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The Catholic Creatives Salon just finished its 16th Season of conversation at the intersection of art and faith.
The ‘seed’ of the Salon was friendship. With Peggy Shopen, my daughter Hannah (now Mrs. Haring), and Sara Moraille, I opened the discussion in the home of our ‘hospitality patroness,’ Nancy Yacher. Our approach was influenced enormously by our experience (3 of us) in a CL School of Community. The Communion & Liberation method involves reading together from formative works, (primarily, the writings of Fr. Luigi Giussani) with shared reflection by individuals as they consider and validate the proposal of truth.
In the first few Salon Seasons, we’d have a different topic for each monthly meeting: JPIIs Letter to Artists, Flanner O’Connor’s Mystery and Manners, G.K. Chesterton’s views about art, St. John of Damascus on Iconography, and more. Later, we refined the ‘form,’ letting one theme and reading guide us through each of the four monthly meetings of a season. We’ve invited speakers to discuss Magnanimity and Beauty, Liturgy as the Source and Summit of the Arts, the Glory of Form, Sacred Architecture, and their own spiritual journeys as artists. Together, we’ve had a plein aire picnic, held a writing contest for college students, listened to Dvorak’s Dumky, hosted a public viewing of JPII’s The Jeweler’s Shop, made beeswax candles, hosted an icon reception, prayed in a cemetery, and created a St. Joseph’s Feast.
In each season, members are given the opportunity to respond creatively, in the final meeting, to the season’s theme. Salon has inspired the creation of a few more works of art in this way. We Founders spent many hours discussing the pre-text for the Salon, and the design of its form. From the use of the word ‘creative’ as a noun,
A ‘creative’ is not necessarily a visual, or performing artist, but one who engages in the creative struggle within their own sphere: homemaker, social entrepreneur, etc…
to the environment,
The Salon is hosted in a beautiful, personal, hospitable environment because we care to make the experience aesthetically, as well as intellectually and spiritually, pleasing and stimulating.
to the schedule,
We begin in prayer and end with the prayers of the Church’s Divine Office.
to the Catholic context,
We are Catholic in the formal sense – our center and scope delineated by the Creed and Authority of the Catholic Church. This Catholicity is the context within which the Salon coheres as a form, or community. We identify with ‘being Catholic’ not to limit our conversation, but to expand it. …to look upon what is good, true, or beautiful wherever we find it, and to respond.
and the Catholic openness.
The Salon is open to all comers in emulation of the universal Church. …We are catholic in the literal sense – our interests are universal, not limited to one kind of art, or perspective, or set of opinions.
As for ‘progress,’ well, we don’t really have any big goals other than to keep open what has become an inviting ‘space’ (in time and in place) for a conversation we consider essential to the human person, to the Church, to the New Evangelization. Every Season has been a new adventure, so we just keep walking forward, and “the way opens.”
We hope you’ll join us for the journey. Watch this space, or see CcreativesS.org for the next brochure.