The Create Commission

nov 3

Creator & Creation – The Consequences of Being Made in the Image of God


This blog was originally posted in November 2014. We love it so much that we wanted to share it again!

What happens when you arrive at the movie theatre on time?  You get the full picture.

Our ‘picture’ starts with Creation and the fact that Adam and Eve were given a task: to be fruitful, fill the earth, and make something of it.  This Cultural Mandate is our job description, part of what it means to be human, part of God’s design for us which remains unchanged to this day. Somebody put it this way: “On the last day God created Adam, to pick up where He left off.”
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Small…

The following post comes from a guest writer. Nikki was one of the American participants of the 2016 International Artist Residency put on by The Create Commission. This is an annual three-week-long event where local and international artists are invited to Delhi to live together and work around a chosen theme. The days include discussions facilitated by the resident mentor; presentation of each artist’s past work with feedback and critique from peers; chai time (a very important social affair); and lots of free time to work, create, interact, reflect, talk, listen, teach, ask, learn, encourage, and build up. The group also got a chance to go to a couple art shows, to engage with alumni participants, to visit a local artist’s studio, and to dive into the vibrancy of the city. The culmination of the residency is an exhibition of the created works, which was an engaging, moving, and delightful event. Each year the participants describe their experience as deeply meaningful and the community as a family. All of them have very personal and unique stories of the ways the residency has shaped them. Here’s Nikki’s:

Matthew 17:20 New International Version (NIV)

He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

Small, by definition, means of limited size, not great in amount, degree, or value. Challenged with the task of meditating on the word small as a theme for the artist residency this year, I found myself thinking why small?
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Spreading Hope Blog Header

Spreading Hope


“Hope! Hope! Come get your hope!” As the call rang out in the narrow, overcrowded lanes, home to the working poor, I felt like crying. It was nothing short of a picture of heaven, a vision out of Isaiah, the Kingdom of God at hand!

This was one piece of an energetic spread of performance art pieces, murals, paintings, installations, photography, and video art that resulted from our 2nd annual international artist residency. For three weeks 13 Indian artists, and 7 international artists worked to make art with, for, and about India’s vulnerable. Our goal was to love the city by helping people see their city, and each other, with God’s eyes.
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Art Residency 2015 blog

International Art Residency 2015


Priyanka is kind of a firecracker. She has strong opinions, big emotions and loud laughter. She is one of the Indian participants of this year’s International Artist Residency put on by The Create Commission. As the artists and resident mentors live together for two and a half weeks, they learn about and create art in response to a chosen social issue.

The theme that the 8 Indian and 7 international artists were working around this year was “Human Dignity: The Many Faces of Abundance.” The residency started out with an intense half-day visit to one of the biggest landfills in the city. An experience to engage all the senses, the group navigated through the enormous, smelly garbage-mountains while hungry black birds circled the air above their head. They got to see what life and work is like for rag pickers, and had a chance to interact with them and learn about their dreams and struggles. The Create Commission partnered with a small NGO that works with this vulnerable community and fights for their rights. With their help, the artists were able to visit the community several times during the residency and learn about the lowest caste of India, the untouchables.
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Creator & Creation

Creator & Creation – The Place of Beauty & Creativity in God’s Design


This blog was originally posted on October 30, 2014, but we love it so much that we wanted to share it again.

Have you ever walked into a movie late? What was that experience like?

After shuffling through the theatre’s darkness, you sit down with a sigh of relief, and dive into the action on the screen.

If you’re not too late, you get most of the story but can’t shake the feeling of being robbed of something good. But if the traffic really held you up, the storyline may just not fully make sense. In fact, chances are, without seeing the beginning of the movie, there are crucial things about the film that to this day you may never realize you have completely missed out on.
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The Apple of the Eye Blog Feb 9

The Apple of the Eye


One of the realities of middle-class life in India is relating to people who beg. But there are two kinds of people who beg, just as there are two kinds of people in other parts of society: those with a sense of dignity, and those who have lost theirs.

Every few days my wife and I meet a Eunuch at a traffic light, a member of the transgender community in India which takes to begging because of being ostracized from regular jobs. This Eunuch begs, but with dignity. Most people who come to the window of our car asking for alms do so aggressively. There is a hardness in their eyes whether children or adults, an aggression—oppressiveness even—with which they relate to the world around them, not letting go of you till the traffic light forces them to. Urban poverty and its depravities strip many human beings of their humanity, and reciprocally, they treat the world around them in kind.
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Art as Worship


I have never considered myself artistic. I was never good at drawing or painting. Even as a child, my favorite thing about my Legos was not building new creations from my imagination, (as my younger brother so often did) but rather tearing apart things I had already built to build them again by following the instructions. That’s not to say I didn’t have moments of creativity, but for the most part I enjoyed copying things that already existed and bringing them to life.
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nov 6

Creator & Creation – The Power of Art to Bring about Change


If we walk into the movie late, we may miss the plot.

The opening scene of our ‘movie,’ our story, reveals God as the first Artist, and the startling fact that we are made in His image with both inherent creativity and dignity. The camera pans out to reveal an astonishingly beautiful world, a perfect paradise that only a loving, perfectly good, and unbelievably creative God could bring into existence.

Right from the start we see the first human beings carrying out the Task that this Creator God has designed them for: cultivating a garden, exercising their creative and scientific acumen in naming and categorizing the animals. Then looking beyond towards filling the whole earth with fellow image-bearers, taking authority over the created realm to care for and develop, to ‘make something’ of it. This is the original job description: ‘Making something of this world’—both in the spiritual and the material sense of the word—in short, creating culture.
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nov 3

Creator & Creation – The Consequences of Being Made in the Image of God


What happens when you arrive at the movie theatre on time?  You get the full picture.

Our ‘picture’ starts with Creation and the fact that Adam and Eve were given a task: to be fruitful, fill the earth, and make something of it.  This Cultural Mandate is our job description, part of what it means to be human, part of God’s design for us which remains unchanged to this day. Somebody put it this way: “On the last day God created Adam, to pick up where He left off.”
Continue reading

oct 30

Creator & Creation – The Place of Beauty & Creativity in God’s Design


Have you ever walked into a movie late? What was that experience like?

After shuffling through the theatre’s darkness, you sit down with a sigh of relief, and dive into the action on the screen.

If you’re not too late, you get most of the story but can’t shake the feeling of being robbed of something good. But if the traffic really held you up, the storyline may just not fully make sense. In fact, chances are, without seeing the beginning of the movie, there are crucial things about the film that to this day you may never realize you have completely missed out on.
Continue reading