USA: ‘Gathering of Art & Mind’ Honors Artists and True Parents
The second annual “Gathering of Art & Mind,” a contest of original songs, speeches, videos and art, was held on Friday evening, March 24, 2017, by the Family Church of Connecticut.
About 40 people came to the Student Center on the University of Bridgeport campus to view the showcased pieces. The contest was open to non-professionals of all ages not only from Connecticut but also all of New England.
This year’s contest drew seven submissions: two original videos, two original songs, and three art pieces. Because each submission was unique to its subcategory, according to age, each participant ended up placing first, so the event became an evening of awards rather than a contest with judges.
The theme this year was “Truth, Beauty, and Goodness,” and the event was intentionally scheduled close to True Parents’ Day and the Holy Wedding anniversary to help participants make a connection between the work of our founders and showcasing their own talents.
During the program, Pastor Mika Deshotel took time to talk to the audience about True Parents. She encouraged each person to find his or her unique way of expressing the gifts and talents they’ve been given, whether through the arts, science and technology, or another capacity, out of love for our creator and fellow humanity.
This year’s event was especially successful in that it brought together a greater number of artists from within the Bridgeport community, who contributed not only their submissions to the contest but also promotional materials for the evening.
Shoji Torikai, a high-school student at Bridgeport International Academy (BIA), submitted his video “Big Blue Ocean,” which showed images of Bridgeport’s Seaside Park and the Long Island Sound, both of which are adjacent to the UB campus. The background music for the video, the Kotaro Oshio composition “Big Blue Ocean,” was performed by the talented guitarist Sunghoon Jeong (also a BIA student). Shoji’s intention was to showcase the beauty of Bridgeport, which many have preconceptions about. This video ties in with his family project called #beautifulbridgeport and is an extension of the Tribal Messiah efforts that he and his family are undertaking to inspire love for their city.
The video created by Sam Orman, a 2016 graduate of the University of Bridgeport, was a one-minute teaser for a full-scale documentary that Sam is making about his travels of the past year while doing public missions.
Mary Cox, a University of Bridgeport student, submitted a musical composition called “Joy and Sorrow,” fusing two types of melodies to highlight the highs and lows one encounters in life and the beauty of it all. Deja-Lee Tam, a BIA student, submitted an original song entitled “Gifts,” which describes the numerous gifts that our Heavenly Parent gives us in order to benefit others.
The three submitted art pieces were “Rainbow in the Jungle” by Eunsuh Park (an elementary school student), “Depth of Nature” by Inhwa Whitmore, and a collaborative piece by SLAM JAM, the Youth Ministry of Bridgeport, entitled “Tree of Lineage.”