The Arts

 

Imagining and Working Together.

We believe God is the Author and Originator of spoken Word. God created. God spoke life into being. God speaks, creates, and moves. And in the likeness of our Creator, we’re meant to create, write, dance, weave, and wonder.

Our hope is to display a wide range of diverse expressions of art at Church on the Block, as a growing collective of neighbors all made in God’s image.

Come. Reflect. Pray.

Dare to dream again.


Julius Dorsey



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Julius Dorsey is the founder of Chicago Fire Furniture. As a local neighbor, Julius created all the furniture for a spoken word venue at Church on the Block. He uses a self-taught “torched wood” process of redeeming wood “from the ashes.” In his words, “As Chicago’s Premier Torched Wood Specialists, we are artists, approaching furniture like a blank canvas. Join us as we challenge the status quo and redefine beauty.”

Marti Ram


  • Artist

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Mr. Ram is a Spanish artist who created a 3D wooden cross that hangs from the ceiling at Church on the Block. While we currently do not have access to his story in writing, we celebrate and honor his amazing work and contribution. The cross is truly inspiring toward remembering the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Matt Lamb



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Matt Lamb was an internationally recognized, self-taught painter whose works are represented in public and private collections throughout the world. Consistently developing new techniques and developing a style uniquely his own, Lamb is now considered a great innovator in contemporary art. Now his daughter Sheila Lamb and her worldwide team are carrying on Matt’s message throughout the world.

Museums

Matt Lamb Museums can be found throughout the world in Argentina, Russia and Germany. Recent one-man museum exhibitions were held at The State Russian Museum, Centre Picasso (Spain), Museum de la Pia Almoina (Barcelona’s Cathedral Square), Maricel Museum (Sitges, ), and the Kleisthaus (Berlin, Germany).

And now his work can be found at Church on the Block, one of Mr. Lamb’s registered museums known as “The Austin Hope and Light Center.” Just a few years before Mr. Lamb passed away, he donated canvas paintings that he created specifically for the church building.

Joel Elliot Mooneyhan



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Joel recently painted live while Pastor Nate preached, “Hallowed By They Name.” Joel also contributed a series on the Beatitudes based on the book of Luke, and he painted our church dome with a theme, “His eye is on the Sparrow, and I know He’s watching me.”

Windy City, November 2013

Here is Joel’s story.

I grew up in the South, the second son of a second son and the youngest child of an only child. Artwork has been a part of my life ever since I can remember; my earliest memories are of watching my grandfather paint landscapes of his childhood home in Cherokee County, Georgia. He would make his own frames in his woodshop from lumber he would cut himself. Those memories of his creative process have shaped me as an artist more than anything else.

The only thing I have known longer than art is faith. I grew up in a preacher’s family. Religion was never forced on my brother and sisters or me, but faith played an undeniable part in how we were raised. To say it hasn’t bled into my art would be a lie. In all that I do creatively, I try to illustrate the passage of time and the patient movement of history, while also attempting to show the beauty that comes from destruction; redemption is always preceded by disaster.

Most recently, I have moved back into more concrete drawing and painting, using brighter colors and larger scale for greater visual impact and a more immersive experience for the audience.

For those interested in such matters, I received a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts from Reinhardt College in Waleska, Georgia in 2006, concentrating in assemblage and pinhole photography. In 2013, I graduated from Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky with a Master’s of Divinity.

Statik One


  • Artist

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Rahmaan Statik Barnes

Statik recently created a live painting, “Thriving City Blocks,” while Pastor Nate spoke.

Here is Statik’s story.

Growing up on the South Side of Chicago, surrounded by urban art and public murals, I became inspired to be involved with the subculture of urban graffiti. A consequent arrest for “vandalism” put me on a mission to legitimize the production of aerosol murals. This became the main focus of my work: public murals that fuse the graffiti aesthetic with a classical training received from the American Academy of Art. As co-founder of RK Design, a graphic arts and mural company, I have produced over 200 murals, multiple CD covers, book illustrations and logo designs. Through the Chicago Public Art Group, as well as Gallery 37, I have instructed children in mural painting techniques, as well as mentored young artists in their craft. I currently work out of my studio in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago, where in addition to pieces created in oil, acrylic, graphite, pen & ink, pastels, mosaic tile, spray paint and digital media, I am developing an instructional video on large-scale aerosol pieces.

James Harris



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“Art comes from the heart. Art should show life as good, clean, full of hope, and inspiration. Art should evoke emotions and memories within the viewer that will cause a connection with the art.”James’ work emphasises figurative subject matter in Early American and Western scenery.  James reads and studies history and does detailed research so his work is realistic and historically correct.

James is mainly self-taught but has taken classes at the School of the Art Institute and Palette and Chisel in Chicago, Illinois. He has also taken classes at the Scottsdale Artist Academy in Scottsdale, Arizona. He attends life drawing classes on a regular basis, “I feel drawing is very important and the basis of all art.”

He has taken workshops from various professional woodcarvers and artists. Wood sculptors Darwin Dower, Bill Churchill, and J. Christopher White have had a major impact on his wood sculptures. Artists Carrie Ballentyne, Morgan Weistling, Bryce Liston, and Daniel Gerhartz are some of the professional artists who have greatly influence James’ work.Art work is available through my home studio in New Lenox, Illinois and at select juried art shows across the country. I accept a limited number of commissions each year and encourage anyone interested to contact me.

Dave Russell



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Dave was in a band that opened for James Brown and B.B. King. You can find Dave playing in venues, subways, and bridges all over the city.

Dean Turns



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Dean Turns is the DJ at Church on the Block. He blends a mix of hip hop worship with grace and humility. And he’s old school. He’s still scratching records like Jam Master Jay of Run DMC. Did we mention he’s an artist, too? Dean paints murals, does children’s face painting, creates t-shirts, and loves to tap into the beauty of God’s movement everywhere. Come check out the new children’s mural that Dean recently created.