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"First Baptist" and "REVIVAL!"

jamaal barber

I found an image of an old church that inspired my 2 new pieces. My first thought was about the nature of it. It was basically a barn that was converted into a church. They made a place of worship with what they had available. That is the essence of praising the Lord. Then I thought what kind of event would they have there. I'm sure they had a revival or two. They are already super committed to this idea of a church and so they had to be really into the services. Many of the small country churches I went to growing up always had powerful services because that was the focus. There was a certain show element to it but when it comes to the service they praised harder than anyone and filled their barn converted into a sanctuary with more holy spirit than any mega church I've ever been to. 

"First Baptist" 

"First Baptist" 

"First Baptist" is about the idea that this old building is filled with the spirit of the people that built it. They changed it into a house of God. They spent countless days, years, maybe even decades using that building in service of their faith. Even now after they have moved on from this building I imagine that you could still here the gospel being sung if you go into it. The walls are anointed by their faith. All the births, baptisms, wedding, sunday sermons, church activities are linger still even as they moved on from it. 



"REVIVAL!" is a tribute to old country revivals. If these old churches had a grand announcement for an upcoming event it would look like this. Big bold type and a bright colorful image inviting everybody to come down to the Mid-Summer Soul REVIVAL! Why a mid summer revival? Why not! Any reason to have a revival is a good reason! Bishop Moses Williams was an actual man of God. He preformed my wedding ceremony. He was the type of person I think would have an intense, raucous revival. I can imagine him laying down an awesome sermon with the crowd yelling and shouting and singing. Then Deacon James Bobby would come through and bring it home with the Littleton Praise Warriors!

Both pieces are a peek into my development as an artist. I'm starting to bring in more mixed media and collage into my work. There's burlap and cut paper. Painted canvas and carved linoleum. I'm entering a new era at the studio. I hope  you all enjoy it. Let me know what you think about bout pieces.