ArtWay Newsletter December 2011
2011 – A Year of Growth
This December ArtWay has been in the air for one and a half years. Artway still feels new to us, maybe because there is still so much to do and there are still many people who are becoming acquainted with Artway for the first time. Our mission and journey of discovery have only just begun.
It is amazing what you can do from behind a little computer. The world of art and faith is slowly opening itself up to us and it is our great privilege that we may pass our findings on to so many others. Even ten years ago this would not have been possible like this.
It is wonderful to see that the website and the meditations are finding their way into a wider world. What stands out first of all is the large and growing number of visitors to the website and the constant stream of new subscriptions to the visual meditations. The number of people looking at the website each day has now grown to almost 600. Just a few days ago we had our first day with 700 visitors. The Netherlands and Belgium still lead the way, closely followed by the USA. It is quite remarkable, however, that of late we have also had many visitors from China and Russia.
We are happy to notice that our materials are being used by churches. But also reactions by individuals make clear that what we do is being well received. One has visited some places that are recommended in the travel tips, another has discovered an interesting exhibition in our list of exhibitions and events. A third one is taking a retreat at the abbey in Waasmunster which we discussed and a fourth person lets us know that he had no idea that there is such a great variety of art made by Christian artists. Recently I was happily surprised to find out that the members of an art discussion group had all chosen conceptual works as their favourites from the list of this past year’s visual meditations. Before the group began they knew little about this type of art.
ArtWay attempts to be broad and accessible to as many people as possible. We try to feature artists from all denominations as well as from a wide variety of countries. These past months we have made a conscious effort to make contacts with artists in Eastern European countries. It is encouraging to see that so much is going on artistically in this part of the world.
In 2011 the Arte e Fe exhibition in Madrid during the Catholic World Youth Days (with over one million visitors) was an extraordinary highlight. It was very special to be part of this as a consultant and to see that art by believing Christian artists from all over the world was received with so much enthusiasm. At times the doors of the palazzo even had to be closed, because otherwise it would have become too crowded!
We are thankful for all who have selflessly contributed to Artway: many artists and authors as well as our webmaster Wim Eilander.
Let me finish with an appeal to support our work. We thank all who made donations last year. We offer all our services free of charge, but we do of course have our expenses.
If you donate € 50,- ($ or £) or more, we would like to give you in return either a small abstract painting with beautiful shapes and colours by Belgian artist Gian Merlevede or the CD-Rom with the Complete Works of H.R. Rookmaaker, and if you donate € 100,- ($ or £) or more a catalogue of the Arte e Fe exhibition in Madrid. Let us know your preference with your payment. This offer stands as long as the stocks last.
Finally, keep on giving us feedback and do spread the word about ArtWay!
We wish you an inspiring Christmas and a blessed 2012,
Marleen Hengelaar-Rookmaaker and Laurel Gasque
on behalf of the ArtWay team
The image at the top of the page is by Japanese artists Yuko Matsuoka (When the Little One Falls Asleep, 2003).