Gathering of the Art and Mind
About 50 participants gathered in the Great Room of the University of Bridgeport on Saturday evening, April 21st, to partake in the 3rd Annual Gathering of the Art and Mind Contest. The contest, featuring original songs, speeches, videos, and art by people of all ages and abilities, focused on the theme Hyojeong (heart of filial piety), asking participants to consider how they express a love for their family and lineage.
Overall, 12 entries were submitted, covering mainly the two categories of original art and song. Contestants varied in age and location, ranging from an elementary school student as young as 7 years old to adults 55+, and pieces were submitted from as far as Arizona and Brazil, as well as parts of New York State. First place winners received $100 and second place, $75.
Four original songs were performed during the program, along with a recitation of an original poem shared by an elder in the local community. Mrs. Nora Spurgin gave the welcoming remarks, putting emphasis on God’s love through the beauty we see in the creation around us and how we are meant to share that beauty with others through our own expressions of it. Yuji Torikai, a local Young Adult leader, served as emcee, and Pastor Mika Deshotel shared about True Parents and how this event served also to commemorate their 58th Wedding Anniversary. Following the judging and awards, an exciting raffle was held, raffling donated items from local businesses and artists.
“Although we had a smaller organizing committee this year, I can see that our event is growing in it’s reach and reputation,” said Pastor Mika Deshotel, who is co-pastor of the Connecticut Family Church along with her husband Abe. “Increasing our reach and importance on our surrounding communities is really important to us, as we want to show people substantially what creating a heavenly culture in the arts really looks like. This all started based on the emphasis and example of our True Mother and we want this event to be a way to help people connect more deeply to our True Parents work and vision.”
Here are a few of the winning pieces from the contest!
"Elephant Mother's Love" by Tamaki Matsumoto, 222nd Place Original Art (College Subcategory)
“To me, hyojeong means a child’s love in response to the love received by their parent. Elephant Mother’s Love shows a parent protecting its child from all dangers and the child responds to its parent’s heart by being with them and staying with them no matter what. The young elephant’s smile represents my feeling: that I am thankful for my parents who protect me and love me. It is a simple way to demonstrate that love, but I feel this is the best way to know the meaning of Hyojeong.”
"Black Van" by Meta Learey, 191st place Original Art (College Subcategory)
“Until two years ago my family only ever drove a black Volkswagen eurovan. Anyone that knew the Learey family knew that when they saw this black van it was us. It’s a german brand and soon after we bought it in 2003 they stopped manufacturing them in America. I have so many memories of this van and it represents so much more than just a car for me. It helped me feel connected to my german side of the family (they all drive VW vans as well).
It was the place I could laugh and play games with my siblings while my parents led us on a journey to some destination. It was the car I first learned to drive on, and drove to my first job. About two years ago it finally stopped working and we had to let it go. We all felt like we were saying goodbye to an old friend.
This painting shows the journey of the black van, and represents filial piety by representing my gratitude to my parents for all they’ve done for me; all the places they’ve driven me and my siblings. And eventually allowing me to drive it, trusting me that I’d take care of it as well as they had. My love for mountains and the fact that my family hikes a lot inspired me to have mountains in the painting. However I added a little twist and made them in the shape of a heart, to further express hyojeong, or a filial heart. I also painted this all on four different canvases, each canvas representing one of four realms of heart.”
"On the Horizon" by Eunsuh Park, 131st Place Original Art (Middle School Subcategory)
“To me, hyo jeong means to be in a peaceful mood, as if I am embraced by True Parents.”
"A Lovely Family" By Jasmine Nojiri, 71st place Original Art (Elementary Subcategory)
“I thought of a family because a family is loving because your elders take good care of you. And if you’re just a child, without a family, who’s going to take care of you? And a family is very loving because it doesn’t want anyone to get hurt. In this piece I made a Daddy, Mommy, and daughter holding a heart. The heart means love.”
"Deep Depths of Orcas" by Munetsugu Kojima, 151st place Original Art (High School Subcategory)
“This picture is a pastel and watercolor combination of an orca mother and calf. The calf is riding the mother’s slipstream, so the calf can keep up to catch food while protecting it from any threats. It reminded me of having a strong parent who can protect you from dangerous influences in our generation.”