Johnny Otis, arts catalyst

By | January 21, 2012

Musician Johnny Otis died this week.

I can’t say that I’d heard of Otis bofore this week, but I had heard of some of his finds, so to speak, such as Etta James (who, coincidentally, also passed this past week). “Otis spent as much or more time developing the talents of others,” according to an NPR story about his life.

As much as I want to be creating my own artwork, I want to help others cultivate their creativity more — something I realized a few years ago at the 2009 IAM Encounter conference. Of course, in order to be that help I feel that I need to keep up with my own work as well.

We live in a culture that idolizes celebrity. People want to become famous, sometimes famous for anything. They want to gain — through legitimate means or not — renown among their peers, and everyone.

Of course, the Arts Center won’t be attempting to make famous artists as much as those that bear a good witness, bear fruit, live quiet lives and live in community, loving God and putting others before themselves. In the words of a recent article from RELEVANT Magazine, we need boring Christians.

Do I hope that the artists who come out of the future Scissortail Art Center gain some notoriety for their craft and their concepts? Of course. Will the Art Center attempt to produce the next Damien Hirst, no.

Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?

Romans 9:21

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