Fostering faith with a canvas and brush
DeAnne Parks believes in the power of the arts. She also believes in God. As the new Rosemount United Methodist Artist in Residence she hopes to use her talents as an artist and teacher to help others find a connection between the two.
Pastor Karen Bruins said she is excited to have Parks on the staff and is excited to see what she will come up with to help people connect with God through visual arts.
A painter and sculptor, Parks has created visual arts for most of her life. The Rosemount resident also teaches art, which makes her ideal for Artist in Residence position.
Parks said she's excited to be able to use her gifts to help people at church. To begin her stint, Parks has put up an exhibit in the lobby of the church. Her colorful paintings adorn the walls and placards provide stories about each of the pieces.
Parks said there aren't many places to see art in the south metro and the exhibit provides an opportunity for anyone in the community to view visual art. Throughout the year, the church will have rotating exhibits which will show off the talents of the congregation and other local artists.
Rosemount United Methodist Church has a number of performance arts programs including dance, music and drama ministries. Parks said her role will be to incorporate visual art into worship as well. So far Parks said people have responded positively to the idea.
"People always get excited when it comes to art," said Parks.
While there's lots of planning yet to do, Parks said she wants to get everyone in the church involved, including kids, teens, parents, seniors and those with special needs. She also hopes to use the arts as a church outreach to the community.
"I'm excited to connect with the community," said Parks.
For Parks, art and faith are intertwined, which is part of the reason why this opportunity is exciting for her. Parks has attended Rosemount UMC since 1995. As a professional artist, Parks paints and sculpts. Parks teaches at Thomas Lake Elementary, as the Artist in Residence and is the art director for ESR, an adult day program for people with disabilities. She also teaches for Safe Expressions, a program that strives to help teens with depression through creation of visual arts.
While she's busy, Parks said she's grateful for the opportunity to have art as a career.
"I love what I do," said Parks.
Parks will you tell you, she chickened out of pursuing an art degree and instead pursued a degree in psychology. Her need to create won out, though, and she has been creating and exhibiting art since 2000.
When she paints, Parks said she doesn't know what will come out. She just lets the spirit move through her. Even after she has painted something Parks said many times she will paint over the original several times before she's satisfied with the result.
She hopes through the Artist in Residence position she can help others find their talents and the strength to pursue them.