Arnolda Brenneman is a networker, encourager, and artist.
Several years ago she helped start Snowflake Gala, an annual celebration of arts and artists.
The Snowflake Gala continues to snowball and grow. In this post, Arnolda talks about the Gala, her ministry, and the renaissance of arts in her life…
Brief history of the Gala
In 2006, my husband Jan and I helped birth the first Snowflake Gala through Artists’ Junction (AJ). The Gala continued as an annual AJ event in 2008, and 2009. Then, when AJ ceased as a non-profit, I continued to coordinate the Snowflake Gala as a community arts event through In His Shadow Creations in 2011 though 2013.
Why we have the Gala
The purpose of the Gala has been three-fold: to use our God-given gifts; to encourage, empower and celebrate our local artists and arts’ organizations; and to use our art to make a positive impact on our community. We believe artists have a key role in bringing transformation to our community.
When we say “artists,” we are referring to the four general areas of the fine arts—the visual, musical, literary and performing arts. We desire to have as many local artists involved as possible, with as much variety as can be found: from break dancing to ballet; classical to rap; representational to abstract.
All art submitted is wholesome in nature, of excellent quality and presentation, and family friendly. We have had the joy of meeting all kinds of local artists. However, we realize we have barely scratched the surface of our area’s storehouse of fine artists.
The word “synergy” has come into our vocabulary. Synergy is the combined and multiplied energy of a group of like-minded people or people with a common vision. Synergy is what happened when schools of artists, such as the impressionists, or the jazz musicians met together to share their talents, goals and ideas. Synergy is what we have felt at the Snowflake Galas.
There are magnificent musicians, wonderful writers, powerful painters, and dramatic dancers with their gifts sitting on the proverbial shelf. There are also frustrated artists who feel like failures because they haven’t found a platform for their art. This is an exciting opportunity to celebrate our unknown artists as well as to honor those who are already recognized. Our community needs to honor its artists. We are in a time and season when there is a call for artists to rise up and use their creativity to have a positive influence on our society.
This year’s Snowflake Gala
At the most recent Gala there were:
- 53 exhibiting artists
- 46 performing artists
- 18 vendors
- 62 volunteers
- 340 attendees
My heart overflows with thanksgiving and gratitude for how each of us pulled together to make the 2013 Gala tremendously successful. It is exciting to be a part of something so much bigger than any one of us. This was the Lord’s Gala; he gave the vision, he established it, and he put his favor upon it.
I myself was overjoyed to be immersed in all this wonderful art! I am so deeply touched, impressed, and awed by the goodness of God manifest through the creativity and dedication of his people.
Any individuals or ministries or arts organizations that would like to help facilitate, orchestrate or administrate future Snowflake Galas, please contact me, as it is time for me to pass on this baton to others in our arts’ community.
I graduated from Roberts Wesleyan College in 1983 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in the Fine Arts. However, I left college disillusioned both with the world of the arts and with myself as an artist. My husband and I settled in Pennsylvania, where I was inspired to homeschool our three children.
In those years of educating our kids at home, I came to rediscover the world of the arts. I also experienced what I call a renaissance of the arts in my own life. Poetry began to come, and song, and then dance, as well as a reawakening of the visual arts. I assist my husband, Jan, in the business and ministry of In His Shadow Creations, the vision of which is to teach and train in the worship arts, including the use of flags and banners in worship.
In the past five years, we have had the enlarging experience of opening up our home for others to live with us. It has provided opportunities for many lessons on community living. Feeling the pull of a shepherd’s heart, I am especially aware of my concern for artists. Also a teacher at heart, I know that my very life is meant to be a model, or example, to help others, including artists, on their way.
In His Shadow Creations
At In His Shadow Creations, we make, sell and use liturgical worship flags and give seminars on the biblical foundations of the use of flags, including symbolism and the significance of their colors. We have self-published eight poetry books, complete with our own art in full color. Jan has been renovating our unfinished basement into art studios – a painting studio, ceramics’ studio, carving studio, and a recording studio to record poetry and songs onto CD’s. We have a long-term vision for a community arts center. The Snowflake Gala has been part of our vision to empower local artists.