The Glen Workshop

I just spent the week at the Glen Workshop at St. John’s College in Santa Fe. This annual event is put on by Image Journal and sponsored by CIVA (Christians in the Visual Arts). Basically, this is a opportunity for arists of faith to get together for lectures, worship, fellowship and workshop time. The workshops included songwriting, fiction, poetry, figure drawing, and mixed media/assemblage.

I was in the mixed media group. Most of us spent more than the the three hours scheduled each day in the studio. The workshop time came and went quickly each day and after a break for lunch, many of us would come back to the studio and continue our individual projects. Even those who went to all other parts of the workshop would find themselves in the studio in excess of six hours a day. The longest time I ever spent in studio was for twelve hours on the free day.

Folks in other workshops commented that we were a hard working group. The work itself demands many hours and most of us were here to spend that quality time in the studio. I’d spent three days in Santa Fe prior to the workshop, so I felt no need to play tourist.

This was the most dedicated, supportive, and amicable group of artists I’ve ever had the pleasure of sharing a studio with. We were an eclectic bunch from varying fields and levels of competency from all over the nation. Our connecting point was this brief week together.

My favorite part of the event was the critique at the end of the workshop. We talked about our artwork and received feedback—typical of end of class/workshop criticism. But the point of departure from the typical came as we each were prayed for, and as we received a benediction as we parted ways.

This was my third Glen Workshop. I will continue to return to the Glen as my schedule allows. Our group has started a private Facebook group. We will see how that pans out. Whether or not we stay connected and supportive, this week of the Glen will continue to be a source of inspiration and affirmation.

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