Thank You, Ann Laird Jones!

Restorative Table Justice

A sample of finished pottery from Clay Forms: Restorative Table Justice

J-term is over, the Spring semester is about to begin (weather permitting . . . ), and we hope a few thoughts are turning to V is for Venite and Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues. But first, words of thanks are in order for the Women’s Center’s 2009 Artist-in-Residence, Rev. Dr. Ann Laird Jones, and the marvelous and inspiring program she brought us over this past month.

We watched in awe as the Fellowship Hall in the lower level of Caldwell Chapel became a working ceramics studio. The class burgeoned, even more community members visited on open studio hours, and the creative energies flowed. All the while, people were thinking about the presence of God in the sacramental life of the church, and how that is made manifest, tangible, relatable in the implements of that sacramental life, the table and font or bowl, the chalice and pitcher . . . and why those things, how these tangible things speak to us and to our embodied selves.

The artist and her students reached out into the community, conducting three different workshops with three different local community groups served by three Louisville area congregations. A lot of pottery was being made, and with each cup and bowl, new insights into the nature of theology, creation, and the various ways God and human connect.

The official program finished out with a lecture, last Monday, “Arts and Theology Integrated,” an artist’s statement on the meanings encoded in the work of the past weeks. But the creative work went on as students finished up studio work, crafted papers . . . and as the weather did its best to hold Ann here in Louisville just a little longer! In the end, the task of finishing some of the pottery had to be left to others, as Rev. Dr. Ann Laird Jones’ inimitable presence was required elsewhere. She made arrangements before she traveled back to Mississippi to display the works of the class Clay Forms: Restorative Table Justice in the cafeteria during the next two weeks, so that the entire community would be able to see what the class accomplished.

We look forward to Ann’s time with us in March, for the workshop “How Then Shall We Thrive?”, March 19, 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m., in the Women’s Center, as a continuation of the work begun during J-term. In the meantime, we will treasure what we’ve learned, and seen, of the fruits of arts and theology integrated.

Thank you, Ann, for your immense generosity of time and talent, your willingness to share these many gifts with us and our community throughout this time, and the many insights this gave us throughout this past month!

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