Art in the Desert

Mark and Brenda Whiten live just outside of Phoenix, AZ tonight.  They hosted a houseshow in their back yard… I guess that makes it a “behind-the-house” show… as they have done for Jeremy Casella, Alli Rogers and now me. Mark is one of the parties behind the Habanero Hour, a periodic music and interview podcast dedicated to exploring and challenging the idea of “Christian” music. Between the podcast and the “BehindTheHouse-HouseShow” serie, I found their desire to see art celebrated in the church (and music in particular) to be so refreshing.  Too often, music in christian settings is viewed as a tool to set up something else; whether it be the “actual” content or the “real” message rather than knowing art as a comprehensive expression of truth and beauty in and of itself.

I am currently reading “Bearing Fresh Olive Leaves” and growing in a renewed sense of art’s spiritual/cultural importance.  I believe art is as essential as medicine and architecture. It is as important as the fight against global poverty.  Art redefines our understanding of worth and gives our souls language and shape so that we can see more clearly who we are.

There is much more to be said about this topic, but suffice to say for now that it is energizing to find common ground with like-minded others.  Hooray for art in the desert!


  1. Lashley

    I like this post. I generally agree whole-heartedly with your blogs but you gotta change that nasty green link color to something more readable against the black.

  2. Art

    Imagine my shock . . . its a bloody cactus!
    I only clicked onto this blog because I thought it was about me. I thought you had made me famous . . . you know I thought you had a picture of me . . . a picture of me in the desert. Instead some unfriendly cactus is where I pictured myself. Ah well that is what life is about ain’t it? You know thinking the best things in life are about one’s self, look like one’s self, and it is I whom should be in foci of history’s frame. Imagine my surprise continuing to discover who life is really about and looking more one who gave up fame, taking my place framed in history’s angry eye.

    Any who bro, love the sight – great imagery – even like the green.

    As to Max, earlier this year I failed to pass the deep thinker test when among a band of semi known pastor types we were asked to share a movie that left an impression when we were young . . . Mel was young too, experimental, did that movie with his own money and made a powerful statement I had thought. Good luck with the mangy mutt and the quest for fuel.

  3. admin

    Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Art Barret. Good to hear from you brother.

  4. Beth

    I love art, and Jeremy Cassella! I love Art B and I don’t even know him! Thanks for a fun blog! Life has been weird J! Cant wait for Bridge to Bridge…i will in fact be eating your dust. I am not ashamed, I am a swimmer forever.

    Beth Jensen

  5. Wow. I’ve always wanted to go to a house show. It’s so great that they are implementing the arts as well as preaching the Gospel. It truly is refreshing to hear that people are thinking outside the box in the way they live… So creative.
    I dig that it’s in the desert pretty much.

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