SARAH KACZKA | ARTIST STATEMENT
My journey towards community art has been a gradual, humbling one.
Initially, my interest in creating art stemmed from an overwhelming need for self-expression and desire to be heard, as a means for disposing excess and confusing internal energy. In high school, my art was an explosion of the inner chaos of my anxiety: it was often unapologetically negative and lacked hopefulness. Now, after a long process of healing and growth, my approach to art-making is less frantic and more thoughtful. Less desperate and with more intent. Less inwardly focused and more about our Creator’s invitation to be in relationship with Him.
I believe that it is our responsibility as artists to look up and out, to notice what we notice, to seek out the overarching narrative of God’s creativity and goodness.
We don’t have to look hard to find it.
Whether I’m standing in front of van Gogh’s self portrait from the spring of 1887 at the Art Institute of Chicago or a mural of a sailboat painted on the side of an office building in my hometown, art reminds me that His Spirit is omnipresent. I cannot look at good art and not see Him.
Frederick Buechner describes God’s calling as “the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.” I’ve found my calling in community art making.
I’m learning to graciously, but firmly, challenge the idea that art is an elitist privilege. I believe that art can thrive as a messy, collaborative process. That when we talk to each other, create together, and are willing to compromise our individual artistic visions, we can enable communities to express their stories and empower individuals to grow further into who God made them to be.
Creating community isn’t easy. It is often difficult, frustrating, and slow. But I think it’s worth the effort.
Art is a healing balm for a bruised world. It helps us express what can be difficult to put into words. It is a way to celebrate the good and lament the pain. Ultimately, it makes us more human. It is through community art that I hope to work towards this human flourishing.