Describe your featured work:
This piece, “Kids Love Peace and Light,” composed of line drawings in ink with people’s faces and bodies shown in many different colors, captures my belief that we are all beloved—of God and, one day I pray, of each other. ALL of us, whatever our color, race, gender, age, identity, culture, abilities etc. are children of God and God’s universe. Children usually recognize and feel this intuitively. Yes, kids love peace, light, people, and all of creation! As Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:3-4) And with this painting, I celebrate the one who came to us as a humble child and himself became the greatest teacher ever about the kingdom of God. An earlier version of the painting was exhibited at Wesley Theological Seminary’s Dadian Gallery (Washington, DC), January-March 2020.
In my art, I use the figure to convey character and emotion, and use groups of figures to portray community and community issues. My spiritual themes are God’s love for us, and how we can love God and other people. I like the interplay of bold lines and blocks of color, sometimes only coloring people’s faces and bodies, to focus attention on their color or race. With vivid imagination and always praying for guidance, I try to suggest solutions and healings. My art is racially and culturally inclusive, encouraging diverse people to talk with each other. I try to bring hope, peace, and joy to viewers, and to reflect my belief in the great value of each person and that we are created in God’s image.
What are you making now?
I just finished doing a daily online Equity Christmas Advent calendar. Each day I posted at least one original Advent or Christmas image, along with a scriptural or holiday text, depicting people of different races, colors, ages, genders etc. living, working, playing together in harmony and peace in this Yuletide season. My next project, which I’ve just begun, is to show how we ALL are beloved by God, individually and also collectively as humankind. There will be many different paintings showing people loved, protected, and cared for by Jesus, the Savior of the world.
I belong to CIVA because…
I have been a CIVA member for many years because I really value the opportunity to meet—whether in person or virtually—and dialogue with other Christian artists. For example, last year I participated in a wonderfully inspiring CIVA Maker to Maker workshop led by Steven Homestead. I love the questions, challenges, and inspirations these conversations bring to my work and to my faith walk. In addition, I have always found a lot of caring, support, and encouragement in the CIVA artist community.
Anni Brink has been interested in the visual arts, writing, and justice/equity all her life. My education includes a BA in Philosophy (Columbia University), MA in Writing (City College of New York in NYC), and MA in Theology and the Arts (United Theological Seminary, Twin Cities). For the past 30+ years, I have worked as an artist and teacher illustrating and illuminating the Bible using drawing, painting, and collage. I especially love working with the stories and teachings of Jesus, his life and resurrection, and the many scriptures relating to community, justice, and peace.