Why Lumina Arts Incubator?
Dr. Merideth Hite Estevez, Director
As a professional oboist, I am always in pursuit of the most beautiful tone. We instrumentalists spend our lives attempting to mimic the human voice, and I must say this is astonishingly simple on some days and perfectly impossible on others. Yet, even when I was only beginning to be serious about practicing oboe, I knew: when the right music, the perfect reed, and the stars aligned the instrument had the capability to soar and sparkle, to speak novels in a single interval, and to be the "refuge" that music could be, as Maya Angelou wrote. This made the tiresome pursuit of beauty easier, because it suddenly involved something outside of myself. What was that mysterious force that seemed to collaborate when all was going well? Something in it heals and soothes me as I play, perhaps more than any audience member, however evasive it may be.
We artists have this privilege. We stand on the precipice of the mystical.
Some have called this force God. Others call it spirit, flow, Yahweh, muse, inspiration, genius. (One of my students calls it The Force, for you Star Wars fans out there!) My tradition calls it the Holy Spirit. Whatever the name that resonates with you, this Collaborator in our artwork is separate from us, the artist. We can't take all the credit if things go right or the blame if things go wrong! From this place we are free to shine brightly, with a sense of gratitude and wonder. (I am greatly indebted to Elizabeth Gilbert and her amazing TED talk on this subject.)
I fear the average artist today lives as a slave to his or her craft, rather than partaking in a joyful pursuit of that mysterious and elusive force which collaborates with us. I am eager to incubate under the light of it, no matter how different our traditions or language for these spiritual matters may seem.
I feel called to the work of Lumina Arts Incubator, because I believe in arts' power to open us to the sacred moment of change, toward peace and justice.
My hope is that this work will deepen our artistic and creative experience, inspiring innovative, productive, and transcendent art-making, and the joy from this pursuit will spill over into the community and the world, as artists are empowered to use their gifts to serve.
The quest for the most beautiful tone and a more just world may seem never-ending, but with fellowship and faith, I feel we artists could make a difference. I hope you'll join me.
Lumina Arts Incubator is sponsored by Grace United Methodist Church, Wilmington DE