New City Church (Phoenix, AZ) launched the New City Studio to participate in the area’s “First Friday” art walks, host small gatherings, and serve the local urban community. The studio, originally a historic home built in the 1920s, has hosted exhibits about filmmaking, fashion photography, vintage clothing, and more. A “Shopping with Purpose” night featured handmade jewelry, bags, and quilts. Often the studio encourages donations for a specific cause or local nonprofit group related to each month’s exhibit.
This past spring, when Good Friday was also a first Friday of the month, the studio hosted an exhibit by acclaimed artist Makoto Fujimura. “The Four Holy Gospels” celebrates the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible by adding contemporary, abstract art. The project includes five new major works as well as 80 calligraphic characters and more than 100 small page illustrations and embellishments.
The Orchard Group (New York, NY), which helped start New City Church, says 600 people attended the Good Friday show. “Attendees were surprised by the willingness of a church to sponsor arts,” it writes. “During the event, Makoto had the opportunity to share his inspiration behind the work, giving people outside the church the chance to hear the hope of the gospel.”