At the end of summer, Kanuga welcomes Faith, Art and Creative Expression: A Liturgical Arts Conference. Held August 20-24, the retreat aims to connect with the Divine through various forms of artistic expression.
A Time Filled with Light & Learning
This year, the conference is celebrating its 20th anniversary. Conference coordinator Lark Howell is especially looking forward to this year’s session as it coincides with the total solar eclipse.
“This year’s theme is darkness transformed into light,” says Lark. “We all experience darkness in our lives from time to time. The question is ‘How do we transform it to light?’.”
On the first day of the conference, attendees will take a bus to a church located in the path of the eclipse. During the moment of total darkness transforming to light, a priest will conduct the Eucharist.
Finding New Talents Together
After that momentous start to the week, attendees will immerse themselves in the class of their choice. Offerings include needlepoint, embroidery, photography, weaving, and a choral class. While the week is devoted to creative projects, Lark emphasizes the conference is not limited to those who are artistic.
“Our teachers are very special. We try to be intentional about choosing our teachers,” says Lark. “We want them to be able to help people realize they have it within themselves to create—even if it’s not perfect. We try to cultivate an atmosphere of worship and connecting with the Divine as we learn during the week.”
Welcoming Friends Both Familiar and New
While the conference has a devoted community of returning alumni, Lark hopes to welcome an influx newcomers this year. “It’s a gift to yourself to be able to come, relax, and experience something outside of your busy daily life,” says Lark.
There is a reduced commuter rate for locals, and parents can request childcare in advance. “Once you come, you’re hooked,” says Lark. “It’s such a sweet community of people, and we want to share that spirit with newcomers.”
For those hesitating because they don’t feel particularly artistic, the conference is the perfect place to try something new. “We all have talents within us,” says Lark. “By getting in touch with those talents, we have a way to express God and share how we feel about our Maker.”