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McMillan Gallery

"INTERSECTIONS: Finding Our Common Ground"
Chuck Hoffman + Peg Carlson-Hoffman
© Genesis+Art Studio. All Rights Reserved.
Download below text in a printable format.



Working Statement

From Our Journal Pages (Contradictions)

Being trapped by the same way of thinking or safe, tried and true ideas of the past can become the walls that cut us off with a false sense of security. Perhaps what walls do most is separate us from the possibility of participating in relationship. Over and above our diversity, seeking relationship with one another can lead to growth and inspiration and together, lead us into new territory. Holding creative tension in this meeting place offers an alternative from extremes and prevents us from rushing to judgment and demanding a complete resolution to things before we have learned what they have to teach us. Light comes from elsewhere as we remain in this creative tension, drawing out the unique bit of heaven’s mystery in each other to form a new beginning. Through the use of archetypal shapes and symbols we seek to create a visible sign of invisible grace.
– Chuck Hoffman + Peg Carlson-Hoffman

“Through art, we seek to find what binds us together as people, and illuminate pathways of hope to what we might become.”
– Chuck Hoffman + Peg Carlson-Hoffman

Working Statement:
Our work is the result of collaboration. We go beyond the conceptual sense, to include working together on the same canvas. We paint at the same time, forging ideas together that neither of us could create alone. We experience this as both visual and verbal communication. When we begin our conversation in paint, it is important to let each of our voices be heard, allowing expression of our unique perspectives.

Chaos seems to be necessary to get to the deeper order that unifies our work. Because we know that ideas usually don’t move in a straight line, we make intentional space for a more organic and flowing nature to take hold. Sometimes it takes courage, faith and time to allow ourselves to be transformed by the process. We have found that our usual rushed and me focused behavior finally gives way to the quiet gift of being together. We bring this process into our workshops where we create paintings in large groups, much the same way we create our own work.

In life, and in conversation, things can get messy. The visual language of color and shape helps us think about larger issues together. In working as one, we each bring ourselves fully to the canvas. We move from ego and forced will to a space that holds
creative tension and gives rise to a reconciling third voice. It becomes both personal and universal. We are always surprised by what we have painted and discovered together and what we find in common. It is what we call Painting as Prayer.
– Chuck Hoffman + Peg Carlson-Hoffman

Genesis+Art Studio
Kansas City, Mo., United States

Peg Carlson-Hoffman + Chuck Hoffman are founders of the Genesis+Art Studio. Peg, a graduate of Augustana College, is currently a creative director in product design for Hallmark Cards. Peg teaches workshops on calligraphy, design and creativity. Chuck, a painter, designer and workshop facilitator, received his BFA from Miami University and worked as an associate creative director for Walt Disney Company. He received the Art & Innovation Fellowship and the St. Paul Interfaith Scholarship Award from Luther Seminary, where he completed his Master of Arts and was their first full-time artist-in-residence. Together, Peg and Chuck have taught, lectured and exhibited internationally. genesisartstudio.com

From Our Journal Pages:
Chuck Hoffman + Peg Carlson–Hoffman
101.6 cm x 101.6 cm (40 in x 40 in)
acrylic on canvas

Peg: The equidistant cross is the archetypal symbol for relationship and integration. In Christian religious life it often symbolizes the intersection between the earth and human (horizontal) and the heavenly and divine (vertical). As Christians are we reflecting love for others in this intersection between humanity and the divine or in contradiction are we holding others hostage by judging and condemning?

Chuck: Writer and mystic Thomas Merton once wrote, “Before you can have a spiritual life, you’ve got to have a life.” Merton ventures into this paradox with the insight that we will find our spiritual lives in that mess itself; in its earthly realities, unpredictable chaos, challenges, and unforeseen change. If I stand in the middle of my mess, assuming that the spiritual life will be orderly and pristine, linear and logical, without complexity or contradiction, life becomes something less than a blessing. Perhaps life lies in the heart of contradiction and sets me free. “If you seek your life, you will lose it, but if you lose your life, you will find it.”

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