My childhood church hosts an Irish Italian Festival for St. Patrick's Day. It started in the early 2000's, with the initial idea being an Irish festival, but the lone Italian family wanted to be included, so hence why it's the Irish Italian Festival. I'm not even certain if that Italian family is even part of the church anymore, but I digress.
It started out small with some bagpipe players and Irish Stew and wine and Spaghetti. Now there's a parade in the morning and mass said in Gaelic in the afternoon with the festival starting directly after. There are alters to each patron saint, where food is donated for the poor. Tons of various food and drinks to purchase, with the only thing Irish or Italian being offered is still the Irish Stew and then pizza from Little Caesar's. There's a bake sale and cotton candy and popcorn. There's a silent auction and an art show. There are still bagpipe players and then a band jamming out tunes late into the evening. It's a really huge affair now, it's kind of crazy.
So, last year The Sister and I were invited to have some art in the art show, which we did, and were invited again this year, which is this post.
My submissions in to the art show. We were limited to eight pieces, so I brought eight, because they are all rather small. People looked at Colourful, the girl in the frame, but not a single thing of mine sold. I neglected to take photos of any of The Sisters pieces, but she sold quite a bit of things and made out like a bandit, which is cool.
Art by The Niece (The Friends niece) and The Boyfriend (The Nieces' boyfriend), and then a photo print by The Friend from her trip to Alaska.
This one... I'm not so sure about. I'm not really understanding what it's trying to say.
It was quite a large piece, probably 4 feet tall, a large American flag in the corner, with the state flag (which is in hot debate) pretty much dead center with a church, and then a quote by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Faith is taking the first step, even when you don't see the whole staircase.
I didn't ask about the piece because the submitter is a high school student. I felt that would be rude, plus I don't know them all that well. Is it in extremely poor taste? Or are they really trying to send a message about all the mess that's been going down? They're not stupid, so surely they understand what they did artistically, right? Because honestly that kid isn't like me. Sometimes I would do things and not think, "Oh... this really does have a meaning." I just do things, but I'm pretty sure they do have a message. Just what is it exactly?
If you're unaware of the symbolism, it's that black people were murdered in their own church, which ultimately sparked the confederate flag debate. It'd been simmering for years, but this was what lit that fire. Mississippi is also the last state whose flag contains any remnant of anything Confederate, and there's been a huge debate of ditching it for a newer and less racial flag. And here we have the Mississippi state flag with it's Confederate emblem, a church which is the place that started the entire affair and a quote by a renowned and rather huge black Civil Rights leader plastered all over it.
You can probably understand why my mind reels.
I'm sure it's no coincidence that they have the state flag larger than the American one, almost dead center in the painting, practically joined with the church.
I'll at least give them the fact that they're a really great artist. The church is rendered well, the flags are phenomenal; almost life-like (the photo doesn't do the rendering justice), and the colours are striking and beautiful. The choice to do words over it, that can be read, but blend in, with some done in muted colours is really great.
But what is this painting actually saying?! That's what I would like to know. I think it's also the quote that's tripping me up. I just can't fathom an explanation with the quote in there. Faith that the flag and church belong together? Faith that taking down the flag will be just fine and no one will go 'splodey? Faith that people should be killed in a church?
I've asked my friend who is related to the artist what his image was with this piece. If I get a response from them (the artist), I will update it here.
I've gotten a response. "I don't know..." was the response. So, he has absolutely no idea what his own painting is about. Likely story. Oh well. I tried to get an answer at least.
A chameleon done by The Niece's brother. Paint and crayon, I believe she said it was. It was hard to capture because it was covered in plastic wrap, but the chameleon is made up of tiny dots and it's a really cool piece.
Trees and flowers! I believe the trees were done by the same artist, but I know the yellow rose was done by a different one. I like both the tree paintings, but I like the gold one on the right better.
Bought two cupcakes at the bake sale. Oddly enough the floral one, which was homemade, I did not like. But the store bought one with the rainbow was really good. The Sister decided that I should take a photo of her taking a picture of the cupcakes, so that is her hand and mobile in the first photo.
It did rain a lot right before and just into the start of the festival, which I must admit was pretty nice because I do really adore rain, but it did let up and the festival could continue. It was rather hot and muggy, then it rained and turned quite chilly, so that was nice too.
My godmother was crowned Queen of the festival and would have ridden in the parade, but it had to be canceled due to poor road conditions that morning. But, she gets to be queen in the parade next year, making her reign a whopping two years until the next time they select someone. She was really happy about that, so I thought it would be nice if I got a photo.