Genesis 1:1 is a growing art community focused around helping artists create art through the Creator of creation.
Julia Otterness is the founder of Genesis 1:1. In the conversation I had with Julia and Bill Otterness you will learn about some of the events Genesis 1:1 has hosted and others they are currently hosting in Kansas City.
Julia also spoke about how art speaks for the artist, paintings communicate the heart of the artist to the viewer. Get greater understanding of how to use the imagination God gave you to express your relationship with God through the creation of art and overcome what’s holding you back.
Please visit their website at www.genesis1-1art.org.
Genesis 1:1 is very active on Facebook as well. Genesis 1-1 Facebook
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To not miss out on their next event be sure to follow them on Facebook or send them an email from the website in order to be added to the emailing list.
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Julia and Bill are both Missionaries in Kansas City. Help them continue to advance the Kingdom of God in our City by supporting them at https://otternessmissions.org/give
Nathan Sack 00:14
Thanks for joining us for another Faith Horizons podcast. The purpose of a Faith Horizons podcast is to discover the kingdom of God in Kansas City, one conversation at a time. Today I’m excited to bring you my conversation with Julia and Bill Otterness. Julia is the founder of Genesis 1:1. In the conversation I had with Julia and Bill, we talked about the beginning of Genesis 1:1. We learned about some of the events they have hosted, and others they are currently hosting in Kansas City. Genesis 1:1 is a growing art community focused around helping artists create art through the Creator of creation. Julia also spoke about how art speaks for the artist. There is a spirit behind the painting that communicates to the viewer. Get greater understanding of how to use your imagination God gave you to express your relationship with God through the creation of art, and overcome what’s holding you back. Here’s my conversation with Julia and Bill Otterness. So, Julia, how long ago did you start Genesis 1:1?
Julia Otterness 01:24
I believe it was around 2014. A couple years after Bill and I were married.
Nathan Sack 01:32
So It’s been about seven years now.
Julia Otterness 01:35
Yeah, actually, time goes by really fast.
Nathan Sack 01:40
I kind of understand things like, you know, when you start something out, you never know where exactly where it’s gonna go. So it’s kind of like, like planting a seed, and then kind of seeing what you have. So how have you been able to focus Genesis 1:1?
Julia Otterness 01:57
God just gave us a lot of ideas from the beginning. And like you said, it’s kind of like, like seeds, and you start just implementing them, and then they grow into something else, you know, you put them in the ground, they grow into something else. So originally, I just started painting through each day of creation. You know, and so and that’s, you know, just loving creation and God’s beauty. That’s how it got its name was Genesis, you know, in the beginning, God created everything. And so that’s how the ministry got its name. And then He just started giving us different ideas like for, to have people come over and just do art together. We call them open studios. And so we started doing that. And we’re still doing that today.
Nathan Sack 02:44
How many? How many people usually show up for something like that?
Julia Otterness 02:47
Well, it’s always different. Sometimes there’s just a few sometimes there’s a big group, you could just never tell it just depends on the day and what’s going on. And who’s been inspired that day to just finally get to that art project that they’ve been putting off. Or are just come in. And because a lot of people say, you know, I’ve I have I used to do art, I don’t have time to do it. I don’t have a place to do it. Well, here, here you go. Here’s a time and a place, come and come and do it. And so yeah, it’s just it’s always different.
Nathan Sack 03:18
So I have down in my notes, I was just gonna ask, is this a community?
Julia Otterness 03:24
Oh, absolutely. Yeah, absolutely. A community.
Nathan Sack 03:28
Yeah. I really felt like that, you know, you’ve invited people into this, this community and it has a focus, like you said, on the Genesis 1:1. I think one of your lines in your, on your card is helping artists know our Creator.
Julia Otterness 03:45
Yes, yes, helping them know our Creator if they don’t, because we will go into the public or invite the public in, you know, to experience art. And we really train and encourage artists, the Christian artist to explain and to be bold about where their inspiration comes from. And so helping people who don’t know the Lord know the Lord through art, and helping the artist express that, you know, our, you know, know God more through their art as well.
Nathan Sack 04:22
So also with us today, we have Bill Otterness, and he’s been he’s been on the show with us before. He does a lot of he does a monthly Kingdom brief with us with Otterness Missions. Bill, how have you seen this journey?
Bill Otterness 04:36
You know, just seeing what has occurred through fine art. You know, like you have probably heard in my previous briefs here on Faith Horizons that, you know, I’ve done a lot of outreach type of evangelism and seeing how the fine arts community has been influenced secularly and then what Julia is doing to kind of reclaim that, and what God has done to the actual artist that received that message that she’s trying to convey through fine art, that’s what’s really impressed me. And so that’s how I got sucked in by seeing how fine art can change people’s lives, and redirect them through their gifting. And so with that, I was just kind of okay, I, I can help with this. Because, you know, really, I’m not into fine art or galleries or nothing. And, and so it’s a different flavor. You know, it’s kind of like, I guess, with hip hop dancing or something like that. It has its own culture that surrounds it. And so I’m learning about the culture and, and just really just love what I see. Well, I can’t express enough of that, how much fine art is being able to change people’s lives. So I’m looking forward to seeing more.
Nathan Sack 06:01
Awesome. For what I’ve seen it, you’ve created a quite a niche serves a specific niche.
Julia Otterness 06:07
Yes. Yeah. It’s it’s fun, because not only the events that we put on, but we also get involved in events around the community, like around the city, just connecting with other artists. Through like, plein air events. There’s a big, you know, art community here and around Kansas City. Lots of artists.
Nathan Sack 06:30
Yeah, and I’ve seen you on, you know, I’ve seen while I’ve seen pictures of you on Facebook, at the plein air events, and it’s really, you know, you’re pretty active on the on, on putting pictures out on your Facebook. So one of the one of the coolest ways to follow the Genesis 1:1 is just to, you know, just go look at the Facebook page from what I’ve seen.
Julia Otterness 06:53
Yeah, I tried to I tried to keep up with that. And some of the things I’ve been doing, you know. And I don’t actually even consider myself a plein air artist, but it’s, it’s a wonderful way I’m learning a lot and meeting amazing, wonderful artists and, and it’s just great to get out there in amongst the artists in the city.
Nathan Sack 07:16
So plein air artists means just means you just outside.
Julia Otterness 07:19
Just painting outside. And it’s most of it as an impressionistic style, which is a specific style of art.
Bill Otterness 07:32
Which is not really her thing. She’s what you would call a real realist, or is it realist?
Julia Otterness 07:37
Yeah, I’m more, I’m more tend toward realism style.
Bill Otterness 07:40
Yes. Where you can look at the painting and know, say, Okay, that’s a cow. That’s definitely a cow. There’s no abstract. Yeah, there’s no abstractness to it. And so that’s, she really does very well in that type of art. So she’s learning.
Julia Otterness 07:59
And you can tell it’s a lot to get into all the specifics about what impressionism is, I mean, you can tell what it is, it’s just a different way you get up close, and it’s really not as clear, and you back up, and you see what it is.
Nathan Sack 08:13
So what are some of the events? I know you mentioned, open studio. And then what are some of the other events that the Genesis 1:1 host, and invites community into?
Julia Otterness 08:25
Well, we also have partnered with Grace Point Baptist Church. And so we have an art gallery at the church, and we rotate our artists, about quarterly. And so we help them to be able to express what God’s done in their life and through their artwork and express who God is. And so we invite the public to that, you know, everybody’s welcomed the community’s welcome. And it’s just, it’s just a great time together. And everybody’s always encouraged, you know, and always inspired. And so yeah, we also do workshops, and they’re not scheduled, but we’ll just do them as the Lord leads, you know, and so, actually, right now there’s a group of young people and in the YWAM school, that’s going to Africa and they’re taking the Genesis 1:1 workshop there and so goes through the days of creation doing artwork using the days of creation, the six days of creation and expressing who God is through that and having a workshop doing that with kids or with adults and they’re going to be doing it with kids at a school there in Africa.
Nathan Sack 09:51
So you’ve actually set up like a specific like, kind of like a with a lesson plan and everything a workshop, is that what you’re saying?
Julia Otterness 09:59
Yes and it’s not so much about technique, but about where your inspiration comes from. So it’s about with either adults or kids, just knowing that you can hear from the Lord. You can get inspiration from Him from His word, and get images from Him. And even if you’re not an artist, it’s just a great exercise, you know, and a great experience to give, you know, do something new and, and really hear from the Lord and come up with an image for a day of creation. There’s so many different types are so individual and that what makes people unique.
Nathan Sack 10:37
That’s so cool. Yeah, yeah. Because, you know, we think about the fact that we’re created in the, we’re created in the image of God. And then we also have an imagination. And that’s-
Julia Otterness 10:49
Yes. And that’s God shows us so many things through our imagination.
Nathan Sack 10:54
That we actually, you know, some people say, I might be misquoting this, they say that everything you see in the world, somebody drew out of their imagination.
Julia Otterness 11:05
Right? Oh, that’s cool. Yeah, but it’s absolutely I think that’s true.
Nathan Sack 11:09
It had to start somewhere in somebody’s imagination. Yeah. Now we have planes, we have cars.
Julia Otterness 11:16
And it’s acting on that imagination, you know, because you can sit around and daydream and never do anything about it. But you know, if you put it you know, if you just take that step and start moving towards whatever that daydream was, it becomes something you know, and that’s like, co creating with God.
Nathan Sack 11:35
So what you know, yeah, it just seems like you know, you find real delight in being able to co create with God, and do you encounter the presence of God, when you’re creating art?
Julia Otterness 11:47
Yes, I mean, that is absolutely a form of worship, painting through, you know, and just receiving His ideas and putting it down. And as I’m doing it, I mean, it takes time. And that’s where I connect with, with God the most is when I’m, you know, implementing, you know, the technique and just sitting there and putting the ideas together and actually getting frustrated and saying, help me with this, or even just like, it’s going well, and I’m not thinking about it much, but I’m just praying, you know, praying for whatever needs to be prayed for. And so yeah, it’s absolutely a connection with God and always has been in my life.
Bill Otterness 12:31
So this last summer, her and Genesis 1:1 team, she has actually has a small team of artists around her. And they decided to come alongside of me with some of the things we were doing in Otterness Missions in these parks and do what they were calling Art in the Park. So they had this Genesis 1:1 art in the park team going around with us. And one of the events it was extremely hot out with forecast was no wind, no clouds, just straight heat. So I’m bleeding. I’m baiting you here for this intercession prayer…
Julia Otterness 13:09
Yeah, or so we’re just kind of praying. And one thing we’ve realized is like, if you’re doing art in a place and painting, what you see you pay attention in a different way. And so you can kind of notice what’s going on and then, but they just came by and they’re like, We need clouds. It’s hot out here. You know, we’re putting this so you know, pray for clouds. And I’m like, Well, we’ll just paint them in. We’ll just paint them in. And so we’re praying and painting in clouds into the in the paintings and God brought clouds. It was awesome, you know, overcast the whole day. Yeah. Like nothing magical about our drawing, but it was just the act of intercession. And so God just did that. And it was really cool.
Bill Otterness 13:50
And that was one of the that’s just one of the things that I’ve seen in fine art that is just impressed me so much. And so, you know, like you said, I don’t know anything about art, but I’m willing to learn more about it because it’s impressive to see what God’s using this ministry for and other art ministries come to find out there’s a lot of them out there. But for whatever reason, the Lord’s really highlighted this one, we’ve been able to see it go places we never thought the assistant librarian from Mid America Nazarene University, contacted her and wanted us to come out a few years ago and talk to them about putting art in the college. So we did that. And now they have formatted artists talks in the same way that we do them here and they just kind of copied us out there. And, and so that’s been some fruit that’s occurred.
Nathan Sack 14:45
Yeah, I’ve noticed with you, you know, with Otterness Missions that you guys are very you know, you are falling into the same category. It’s just this thing’s spin off from this. It’s been incredible. That’s, that’s incredible.
Julia Otterness 15:02
And it’s, it’s things like this that made me realize how much is really going on because I kind of think through it, but it’s fun, you know, really I mean, when God uses what you love to do. And He just, He just keeps giving you more, you know. It’s like what, you know, never are like, do what you love. And you’ll never work a day in your life who said that? Sometimes I feel like that. But I mean, sometimes it is work, but it is a great, great reward because it’s I like you said, I am passionate about it.
Nathan Sack 15:41
You have the Open Studios at the Grace Point Gallery Cafe. And then that’s, you said, you switch out the artwork about once a quarter, about once a quarter. And then also you have artists talks. And I know that you have one coming up in October 23. I don’t know if this podcast will be released. quick enough to influence that. But you have another one coming up on October 23, where you have an artist come in and just tell us a little bit about what an artist talk is.
Julia Otterness 16:11
Well, we, exhibit their work. And then we have refreshments and we invite the public invite anybody you want to come out, and we just have a time together. And then they’ll have a time where they share about their artwork and about where their inspiration came from what stories are behind the artwork, their testimonies, you know what God’s done in their life. And, and then we have a time for Q&A. And a lot of times people end up praying for each other afterwards and, and more refreshments and just a great time of fellowship.
Nathan Sack 16:56
That sounds wonderful.
Bill Otterness 16:57
That’s another key element for Genesis 1:1 is that we help the Christian artists get their art on the wall. We’ve seen that a lot of artists, especially Christian artists, unfortunately, they’re getting pushed away from the secular galleries. So we want them to build the display their art. So that occurs. And another even more important thing is once they have the art on the wall and the public is viewing it, we want to coach them intentionally come alongside of them, pray with them, and show them how they can share about their art. And not just the techniques of it, you know, the logistical techniques, but like when she goes through the workshops. What really influenced them, and we know it was the Holy Spirit because there are Christians in there influenced by Jesus Christ. So at some point, there’s art that’s on the wall that was really influenced by the Holy Spirit. And so we want to get them, get that out of them. So that when they’re on the microphone, they’re sharing that with the audience. And so that’s kind of the other part of the artists talk that, you know, until the public, they’re seeing it as Oh, it’s an opportunity to come around artists and support that community. But for us, it’s really like, hey, we want to influence the art scene with the Holy Spirit. And we can do that by getting the art on the wall, and then coaching the artist on how to do this well. And usually when an artist finds out that, oh, we can do this, they get excited. And then more artists want to come around to say, hey, I want to do this, I want to get up there and share about Jesus in my art.
Nathan Sack 18:43
That’s awesome. You know, as you’re talking about, you know, Christians putting their art on the wall. And just like you said, it was inspired by God, you know, those images were inspired by God. I’m just reminded of, you know, I haven’t like again, I said, I haven’t really, I don’t have a deep experience in the art experience. But I have read books. And so one of the thoughts that came to my mind was the, you know, the book, Lord of the Rings, or the other book, which is the Chronicles of Narnia. And both of those were kind of depictions of a good versus evil type of thing. And so it kind of like helps people, even like third hand, you know, people all over the world have watched these things. And these men, you know, who created these beautiful works of art, which are now being seen on screens, you know, we’re able to tell a story through their art and I feel like, you know, like, that’s what, that’s what Bill was bringing up is that you know, no matter how that how you look at it, they were able to represent the Holy Spirit through their art.
Julia Otterness 19:47 Absolutely. Well, I think that I know that everything you do, there is a spirit behind it. You know what that spirit is? Depends on if you know the Lord or not basically, you know. So if you have the Holy Spirit, even just looking at a piece of art, you will feel something you will sense that you’ll be drawn to that if you take time, and look at a piece of art that was inspired by the Holy Spirit, you know, so this just gives the artists opportunity, and we help them express and explain, you know, what the people are being drawn to, as I look at it, you know, this is why this is why you feel that way, when you look at this piece of art, or this is what you’re seeing.
Nathan Sack 20:36
I mean, I was just, you know, thinking about, like, if you are going through like a hard time of mourning or something like that, or a loss, and you were to draw a painting through that somebody might experience like a feeling of mourning or loss or some type of like redemption out of that painting. And then when, like you said, once the artist tells the story, they’re like, Oh, well, that’s why I feel that.
Julia Otterness 20:57
Yeah, that makes sense, you know?
Nathan Sack 21:01
One of the things that I first was really introduced to this ministry was the events that you guys have here once a year.
Bill Otterness 21:25
The big gallery event in February? Yeah, that was we call it the big gallery event.
Nathan Sack 21:28
Anyway, the big gallery… Grace Point, I’m sorry, Genesis 1:1 host a gallery event in February. That was just incredible. And I got to attend it. And can you tell us a little bit about that? Because that really brought a lot of different practices of the art together.
Julia Otterness 21:50
Yeah, it’s, um, well, the first we’ve done it four times and the first time? Well, Bill has usually a bigger vision than I do. And he’s like, let’s do this, you know, kind of threw around these ideas of doing a gallery event. And I’m just thinking inside, like, Okay, I could get like four or five artists together. And we could do it, you know, just in the gallery area. And he’s like, let’s use the whole place. And I’m like, Oh, my goodness. And we just like, prayed. And God brought, like, 20 artists together local artists, and from nearby areas. And it was incredible. And we had some performing arts. And so we decided to do it several more times. And each time God gave me a different theme. And so the artist would submit artwork that would have to do with that theme. And then and we got jazz and Jazz For Good involved. They’ve been a huge part. And got some nice lighting and just brought the community together and…
Nathan Sack 23:07
Jazz For Good is a music group, right?
Bill Otterness 23:10
It’s a foundation, a good foundation. And so Doug, you’re getting a quick plug right here. Jazz For Good Foundation is here in Kansas City. There are phenomenal, very professional jazz group. And they come in different variations of sizes from, you know, two to four or five people in the ensemble. And it’s a foundation. So it’s a nonprofit organization, and they primarily do gigs for nonprofits. And so they came out and did a gig for us for free. Because we’re a nonprofit, and they came and bless us. And the cool thing about it is Doug is a phenomenal Christian man full of the Holy Spirit. He’s the founder for Jazz For Good Foundation. And I think most of his guys are all solid Christian men and women that are a part of that group. And so that’s why I wanted to give a quick plug on this program because it’s a Christian based program here in Kansas City and Jazz For Good is a Christian based jazz band.
Julia Otterness 24:10
And they’re a huge part of what I think made the gallery event a success.
Bill Otterness 24:14
Yeah, people like them. Yeah. They didn’t like art, but they love jazz.
Nathan Sack 24:18
Well, I just, I mean, I saw it all together because you also like at this last one. Anyway, the one that was in 2021. There was incredible food there too. I mean, we had food, we had the music, the lighting was good. And I was just very impressed by a very nice atmosphere to you know, and then also the multiple artists had painting and pictures all over the wall. It’s just incredible.
Julia Otterness 24:50
Yeah, we’ve been so blessed to really find quality artists or God brings us quality artists to be able to do these events. So it’s, it’s been really fun. And it’s just a lot of work, but God just brings it together. And yeah, just like the food that was the Loaves and Fishes thing for sure. We had no idea. I mean, we are we’re as organized as we can be, but we can’t take all the credit for God. He really brought that together.
Bill Otterness 25:25
So honestly, so we had a chef that last one, you’re talking about 2021. So we had, we had a chef, we always have some sort of a chef, that’s a part of that food scene. And this last year, there was a lot of complications with the food. And really, because there was no food, there was no food. And the chef was, she was struggling. And but I’ve been through this a lot, Julie and I have been through this a lot with the different events we’ve been a part of over the years of our lives, even outside the art world. And so we just knew we had a peace about this. And so I remember praying with her and, and we all gathered around, prayed and said, you know, don’t worry about this.
It’s just do what you have, you know, use what you have. I don’t know if I mentioned loaves and fish. But the day of the event I went back into the kitchen, you know, I’m busy running around with walkie talkies, and I go back in the kitchen. I mean, it was just completely packed full of food. There was nowhere to put food. There was literally nowhere. It’s piled on top. It’s in carts, it’s out in the hallways, and there was just food. Like we’re all this food. Like we don’t know. We don’t know people snuck in and dropped off food is just that way.
Nathan Sack 26:49
I ate some of this food. It was good. It was cool. It was unique. It was incredible.
Julia Otterness 26:56
It was all divided up into little like cupcake things.
Bill Otterness 27:01
You know, well, I think part of that played into the COVID thing. So we wanted it pre portioned stuff anyway, you know, but there’s something too, if you go out, you know, for instance, Nathan, you’re out, launching out in this ministry of being able to expose ministries, or business or Kingdom business churches, right, anything? Well, in my opinion, I think men and women in the business sector that are intentionally going into this with a Christian mindset, it’s a ministry, you know, it’s a ministry. And so, by you doing this ministry, to expose those ministries, to each other, to the kingdom, you know, when you when you pour more into that, the Lord is going to honor that, and He’s going to see your effort, and He’s going to bring you more. He’s going to keep bringing you more and bringing you more. And you you’ll sit there and look into the kitchen and wonder where did all this come from? How did I end up with this waiting list of people they get on these podcasts? So I really do see stuff like that happening quite a bit. And so we’re always trying to move forward with the Lord and not be stagnant because, you know, if you move forward with Him, He’s going to continue to honor that. There’s a lot of scriptures about how He give you know- with much I forget…
Julia Otterness 28:31
If your faithful with little…
Nathan Sack 28:35
Who much is given much is required. Is that the one you’re thinking of?
Bill Otterness 28:49
Yeah. That goes along with the talents parable about if He gives you the talents and you use them well, He’s gonna give you even more.
Julia Otterness 28:56
And that goes into the imagination. Because if He gives you something in your imagination, and you move forward on it, it’s gonna happen. If it’s from the Lord, it’s gonna happen and He’s gonna, do exceedingly, abundantly above all you can ask or imagine.
Nathan Sack 29:15
Bill Otterness 29:17
And it’s never a burden. Because it’s easy and light.
Nathan Sack 29:21
It’s enjoyable, too. Because like you said, Julia, you’re doing it with God.
Julia Otterness 29:25
Yeah, yeah. I’m just so surprised sometimes because He gives us you know, it gives me like an idea, or us an idea. And I’m like, that doesn’t seem like me, but we’ll do it. You know, and it turns out really cool. You know, because it’s from God. You know, it’s God’s idea.
Nathan Sack 29:47
I mean, like, I was at that February event, just to bring it back. I was at that February event, and it was a, it was every bit of a black tie event. I mean, it was it’s very nice. You know, I mean, obviously didn’t need to wear a black tie to come to this one. But it was just enjoyable. It was nice. It was over the top. Like you said, well, we can’t take credit for everything, but you scheduled the building and God showed up.
Julia Otterness 30:19
Right, absolutely. He brought all the elements, He brought everything.
Nathan Sack 30:25
And they were all done very well like, I mean, I that food was art people. And then the art was art. And then the music was art and the place was decorated.
Julia Otterness 30:36
And it wasn’t, it’s amazing, because, you know, all types and ages of people enjoy it, you know, from young people to old people to middle aged people, to kids, we have kids doing art in the in the gallery.
Nathan Sack 30:52
We had my kids were dancing up at the front. I have pictures of that.
Julia Otterness 30:57
God always takes you in different directions. And so we’re focusing this year more on art artists talks, then we’re not going to be doing the big gallery event in February. So we’ll see what other ideas He gives us. So yeah, this season is more-
Nathan Sack 31:14
Of like actual artists, help them get their story.
Julia Otterness 31:19
Yeah. And really invite people to come into that. And so they can actually hear the artist stories.
Nathan Sack 31:25
Bill Otterness 31:26
Yeah, we just think that there’s a lot more that we can…The gallery event, so for instance we were doing it this year, or I say this year, but they always occur, they would always occur in February, but we would actually start in September to prepare for that, which doesn’t still doesn’t give you a whole lot of time, to be honest for something like that. And so there’s a lot of effort that would go into putting this thing on in February, and it just kind of occurred to us that, you know, we can really invest in the artists in an individual way, and really build them up. If we were willing to let go of this phenomenal event that you’re talking about, because it was and people would expect to see this each year. And so it was something that, you know, obviously we pray about it, okay. You know, taking, getting rid of something as beautiful as that. But moving in the direction that God wanted us to do. And so the artist talks are going to be a strong focus. And then we can invest in the artists. And we also think that so if anyone has space for an art gallery, we would love I would love to actually look at something like that maybe a Christian, specifically Christian art gallery.
Nathan Sack 33:00
So what about like, if I know I’m throwing an idea out here, but I’m an idea man. What about you know, if another church wanted to like, host artists? Art?
Julia Otterness 33:11
Oh, yeah, we will, we can help with that. I mean, we have a, our network of artists is always growing. And so we know quite a lot of artists that would be great to have in a space like that. And we can encourage on how to do that. If it’s not already set up, you know, how to make a space that is good for something like that. And we actually have partnered with within a church in North Kansas City. And so we’re always switching back and forth artists with them so yeah, absolutely. And yeah, and Mid American Nazarene University as well.
Nathan Sack 33:57
Yeah. You know, it’s kind of interesting, you know, cause like, when you think businesses, you know, like, a business is might mow a yard, mow a lawn, and then, and then they end up, you know, doing landscaping, the same yard, and then they end up you know, tree trimming and doing hedges. I mean, I’m might be quite a bit of overlap, and then they might end up doing seeding, and then they might do irrigation, eventually in the same yard. It’s almost like God’s like, can we go deeper into the churches we already have? What else can we do with people.
Julia Otterness 34:30
Right, yeah, absolutely.
Nathan Sack 34:33
I really just, I mean, I just really felt like God’s like, hey, you know, it’s much more multifaceted. The church is much more multifaceted than has been currently represented.
Julia Otterness 34:45
And as we’re been discovering, there’s so many artists out there and you know, some of them are, they’re needing to be encouraged to even just get their artwork. Get it out of the closet. Get it out of the garage or whatever, and get it up on a on a wall so people can see it because it’s important. It’s important to the Lord. And it’s important to show what He’s given you, you know, not hiding under a bushel, you know.
Nathan Sack 35:15
Part of that is the birthing process of an individual of an artist, you know, and they have to come out of their shell to, and not just, you know, because I mean, like, this is a direct, right, you know, art because you invest so much time in it, and it’s coming out of your imagination. It’s a part of you. And so if they don’t like your art, you know, oh, they don’t like me. Well, it’s so personal. You know?
Julia Otterness 35:42
Yeah, that’s a whole other area.
Nathan Sack 35:47
Well, I mean, but you’re helping people by helping them, you know, get their art out there overcome that great fear. I mean, that the enemy will I mean, because he has a plan to keep your art in the closet.
Julia Otterness 35:59
Yeah. And so there is a lot of person, some people are just ready, you know, they’re, they’re just like, oh, wow, I can do this, like, and it’s just like, right on the edge, and they’re ready. Okay, you know, and then others, it’s really requires just like, a little bit more prayer and just encouragement, that, okay, I can do this. And this is, you know, important. So, it’s all, it’s always different with every person, you know.
Nathan Sack 36:29
I’ve had, you know, different encounters with different people over a website, or, you know, something that, you know, they don’t want to come out. And I don’t want to put my foot out there. Because of this and that, so there’s always like, are you going to represent yourself as who you are? Or are you going to keep hiding who you are.
Julia Otterness 36:48
And I think a lot of people don’t realize that that’s pride. And that’s something that I realized when I first got involved in in YWAM. And to be honest, like, if I never had to go to a speaking event, I would never go ever, I never had to stand up and talk in front of everybody, I’d be completely satisfied. But, you know, a long time because, and I was just sometimes even afraid just to talk to one other person just shy or timid or afraid. And then God showed me through a teacher that that was pride, because I was more afraid of what people thought of me than what God was asking me to do. So even if speaking is not really my natural thing, or desire, or passion, if God asked me to do it, I need to, to do it, and God’s gonna use it. And I just have to get over myself, basically, you know, but encourage people in a different way than that. But you know, basically, I realized that’s pride, you know, and, and I didn’t realize it was pride. It was more of like, a victim thing, mentality of just, you know, no, I’m not good enough or whatever. But no, it really is pride. And we need to get past that, and repent of it and do what God’s called us to do. But yeah, and once we’re, I mean, once our eyes are opened, you know, to that, that, Oh, wow, that is pride, and I can just, I just need to repent of it and, and just go in, go and do it.
Nathan Sack 38:32
Alright, so you guys are focusing on primarily the open studios, artist talks. And then you have workshops. Are those workshops? If you have them locally, will you announce them on Facebook? Or?
Julia Otterness 38:47
Yeah, we would if we had something like that. We’ve done them with YWAM. We’ve did them at a school in Mexico at the orphanage. A school orphanage place and we did them in Antigua. Yeah. With the West Indies. Yeah, we did a workshop there. Oh we did a young artist workshop here in Kansas City at one time with 15 young artists. And so it’s just one of those things. It’s not a regular thing that we’ve been doing but as the Spirit leads, and as it comes up, we will periodically have these workshops.
Bill Otterness 39:35
It doesn’t necessarily have to be her. No, we sent people that are part of the Genesis1:1 ministry into Africa and countries over there, and they’ve actually instituted those workshops, in schools in orphanages and stuff. Over there and currently, there’s one on its way to Zambia, and they’re going to be in schools in Zambia. Doing these doing this workshop. And when two or more come together, the Lord Jesus Christ is present. And so that’s part of the uniqueness of the workshop, that we take that promise and use it so that the artists that are sitting there that are participating in the workshop can have that very personal experience with Jesus, so that they can learn more about the intercession part, like what she was talking about, we can just paint some clouds, and they’ll show up. So it’s hard to do that on the internet. But there’s people that are actually gifted at being able to do that. We haven’t seen that gift set in an us yet. But, so it’s more of a personal thing.
Nathan Sack 40:53
So I’m just trying to grab at that a little bit more, that so the purpose of such like a workshop, or even an open studio event, or even an artist talk or the theme, or the thing that’s kind of sitting behind all of it is that you want to have to use this, this ministry, there’s Genesis 1:1 ministry, and you want to engage with other people and do ministry. With Genesis 1:1 you want to interact, you know, change lives through the Genesis 1:1 and like he was talking about sending the workshop overseas and stuff like that, but this is this becomes a tool then for them, like a performing arts, or something like that, so that they can interact with people. And it’s just a different way of, of opening people’s eyes to who God is.
Julia Otterness 41:48
Right? Absolutely. And, you know, it just reminded me when I was sharing with the two students that are going to be leading this out over in Africa, one of them was just like, I feel so much better. I’m so glad we’re doing this, because I mean, they’re artists. And so I can use my gifting because we have like a lot of songs and dramas and stuff going on. But this is really something I can do. And I can take over there. Because that’s what he’s passionate about. And so like you said, it’s just another tool that they can use to show the people who Jesus is.
Bill Otterness 42:25
And we get to empower the Christian art.
Nathan Sack 42:27
I was gonna say that I was gonna say like, to show them how to, hey, you can tell people about Jesus Christ, through your art.
Bill Otterness 42:36
That’s true. You know, and the churches, I think, don’t realize that you’ve mentioned the church a few times. And I’m glad you have because I think the church has forgotten that part. You know, there was a time when the churches in the world were full of art. You know, the greatest artists really, were coming from the church, when you think about the Sistine Chapel. Sure, as some of the sculptures that we see around the world, Christian people doing it for the Lord, they wanted the church to be looked beautiful. And you know, and so they use their gift to do that. And now the church’s walls are pretty blank. I mean, literally, they’re blank. Yeah, we’re, we’re in a church right now, folks, and we’re looking around and all, you know, granted, this is a Sunday school room. Still, I mean, there could be art and so if any of those churches would like to see art, it’s real simple to really hang a gallery, there are some great tips that we have, we can come in there and meet and talk and, and help come alongside to get the gallery in place, and then even bring the artist.
Nathan Sack 43:50
To kind of share a little bit about their heart with a pastoral staff.
Bill Otterness 43:55
I’m sure the church has their own. I’m sure the church has an artist there. Yeah. And we could share with them, meet with them, encourage them, look at their art and help put it together to curate that show. So it looks really well and fluid in the building.
Nathan Sack 44:09
It doesn’t have to be a big wall. It doesn’t have to be big, you know.
Bill Otterness 44:13
We started with the cafeteria.
Nathan Sack 44:16
You can just go into that a little bit you have a five foot space. It’s a visible space in your church that everybody’s walking down the hall towards a blank wall. Put something there.
Julia Otterness 44:26
I’m sure there’s an artist in your church.
Bill Otterness 44:31
So the ministry of Genesis 1:1 was-
Nathan Sack 44:34
Uncovering the artist in the church, guys.
Bill Otterness 44:36
Let’s raise them up. Right. I mean, you know, really, it’s no different than finding those people in the church that maybe have a gift of a prophecy or whatever, or evangelism. And the art can be used for all of that.
Nathan Sack 44:53
Evangelism, prophetic art. You can have intercession art.
Julia Otterness 44:59
Well, one thing God showed me. I think it was right before this whole pandemic situation happened. But He just said, you know, I’m just like, what, you know, what do you want me to do? Just one of those moments like, and He’s like, just bring as much beauty to this earth as possible through your artwork, because that’s awesome. Or one thing to get that word from the Lord. It’s like, okay, you know, I can do do that, you know, like, I’ll do that, you know, and, and it’s bringing the atmosphere, it’s bringing His atmosphere. And on the earth, it’s bringing His kingdom God on earth as it is in heaven. And so we’re not only how we react with each other how we are. But the music, the artwork, you know, let’s make this place beautiful, you know, with artwork.
Nathan Sack 46:04
So Genesis 1:1 focuses on helping to bring out artists that are in the Christian community and allowing them to express God through their art. And then but one thing so it deals primarily with like, art, like, painting, drawing, and that’s your focus. And then if there’s other things that kind of happen around you, they’re usually done with another group or something. And I’m just trying to make sure… So Genesis 1:1 is not a music group.
Julia Otterness 46:37
No, you know, we’re not performing arts we’re not all that but we do partner with people that are in those areas for like Jazz For Good for instance, or we’ve had dance ministries, dance companies come and be a part of whatever event we’re doing and things like that. So it can play a role, but it’s not what Genesis 1:1, you know, focuses on.
Bill Otterness 47:06
That’s where I push the envelope. Hey, can we bring these guys? No? No. Hey, one point I wanted to make about the open studios is that they’re, it’s a monthly event. It’s always done on a Saturday. But there’s never any given Saturday that it’s done on every Saturday of the month. Or each month could be a different Saturday, the only way to know you’d want to go on the to the website or the Facebook page, and send in a comment that you want to be placed on the email list. So you can get notifications for that open studio event because the space is always limited. And we never know when the space is available. So we can’t say it’s every first Saturday of the month, for instance, because that that’s just that’s not when the schedule allows when the schedule allows. And so the only way to know when those open studios are is either to follow on Facebook, and look for the event or just get on the email list. And you’ll get notified too.
Nathan Sack 48:30
So in order to get on the email list, you’d go to find the email list on the Facebook page or on the website?
Julia Otterness 48:38
Just on the website. Yeah, just contact me. Yeah, fill up a contact form.
Nathan Sack 48:45
Okay, so fill out a contact form on the Genesis 1:1 art.org website.
Bill Otterness 48:52
If you felt like you wanted to, like just bless the ministry monetarily. And that in that way to kind of see something like this, you know, go even further. Obviously, that’s accepted, we’re nonprofit. And to find out more about how to give, you would go to Otterness missions.org. And you give through that page there and you’ll see the gift page on there.
Nathan Sack 49:16
I’ll make sure to include just that on the just on the show notes to the www.otternessmissions.org
Thanks, Julia. It was great to learn about Genesis 1:1 such a unique and focused ministry that is truly unlocking doors for artists to express and share about God through art. Thanks again, Bill and Julia, for being part of this podcast. I’m excited to see the fruit of this ministry in years to come.
Julia Otterness 49:41
Thanks for having us on the Faith Horizons podcast. We really appreciate it and we are excited too for all that God is doing in the art community. And in through Genesis 1:1.
Nathan Sack 49:54
As we conclude, is there anything you would like prayer for?
Julia Otterness 49:57
We would really like prayers to just continue being able to do some of the things that God has us doing at high quality and even better quality, and be open to new and fresh ideas from Him. And with that we really would like to bring in staff. So we want to build our team, and have people to help us with all the things that God’s put in front of us, and that they would be called to fulfilling this vision with us. We also need a place to do ministry in a property, a studio. Yeah, we’re just praying for a place for expansion.
Bill Otterness 50:43
Yeah, you know, in 2021, Genesis 1:1 Fine Arts became its own DBA. And so these things that Julia has mentioned, is really critical to being able to take this ministry to the next level. And so having that quality staff that can really help us hear from the Lord and the visions, and that we can have accountability in that and go in the direction that God would have us to do with these fresh new ideas. And then with that property she mentioned, you know, we’d be liked to, we would like to have our own property that we own. That would be large enough that we could house some of these events ourselves without needing to coordinate or, or work with so many other different places, which we love to do. But we would love to have prayer to seek wisdom and getting that property, something that would be unique that we could use for the ministry.
Nathan Sack 51:42
Wow, what a great conversation. If you would like to learn more about Genesis 1:1, please go to www dot Genesis one, dash one art.org or visit the Facebook page. To get on the mailing list, please contact them through their contact page on the website so that you don’t miss any of the events. Thank you so much for joining us for another Faith Horizons podcast. We look forward to sharing more conversations from the kingdom of God in Kansas City. If you’d like to partner with the Faith Horizons mission to discover the kingdom of God in Kansas City, one conversation at a time. Please go to www.patreon.com forward slash faith horizons. Thank you so much.