What should a contemporary artist do in church?
27 September 2023
The creative journey of Tetiana Vasenda, an artist and wife of a CITA missionary from Ternopil, began in 2014. Then Tania realized that God had given her a unique tool of influence that she should not be ashamed of and use only for her family, but share her art with others, using her talent in combination with God’s truths.
The influence of the fine arts in the past seems more relevant than in the present. The artists of past eras fulfilled an important mission in church life: they painted churches, created paintings on biblical themes, and reflected on canvas everything that was happening in the society of the time.
“What should a contemporary artist do in a church? Limit himself to a picture on the wall and an illustration in the Bible? Is that all God has called you to do?” – Tetiana says, recalling how a person challenged her with this question.
The challenge was accepted, and soon the artist had ideas that improved the life of the community.
Paintings in response to off-road conditions. 2015.
“There was a terrible road in the yard near our house. The neighbors were collecting signatures to get the local government to fix it.
One morning I woke up with an idea of how I could use my art to change the situation with the off-road conditions”.
Later, Tetiana Vasenda’s author’s series of paintings “Automobiles” was already standing in the yard, which could not help but attract public attention with its brightness and presentation.
The idea turned into a whole project with a kid’s event and master classes. Back then, the small courtyard could not accommodate all the guests of the event, and today it is a beautiful street.
Paintings raised funds for an orphanage in Africa. 2018.
“When my husband and I studied at a missionary school, I knew we would not go to Africa as missionaries. But I wanted to help because many of my friends were serving there. I asked myself: How can I influence children in far-off Africa through my work in Ternopil? I don’t have enough money, but I know how to create something with my own hands.
Tania wanted to make portraits of African children, but she did not understand who in Ternopil could use them. The riddle was solved when the head of the international ministry “Transformation Nations” in Africa approached the artist with a proposal to create such portraits.
Tetiana engaged several colleagues from different cities of Ukraine and together they created 12 picturesque paintings with photos of real African children for the auction in America.
The money raised at the charity auction was used to build an orphanage in Africa.
How shell casings became canvases. 2023.
In her creative studio, Tetiana is implementing a new idea – she is painting the shell casings. Tania has set herself a goal: to create something beautiful out of the ugly.
Volunteers sell the unusual items to those who want to buy them, and the money raised goes to the needs of the defenders of Ukraine.
One of the tubes painted by Tania was sold at an auction in Sweden for 16 thousand hryvnias.
The money from the sale of painted shells was used to buy turnstiles, a car and a drone for aerial reconnaissance.
“We have an idea, we have a desire, and God will give us opportunities,” says Tetiana, who already plans to present her new ” victorious ” series of works to the citizens of Ternopil in the spring.
CITA Press Center.