When arriving for church on All Saints Sunday, members of Macon’s Riverside United Methodist Church were greeted by an unusual sight. In front of the altar one saw an easel, paints, drop cloths and an artist busy at work. Andrea Pitts, a Studio Art major at Wesleyan College, was starting on a journey not knowing where it would take her. When speaking with her just before she started, she was asked if she knew what she was going to do. She answered that she had no idea and was going to let the things evolve. While hymns were sung, prayers were said, sermon given and Holy Communion administered, Andrea let the spirit move her as she kept on painting. Andrea is not a typical “painter” as she paints with her hands as well as the use of other implements. When the service was finished and she stepped away from the easel what one saw was something that took your breath away. She titled it “Cloud of Witnesses” in honor of those that have gone on before us. Andrea sent us a note sharing her feelings:
“Feeling the energy and curiosity of on-lookers in the congregation at last Sunday's service provided me with a unique energetic experience in creating the painting, “Cloud of Witnesses.” I usually work in quiet solitude - empty rooms filled only with the sound of my own thoughts. I did not know for certain what I was going to do with the painting, only a vague idea of what might work. Listening to the words and music in the sanctuary gave me a different “palette” to work with, which provided inspiration to interpret the theme of the day. Thanks to Ms. Pam, Mr. Chuck, and Mr. Steve, the environment facilitated a comfortable space to work without fear and anxiety. I am grateful for the opportunity to share this with you.”
Riverside UMC was truly blessed by having this very talented artist add so much to a very moving service. Her works will be on display in the church’s Gathering Space for the rest of November.