- Laura Height - Age: 21
Included in my series of portrait photos is a group of incredible people who have been apart of my life—people who have represented an endless amount of love//support towards me. these are only a couple of people who have made an immense impact in my life. with that being said—I’ve had an endless amount of joy capturing pure moments with each person. I am inspired in portrait photography specifically because I love the intentionality you receive by capturing a special moment, having one on one conversations about life, and seeing the person I am capturing express themselves “being who they are” I love the ability to make people feel wanted, loved, appreciated, and seen as someone of worth. because everyone is unique, beautiful, and of high value/potential. seeing creative minds at work around me, on social media platforms, or in person artists that display their work are who inspire me in my work. but as a whole my friends and family who support, love and show care for me are the ones that inspire/motivate me to keep pursing my passions.
being in a relationship with Jesus has taught me how to love. not only love intentionally but love the things I’m surrounded by. the people who influence me daily, the art that is portrayed through the ages, the inspirations that are displayed on social media platforms and even the process of creating something of my own. the process is what shapes our art into the final product & without the trial and errors I go through I wouldn’t learn. I believe that amongst frustration that art can bring—it also brings beauty in many forms. I am given the ability to express myself through different forms of art. without my relationship with Jesus I wouldn’t have that perspective of how to see other people’s work, peoples lives, what makes them think, and what makes them who they are as a whole.
God has given me a gift of not only words but art. every piece of work I’ve put out there, I have developed into a better artist just by the trial and errors that have occurred. art has always provided perspective in my life, but I didn’t realize how it could connect one person to another—even if they themselves don’t have a pursuit towards art. art can be a means of story telling, something I have a passion for is being able to capture who that person is. making that person feel comfortable and who they were meant to be, not someone they were trying to be. I give all the glory to God for giving me this ability to see through people—who they are and understanding how they see things. by having a listening ear, open heart, and accepting that even though we all have differences, those differences can shape us into people of understanding to one another.
“surround yourself with people who showcase love, who bring out the best in you, who challenge you, who provide strength, people who support and love intentionally on you. surround yourself with people who need you just as much as you need them. & surround yourself with people who make you think, grow and develop—gives you a different perspective of something//life. but don’t give up on people who are unlike you who may unsure, uninspired, broken, hopeless—for they have a story of their own, for they need someone too, someone who is willing to understand even if you can’t relate, someone who won’t judge by first glance//judge based off of mistakes-for we have the ability to make an impact if we’re willing to have perspective by listening and seeing through them.”
- Phillip McClure - Age: 22
Art is always incredibly connected to my personal life. Its the best way I've found to soak it up and wade through it. So most of my work directly correlates to my life in the moment I make it.
I think there is something special about finding God in the middles of our life, the in between. We live here most of the time anyways. The work I'm showing was me recognizing that God's goodness was much more real when my life wasn't as perfect, or as whole as I had imagined it would be. The work was my way of creating a space to experience that and acknowledge it. God with me, in me, right now, not later when I have it all figured out.
- Dawn Taylor - Age: 22
I like to question a lot. Not necessarily doubt, but expand the why behind something. On one hand I have my photo piece which was inspired by the stereo types of tattooed people. I introduce a social experiment game to make us question why we chose things for people. Whether that be stereotyping based on race, clothing, social status, etc. It makes us check our motives. On the other hand I chose to create a book about love, and how we question its value, but also vastness. Both these pieces were inspired by the overwhelming questions in day to day life. Simplified down to a photo series and a book to make us stop for a second and think about the answers we already have inside.
I don’t think I would have the heart I do now for people if it weren’t for what Jesus has done for me and you. An overwhelming amount of love rushes over me to create art that makes us question human existence in a way that leads us back to who we are created by, how we should be treating each other, and seeing those who are over seen and oppressed.
- Sutton Thompson - Age: 19
I have had the idea for a while of creating an art piece that really expresses my struggle with worth through symbolism, and this piece is the blend of those concepts coming together.
I often use art as a means of expressing a strong narrative pertaining to my life and experiences. To me, art is really powerful when it conveys purpose beyond natural beauty. This piece specifically does exactly that using elements of symbolism. For a good part of my life, worth has been a big struggle. Worth is represented through the coins. I placed my identity in relationships, and others' perceptions of me, and by placing my worth in something so ever-changing, I was constantly hurt, and disappointed in myself. As I grew up and learned more about who God is, and his unchanging love for me, I started to place my identity in him. This is shown through the hand coming into the darkness and taking control of the coins. Because of this, I can now have joy in any circumstance, and find peace through any hardship, because my trust is placed in a perfect, grace-filled, Savior, who will love and care for me through any trials that this life brings. Though life may seem dark, my worth is placed in the steady hands of my heavenly Father, and will not be shaken.
- Joshua Garvin - Age: 26
Eyes on you. Seeing the way Jesus sees. Seeing the way God sees. Seeing the way the Holy Spirit sees.
As life continues to go left and right and up and down never going backward but always going forward. I continue to be amazed by how big God really is. He never blames or complains about us. And for so long that's all I do. Just a child of God whimpering that life isn't fair. God cares for us. Even when we seem so small in this big world. He loves us unconditionally. What!? That's unreal. This whole time I've lived my life seeking after nothing. He puts a purpose and plants a beating heart in us to sense him and to lift our lives to praise him by surrendering everything. So, as I continue to pursue God I want to see life like Jesus, God and the Holy Spirit do. He sees us.
- Emma Rose Sycks - Age: 19
Inspired by A conversation with a close friend. We were talking about depression and feeling stuck in a toxic mental space. I wrote a poem inspired by that conversation. This painting is my visual response to that poem.
My painting and poem are about chasing fleeting things in vain. There was a time when I was super depressed and in the lowest spot of my life and I couldn't seem to bring my self to leave that place. Instead, I tried to find my contentment by chasing superficial things like people, appearance, and achievements and that just led to my world further crumbling. A lot of my relationships suffered because of this. I was terrified of what it meant to acknowledge that I was not well and scared of what healing process would look like. I had to hit my rock bottom and surrender all lot of my superficial ways before I was able to start moving forward. I was so scared of hitting that rock bottom place because if I wasn’t preforming well enough, looking good enough, or achieving enough, then people wouldn’t love me. But when I did reach my darkest place, there was a love that didn’t leave me- Jesus’s love. His love for me was not dependent on my grades, my looks, my “holiness”, or my success. Knowing that I still had worth and love in my darkest of time allowed me to move forward into a stronger, brighter place.
- grant godbee - age:23
this piece was made out of pure enjoyment for garbage. I love buying other people’s junk and repurposing it. all the items that make up this interesting post apocalyptic vr helmet are recycled together to make something pretty cool.
I think i enjoy taking trash and turning it into to treasure, because of the way that christ turns us into beautiful things. he picks up the pieces of our broken lives and makes us whole.
- Emma Eidson - Age: 20
Each page of my Bible is inspired by either a Bible verse(s) on the page, or a worship song or quote that relates to a verse(s) on the page.
All growing up I struggled to connect with and relate to scripture. As a very visual person, it was hard for me to see the Bible as anything other than just words on a page. Then I discovered Bible journaling, an amazing way to combine scripture with my passion for art. The pages of my Bible are a visual representation of my walk with Jesus. Each page is a moment of connection with Him or a new understanding or a message He placed on my heart. I can flip through the pages and see that Jesus has been right by my side through it all. He has literally been speaking right to me through my art.
- Raeann Strickland - Age: 23
My journey has changed a great deal over the course of five years I’ve been in college. I was getting a degree in biology when suddenly, film captured my heart. I love the art of it, the depth of it, the capacity of it, and the reach of it. Over my life, I have seen the social climate change drastically. For me, filmmaking is a voice to be used for injustices of all kinds. I chose to make this documentary, because it is about something I’m passionate about - loving people where they are. That is what TRM is all about. On display is the intro to that documentary. It will be released in its entirety April 25th.
My walk with Jesus is why I create. Jesus is who humanity needed when he was on Earth and Jesus is who humanity needs now. My art is influenced by the knowledge Jesus provides - a heart knowledge that points us in the direction of love and humility. This love and humility has the miraculous ability to change the world. I create in hopes that the name of Jesus is magnified and displayed in a way that shows who he is. When I create, it is a form of worship and an act of gratitude for all Jesus has sacrificed. He gave everything so that I may be free to give everything back - that is what I strive to do.
- Julian North - Age: 22
A re-occurring theme I have dealing with in my life recently is the desire for more. I created this sculpture of mans desire for something better, always looking for the next best thing but inevitably we all lead to the same place, the grave.
My walk with Jesus has caused me to take a step back and look at worldly issues from a Godly perspective. We all desire more, from lusting over pictures on social media to comparing ourselves to others who seem to have life figured out. Jesus called us to live like he lived and to love like he loved. When we put aside worldly desires we align ourselves to receive the blessings that God intends for our life.
- Elise Akin - Age: 25
these boards and shirts are what I create for my business, Bake & Skate, and I always want to paint phrases that are uplifting and designs that are inspiring to anyone who wears them or rides them.
All of my phrases I stitch or paint are phrases I feel strongly about, and mostly all of them have some form of Jesus and Light and encouragement written all over it. There are too many shirts with shonky, negative, self-promoting phrases stitched on them, so I want the shirts I make and the boards I paint to have inspiring + uplifting messages on them. If you want gross sayings on your shirts, go to Hot Topic.
- Terry Brown Jr. - Age: 25
The Lord inspired me to create this piece. i wanted to create something that everyone who has said YES to Jesus can relate to.
my walk with the Lord was where this piece was birthed. We are all innately sinful , living in darkness. By the grace of God we have been offered salvation , and for those of us who have said yes to Jesus , we are transformed , washed clean , and made new. That is what these jeans represent. The faded black base (our sinfulness gradually being overcome by Jesus’ love. He conquered death once and for all , but sanctification is a long process). the white represents the light that Jesus is , as His presence allows us to fully come alive in Him. the sin in red writing are things that we all struggle with and although Jesus has already conquered these things , we will still have an everyday battle and struggle with our flesh. the reason i stopped the white on the lower leg is because once we have committed to following Jesus , it’s like we take a step into living water with Him. we have the option to stay in the shallow end and play it safe , but Jesus is in the deep end. He will take us as deep as we want to go , allowing us to have a deeper understanding of the depths and layers of who He is. so the more we draw near to Him and spend time in His presence , the deeper He will take us and the more we will begin to look like Him.
- Bri Hawkins - Age: 20
I wrote this song in a spontaneous moment of worship late one night. I was just being really vulnerable and open with Jesus. The song is really about Jesus reminding me of my first love with Him.
My relationship with Jesus has given me so much freedom in creating art. Whether it be songs, paintings, drawings, or poems, I don't feel the pressure to be perfect or put together. Rather, I feel the safety and freedom to just be myself.
- Skylar Markusson - Age: 21
Whenever I look at creation around me, I see the love and affection the creator put into it. God made beautiful things with his skills and so I wanted to do the same. This is a collage I made of photos I took from some of the coolest spots on Earth. I see God’s love for us in this collage. He took the time to intricately arrange creation, just like he does with all of us.
Jesus loved the world so much that he made it for us to enjoy. Whenever I’m out adventuring and I see a cool view, I see Jesus in it. God shaped the earth to be astounding and that speaks volumes to who He is and what He would do for us.This beautiful Earth inspires me and I want to share what I see with everyone
- Kirby Kendall - Age: 25
As someone that was addicted to pornography for the majority of my life, I know the pain that it causes and the scares it leaves. My hope is that through my art, people would come to understand the gravity of this addiction and how it affects one's self by sharing my story.
We have to understand that we need God and he has to fight this for us. We have to let that sink in. The fight has already been fought and won. Not because of our own strength, but because of the simple gospel, we can walk in freedom. That is what I have learned through my walk as an heir to God's throne. That once we give up the desire to claim victory for ourselves, we are given a new name and made to be royal. That is what is shown through my work. A man that stopped hiding and proclaimed that he is weak in every way, and asked God to use his hands, to take control of the brush, and to display how good he really is.
- Mary-Drayton Pence - Age: 21
by inviting people in to watch me paint, I get to release the fears of judgment by putting them on full display.
I get to thank God every time I receive the opportunity to paint and create. It's a humbling practice of recognizing that my abilities were not random, but by His incredible design and I'm so thankful that I get to be a part of it. I love the peace and freedom I receive when I paint and not giving myself any limitations to what I can make and what things should look like, I just start and see where it goes.
- Nalani Dowling - Age: 22
I love working with the concept of hybridity, and exploring the ways words and pictures interact to tell a message.
For a time, I struggled to find motivation as an artist and hated virtually everything that I created; a symptom of growing anxiety about the world changing around me and turmoil I was experiencing in school. I turned to my faith in Jesus as a way of reviving my sense of creativity and purpose.
- Joshua Jordan - Age: 24
I was inspired to create this piece through The realization that many people don’t live life to the fullest.
Jesus is the reason I create. We speak with each other through the process and all I want to do is bring glory to him with the product.
- Trenton Jackson - Age: 21
Our pieces are designed from a fabric of life. Mistakes. Successes. Our pieces are designed from experiences with the life and love of Jesus. We also see such a lack of the identity of Jesus in our society. We know that so many people are chained to religion and no relationship. We intend to break that. We just create out of that conviction.
We wouldn’t have a company if it wasn’t for Jesus. We also believe that Jesus was conversational and relational, and we create our pieces with that in mind. How can we start a conversation through the piece we’re wearing? If we get that down, everything else falls in line.
- Alan Barrett - Age: 19
I was inspired by the struggles I faced while beginning my college journey, as I was met with anxiety, confusion, and loneliness. I was never worried about starting college, I was eager actually, but I had garnered a plethora of expectations over my high school years that would, to my disappointment, not be met. I was also starting to find myself cultivating an unhealthy relationship with anxiety: stressing myself out over the uncertainties of the future and my situation in a collegiate environment. I also began to experience extreme loneliness, feeling like I had nobody that was there for me even when I was surrounded by people. I had worked tirelessly for years to be at my dream school and now I was miserable during the time in my life that I had expected to be the happiest. For my drawing final at the end of my first semester I decided I wanted to make my piece about the emotions I had experienced, but also about my determination to find my happiness again and understanding that life is uncertain and that is okay. Making the piece helped me to better understand what I was going through and how to help myself.
During this dark time for me I was the furthest from God I had ever felt, but by working through my emotions with art and understanding God has a plan for my life I was able to overcome anxiety and better my relationship with Christ.
- Rachel Newman - age: 19
I was inspired by the way God has brought light out of my struggles. I've been focusing on shifting perspectives on circumstance and a huge part of that has been seeing the beauty in a mess. I thought a collage would reflect both the tumultuous nature of the human psyche but also the way everything comes together in a positive way.
My walk with Jesus is a huge part of this piece, because the words in black reflect my own tendencies to think in a self-deprecating way, but the words in red reflect the way Jesus loves me through all of trials.
- Adelaide James - Age: 23
I’ve always been an expressive person, to put all my thoughts and emotions out on paper. It’s the inner workings inside my head that inspire me to paint. At first glance they probably don’t make any sense, but then again, what does these days?
HE IS IN IT ALL. I create for my creator
- Megan Circelli - Age: 23
I was at my mom’s house sitting at the desk in my room where I used to read, write, draw, and create art. I was reminiscing on high school and the people who were in my life at that time, but mostly the people who aren’t in my life anymore. Specifically a person who I thought would be in my life forever. I was thinking about all the things we said to each other, or didn’t say, and how we ended up where we are. So, I wanted to write him a letter. Kind of for him but mostly for me.
I consider myself a storyteller. God has given me a voice that I’d like to share with others. I’m growing, evolving, trying to be the best version of me but it hasn’t been an easy walk. There has been a lot of depression, anxiety, and self-deprecation. Writing about these things helps me see them and accept them for what they are. I hope that my vulnerability will let people know they aren’t alone or give them someone to relate to. Despite my flaws and faults, because of Jesus, I know that I’m loved even in the times where I haven’t loved myself.
- Matthew Fain - Age: 20
How can we reimagine what we think we know about life? I wanted to reimagine what was normal and capture moments that toe the line between documentary and staged, and also both highly narrative, but also relatively mundane.
How can we reimagine what we think we know about life? I wanted to reimagine what was normal and capture moments that toe the line between documentary and staged, and also both highly narrative, but also relatively mundane
My relationship with Jesus has greatly influenced my whole life and my outlook on it. My art is just a small peek into the way Jesus has impacted me. I want to challenge people to think deeper about their emotions, situations, and lives. I seek to inspire connection from my photographs. Not just human connection, but a connection to real emotions and a real God. Without Jesus, my art would be a tiresome pursuit of attempting to find meaning. With Him, creating my art gives me life and purpose.
- Sara Turner - Age: 21
Early in life I let others tell me who I was, always searching for validation and acceptance. I believed lies about myself and allowed those words to change who I saw in the mirror. BUT GOD CHANGED EVERYTHING. He told me who I am and my identity in Jesus never changes. So regardless of circumstances, what others say, and what I may feel about myself on any given day, God tells me that I am always free, forgiven, and loved.
Written on the black-framed mirror are words I believed before I knew the promises of God and His redemption through His Son. Facing that mirror is an old image of the past me. Written on the white-framed mirror are the identities I have in Jesus because of His death and resurrection and my choosing of Him as my King and Savior. The woman staring into that mirror has been changed by the power of God's demonstration of love and the best part is, you can be too.
- Savannah Joyner - Age: 20
Growing up, I believed that I didn't have much of a voice. I was shy and stumbled over my words a lot. I didn't talk much in school because I was self conscious. I let this idea that I was ‘different’ or ‘messed up’ permeate into most sectors of my life and I carried it with me through middle school and even into high school - never fulling expressing myself because I was certain I'd mess up. But then I learned about Jesus. The Bible describes Jesus as “The Lion of Judah”. (In Bible times, Judah is a mighty nation). It says that Jesus, with the fiercity of a lion, loves us and is on our side. When I learned that I had a God who made me, thought highly of me and wasn’t going to leave me, I learned that I was made to speak. Where I thought I had no words, I am actually as bold as a lion. Where I thought I was too much of a mess to speak up, Jesus tells me I’m exactly the way he wants me. And if I ever don't feel like a lion, that's okay. I believe I have a Lion much bigger than me that has my back.
When Jesus changed the way I thought about myself, he not only gave me the ability to proudly stand in who I am, but he gave me the desire to proudly stand behind who others are. A while ago, I decided that I didn't want any of this to be about me. I want my school, my career, my art and my life be a force that cheers others on and helps them see themselves as Jesus sees them. I never lack honesty when I say how Jesus changed me and I never want my art to lack that honesty either.
- Anna Murphy - Age: 22
Studying emotions and the role of them in our lives.
We can look at fear and how it impacts our lives, and then look at Jesus and trust that he holds us. I think its interesting to have these ideas beside each other. Fear tells us to stay quiet, while Jesus tells us to cast all our fears on Him because he cares for us. I think it's wild. And exciting to explore through creating.
- He Would Love First -
Once I started to spend time with Jesus I realized that He never acts outside of His being. He didn’t have to convince himself to love people. It’s just who He was. He is the embodiment of Love Himself.
In a world of social media lives and unrealistic comparisons, there are many voices telling us who to be and what to be like. When you realize that life with Jesus is actually a joyful process of being loved and then Becoming that Love, you no longer try to live up to worldly expectations. Become Love and everything else follows!
- Meg Hunt - Age: 24
Conquering a season of stress, anxiety, uncertainty and letting go to take a hold of His plan.
It's the constant process of submitting and letting go. The process of trusting Jesus whether it be big or small. He has always been faithful to complete every promise and word he has given me, yet it is like me to be human and to hear what he says and then turn around and worry because a circumstance suddenly makes me forget his end plan. This piece is a reminder that whether i see it or not, he is faithful. Whether it is perfect or not, He is. Whether it is finished now or not, it will be. So trust that he has the plan, to trust that the unfinished house we tend to see, will be finished and it will be beautiful done because he is good, all the time.
- Hannah Washington - Age: 22
Because of Jesus, my eyes and ears have been opened to the lack of social justice, racism, and prejudice that still exists today, inside and outside the church. I believe he showed me and still shows me what He sees in the world and a way to heal our hearts.
Ever since I was saved, I remember always noticing race, noticing if I was the minority or majority in a room, noticing when people spoke ill of someone of a different color. Living in suburban Atlanta, it's almost always between black and white people. It wasn't until I got into college 4 years ago, I started placing names with the things I had been hearing or seeing. I started learning what things I had seen were wrong and what were right. I learned what stereotypes really look like and the things white people are afraid to talk about or say. I started praying the Lord would surround me with people that could teach me about the injustice still existing in the world. I think people often forget, the 1960's were not that long ago...I think the church has forgotten. The white church specifically. Racism is real in our nation and it continues to rise. It's not declining. Jesus grew this drive and passion in me to use my own background and culture I come from as a platform to reach white people, teaching what I had learned from friends and mentors, to them. Sadly, it often takes someone white that has seen what is still wrong in the world, the sin that is racism that still resides in peoples hearts, to reach their own culture. So much of white culture turns off their ears when a black person speaks up, whether it's an in person conversation, through the media, etc. I believe Jesus has asked me to play apart in helping mend the gap of ignorance and prejudice. Jesus has opened up my eyes to a brokenness that can't be unseen and my ears to an ignorance and hate that cannot be unheard.
- Kayla Dowling - Age: 20
I was inspired by a search for peace and what that looks like when your in pain and don’t know if the Lord hears you. It taught me that through the storm having faith will get you through it not out of it.
- Jamall McMillan - Age: 31
I’ve always been fascinated with the Michelangelo piece “creation of man”. Just the nature of how God is touching down to Adam to give him life speaks columns. It made me think of my own relationship with God and so I wanted to build my own piece that depicted my focus on this subject.
In creating this piece I wanted to show how God is within His creation. The impression of God lies within our hearts and so I wanted to have a “stamp” in a way that we see the revealing of that print within us. For the name of God truly does lie within our inner most parts and spreads outwardly. I also wanted to make it abstract to give it a universal quality. As I grow closer to God I realize who He is to me and I see how He’s working through me each and every day