This past spring we announced a citywide art competition, the idea for which God gave me to help foster vision for the city as a whole, under the reign of Christ. The call was simple: portray St. Petersburg as God sees the city. To help, I wrote a document and made a presentation during a few of our Master Classes about what God has shown me regarding citywide vision in general, and about this city in particular.
I was frankly nervous about doing something that bold, for we practically knew no artists. Yet part of the point was to seek them out. A generous donor gave me a sum of money just before this, and so I realized we could give a prize of 50,000 rubles to the winner, which is a lot of money for Russians (about $850 at the time, even less by now).
The results were very encouraging. The deadline for entry was December 1st, and we had 8 entrants. They all came to our Master Class on the 16th and presented before a jury. Personally, it was all very moving for me to see their work, and most especially their hearts. Although the jury later decided that none of the words merited 1st place, I decided I agreed with them, especially since they advocated extending the competition until Easter. This will give us all more time to use the present momentum to encourage more entries and more people to participate.
We plan to bring all these artists back together again next month to see how their creativity can help us move this project forward. Maybe they will paint something together. Maybe they will create a coloring book for kids. It’s just one more way I am working to build teams for the King.
One entry did get honorable mention, and it was the one that most grabbed my heart, and happened to be the favorite of all of us in the family. It also happened to be the work of a young orphan who attends the group we host on Tuesdays for graduates of the local orphanages. Volodya is a student at the prestigious Russian Academy of Arts. We awarded him 10,000 rubles. I’m thinking the future is bright, and God already gave me an idea for the next big creative project – a short history book with biographies of both Christians in different areas of St. Petersburg society, as well as notorious ones who had an influence for evil.