The Cascadia Arts Residency
In 2017 - 2018, Bethany participated in The Cascadia Residency with local artist Colleen RJC Bratton. The residency is a 9 month learning and working community of artists, church leaders and patrons. Five professional artists were paired with five churches from Portland, Seattle and Vancouver B.C to learn, create, and connect.
Colleen RJC Bratton
We are honored to be paired with artist Colleen RJC Bratton for the 2017-2018 Cascadia Arts Residency.
Colleen is a visual artist based in Seattle, Washington. Born in 1989, Colleen grew up in the temperate drylands of Eastern Washington. Using painting and found fabrics Bratton addresses the relationship between self and space over time. Revealed through the titles of her works, a personal narrative provides a gateway for empathy. Pieces are inspired by first-hand accounts of reconciliation and congruity between an environment and its occupants. These replications shed insight into the attributes of and possibility for harmonious interactions between self and space.
Colleen received her BA in Visual Arts from Seattle University in 2012. Her work has been shown widely in the Pacific Northwest. In 2016 Bratton attended the prestigious Vermont Studio Center and returned again in Fall 2017. She is a member of artist-run gallery SOIL.
Photo: Maurice Morales
What is Sanctuary?
Sanctuary was a site & situation-specific installation here at Bethany Presbyterian in the summer of 2018, created by Colleen RJC Bratton, our Artist in Residence through Fuller's Cascadia Residency program.
Bethany Presbyterian has been having intentional discussions for the past few years on how to be a safe place and through this discussion, Colleen worked with congregants to find out many of their definitions of “sanctuary”. Each of these handwritten answers were then transcribed onto 125 yards of polyester chiffon. Raised towards the sky, they represent the church’s prayers for what we hope our church to be. Inside each chiffon cradle are colored resin shapes which represent the covenants that God has made to all people in regard to his sanctuary as well as the precious nature of our lives.
“To have both of my communities (arts & faith) come together was monumental. I had convinced myself that they couldn’t do so peacefully and so I usually kept the two very separate from one another. I was wrong.”
-Colleen RJC Bratton
Artist in Residence, Colleen Bratton invited our Bethany congregation to collaborate with her in the creation of her art by requesting responses from members of all ages as they considered the question, ‘What is Sanctuary?’ Nearly 100 responses were collection and were then transcribed by hand by Colleen onto 125 yards of chiffon fabric and used in the final installation.