 

 

We definitely want to highlight the work of the Fellowship for Quakers in the Arts (FQA), which hosts exhibit spaces at the FGC Gathering each summer and nurtures the creative vitality of Quaker artists year-round.

Visit the FQA website for events, publications, and details about membership.

Blair Seitz, editor of FQA's quarterly journal, offers an overview of the fellowship and a sneak peek at what's in store from FQA artists at the 2021 FGC Gathering:

FQA nurtures other Quaker artists through including artworks and artists' commentary of at least three artists in each quarterly journal. I am the editor and I have had a diverse group of artists featured. (Current and past issues of the journal are on the FQA website). FQA is in the process of revitalizing its board and the website with new members. We will meet for the first time in June. The website rebuild with features for FQA members easy access and featuring FQA member art is in process now.

At the FGC Gathering this summer, we will have four sessions:

  • Writing led by Chuck Fager
  • Photography led by myself
  • C Music, a group of musicians who will perform
  • two-dimensional and three-dimensional art by Jennifer Elam

These exhibits will take place in the afternoons of Monday through Thursday. We look forward to our FGC presence on Zoom!


FQA isn't the only opportunity to see great works of art at the Gathering - QMart (short for QuakerMart) is our annual shopping experience where amazingly talented Quaker artisans like Keith Barch and jess purvis (also known as jessie/dest) showcase and sell their work.

This year, QMart is an online store, and it's open for business right now!

Visit the QMart website to meet this year's vendors and view their creations.


Here are additional Quaker artists and resources that we hope you'll explore:

- These artist profiles of Zenaida Peterson and Joey Hartmann-Dow from Philadelphia Yearly Meeting are both must-reads! (We also recommend this PYM article about Quaker artists, including Judi Dench and Sandra Boynton.)

- Diane Faison of Spring Friends Meeting in Snow Camp, NC is an actress and writer who brings Harriet Tubman to life in her one-woman performance, "The Spirit of Harriet Tubman." Watch a performance on her website here.

- Quaker artist and organizer Eppchez Yes is a theater maker, musician, writer and designer. Find more about their art at Alma’s Engine and their design work via Darb Garb (affirming wearable art for gender expansive people)

- Though not a Quaker himself, self-taught painter Horace Pippin was inspired by Quaker spirituality. He depicted Friends and Quaker spaces in paintings throughout his life, as described in this post on the Quaker Artists History Facebook page.

- Young readers may enjoy A Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin (available at QuakerBooks of FGC).

David Etheridge of the Institutional Assessment Implementation Committee explored the ways that Quaker meeting spaces can help our faith community in its goal of becoming actively anti-racist, including through the art work we display on our meeting house walls, in this piece for Vital Friends in 2020.

- In this video from QuakerSpeak, visual artist Maggie Nelson of Portland Friends Meeting in Maine describes how her faith inspires her artistic process.

- Jennifer Elam's Pendle Hill pamphlet, Art as Soul's Sanctuary, is a reflection on the ways that art and creativity offer a spiritual path.

- Members of the Institutional Assessment Implementation Committee shared art they've created and art that inspires them in the May 2021 Anti-Racism Update in Vital Friends.