Location: Mission Viejo, California
Describe your featured work:
The Tapestry of Changed Lives was the first interactive art project that I developed and led. It launched me into arts leadership and into serving with Saddleback Visual Arts. The tapestry celebrates the 35th Anniversary of Saddleback Church. It functions symbolically on both an interactive and visual level, representing God’s dynamic work in and among us and engaging participants in inclusive co-creation. The physical act of tying fabric in speaks to how we’re part of God’s expansive story and woven into Christ’s family, the Church.
During the anniversary event, thousands of people tied a strip of fabric into the tapestry. Each piece symbolizes one of over 40,000 whose lives have been changed by God through Saddleback. Its 35-foot length celebrates each year of the church. When designing the tapestry’s image, I chose blue, purple, and red as the foundational colors, inspired by the first account of woven art in the Bible from the instructions given for the Tabernacle (Exodus 26:31). In addition, orange, fuchsia, and peach create more vibrancy. The blue “wave” represents God’s Spirit moving, and purple, Saddleback mountain. The peach color, bursting forth in three beams, represents the relational nature of our triune God and Jesus’ incarnation. It’s after these beams cross into the design that the colors are activated and the image begins to vibrate and become more energetically abstract.
People in my church were invited by the piece to remember how together in God, we form community, find growth, and forge bold faith.
Across my creative life, I work to promote honor, champion voice, share wonder, and develop unity. These throughlines inform my art and give me a freedom to span materials/mediums. Whether I’m the “sole creator” of a work, a curator, or facilitator, my passion for empathy, listening/seeing, and hospitality also infuses my practices.
These values and passions help me embody my art as I invite people to enter into or create. This holds true in the virtual world, including my poetry readings or online workshops. My choice of materials (zip-ties, cellophane, marigolds) or use of platforms (Zoom, Instagram, Facebook), supports a community-focused accessibility. Further, I use negative space, gold, and light to support the conveyance of honor, voice, wonder, and unity.
I hope to inspire people to find mystery or beauty in the everyday. I want my work to say, “You belong; You have value; You are seen/heard; Your voice matters.”
What are you working on now?
I believe in Artists and the Church. So, I’m working to catalyze both in ways where artists are empowered to live out God-given dreams, encouraged to make, celebrated for their voices, and perhaps even offered space to make or show work. So, I’ll be making digital spaces in the months to come to offer my perspective and encouragements on Artists and the Church and build a network of support and prayer.
Recently, I was invited to help co-lead a retreat for pastors where I used labyrinths as the theme. In these times of social distancing, pivoting, and re-setting, labyrinths can represent a journey to learn something through a winding or even difficult path. So now, I’m working to create a labyrinth and soundwalk that people can experience and ask: “What have I learned on my journey that I can share as I re-emerge? How has God been present with me?”
Why do you belong to CIVA?
I value community and CIVA brings together people of faith from all across the globe with diverse art experiences and practices. Connecting and sharing with this community of artists, academics, pastors, makers, curators, etc. inspires, encourages, and fills me up. CIVA also is a unique community that understands where I’m coming from as an artist and person of faith, where I can share what I’m making, how I’m feeling, and what I’m walking out as we each listen to God.
Steven Homestead brings genre-spanning creativity to life as an artist, composer, writer, and curator. Steven earned music composition degrees from UCLA (BA) and CSUF (MM). Known for interactive installations, he engages churches and communities, especially serving with Saddleback Visual Arts and the Santa Ana Art Walk. Solo show highlights include Fuller Seminary and TEDxMission Viejo.
As an arts leader and president of a music nonprofit, he helped launch Compose LA and was guest curator for the Boca De Oro festival. In 2020, he helped develop CIVA’s Heart to Heart program and will serve on CIVA’s inaugural Advisory Board in 2022.