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Ephesians

Sermon Series Artwork • Park Church • September 2018

Oil painting and illustration by Benjamin Rogers.

One of our largest and most involved projects this summer was directing artwork for Ephesians at Park Church. We commissioned the incredible Benjamin Rogers to create an original piece for the series, and within the piece he placed several diversely-illustrated arguments from the Scripture. There’s too much of interest to share here—please see the artwork essay at parkchurchdenver.org to learn about all the goodness here!

On our end, we took photos of his artwork and created two 3×15′ banners and five 3×3′ wooden panels for the stage at Park Church, in addition to creating the logotype.

The complete, original painting and illustration

The five 3×3′ wooden panel prints

The two 3×15′ banners

The complete Park Church stage from the balcony, including the “Ephesians” logotype

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Word-Filled Women

Event Artwork • Park Church Church • January 2018

Word-Filled Women is a ministry workshop in partnership with The Gospel Coalition.

The flowers are the incredible work of Keep Floral, and the incredible photography of those flowers is by Melanie Fenwick. One thing we never grow tired of is working with other artists. To tell Melanie and Keep Floral the ideas that were in our heads and then see these photos was just way too cool.

The idea was to communicate the strength of one rooted in the Gospel for bearing fruit in ministry. The flowers have a unique firmness and radiant health to them, and there’s also a subtle context of being held in their grower’s hand. Lastly, in doing artwork for a women’s event, there’s a risk of portraying a generalized femininity that speaks a stereotypical word. We’re proud of this artwork because it’s literally pink flowers, yet so far from something “girly.”

Word-Filled Women

A few other photos from the Keep Floral/Melanie Fenwick shoot:

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Genesis

Sermon Series Artwork • Park Church • January 2018

Illustration by Christian Robinson.

We’re quite excited to share about this triptych we coordinated for Park Church. Christian is quite an excellent illustrator and working with him was real, real rad.

The two main pieces symbolize two of the main narrative arcs of Genesis: Part I depicts God’s creation of the world (the foliage) and its subsequent de-creation through mankind (the hand) as a result of satanic temptation (the snake) and human rebellion. Part II depicts God’s creation of a people (the 12 stars for 12 tribes of Israel) as God (the hand) comes to Abraham and makes a covenant (the scroll) with him and his descendants.

The third part depicts the Tree of Life, as described both in Genesis (in the garden) and in Revelation (in the holy city).

To display the artwork, we printed on two 4×8 foot sheets of birch to hand in the Park Church sanctuary (see photos below). A third peice is in process for the main lobby area, depicting the tree of life.

Parts I–III Digitally

Part I After Installation

A Preliminary Mockup of The Stage

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parkchurchdenver.org

Website • Park Church Church • June 2017

We set out to accomplish only a handful of things with Park Church’s new website: (1) ease of use, (2) minimalism, and (3) a really functional integration with Church Community Builder (CCB), the database Park Church uses for many things within the life of the church.

First, ease of use. For users, nothing should be interfering with the experience, and 90% of the info they’re looking for should be less than two clicks away. This required the front-end work of dialing in the site page flowchart, maximizing visual space, and knowing when to say yes and no to content. Additionally, we added more for the user by leveraging an HTTPS enviroment and getting sub-second page load times.

Second, minimalism. We found that the style we wanted was different than the huge-header-image, moving background, pop-up window experience that’s quite common. We wanted clean, less, and “really useable.” We found a direct correlation between tactfully “doing less” and creating an easy environment to use. Church websites have tons of content, so we were solving a puzzle of “how do we do less when there is tons of stuff that has to be on the site?” Pages therefore flow from minimal to content-heavy, but only as a user would expect and want.

The home page

Third, the robust CCB integration. The goal was that this new website would show the events, groups, forms, etc. that the Park Church staff was already managing on CCB. Why replicate things on the website? Though CCB does not provide any website integrations of their own, they do provide an API. Staring with a plugin called CCBPress, we re-styled and re-coded thing after thing to make the imported CCB “records” look and behave the way we wanted. The result is a website that does not need to be updated at all on a regular basis, save for sermons. This creates an incredible ease-of-use for the team, in that they just need to keep their respective parts of CCB up-to-date, something they were already doing. Although anyone could have a login, only one staff member uses one, in order to posts sermons. This the website can be entirely out-of-mind for all but one staff member.

The events page

The small groups page

The sermons page

A blog post

We’re grateful to have had the opportunity to take this project, and we’re pleased with the outcome. Click on any of the images above to vists the page represented and begin browsing the actual site.

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Abide With Me

Event Artwork • Park Church • March 2017

We directed this artwork for a conference Park Church is hosting in March. We’ve long admired the painting of Jennie Lou Pitts, and we were crazy excited to plan and execute this artwork with her.

Although we do like the lettering we did for this artwork—the tension and conflict created support the words themselves: Greatest Fears and Hardest Questions—but the beauty is clearly in Jennie’s painting.

What you’re seeing in the main digital artwork is a zoomed-in shot of one little part of the entire, four-part painting. When zoomed out (see image below) the big picture shows much more; more elegance, more brightness, more completeness. The rhetorical value of this contrast for a conference on trusting God in the middle of hardship goes a long way. Viewers will first see the dark colors, the grit and texture of the canvas, and the hint of white, all symbolizing grief and Paul’s “this present suffering” in the moment. However, when viewers arrive to the conference and see the four enormous pieces on the wall, they’ll recognize the smaller section but understand it in context of the big picture. It’s a small way to symbolize the big-picture we learn to see when we experience anything—even suffering—in light of the glory of the hope of the Gospel.

Learn more about Abide in Me at parkrenew.org/abide-with-me.

Who Are We?
Who Are We?

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Thorns and Thistles

Event Artwork • Park Church • March 2017

We directed this artwork for a conference Park Church is hosting in March. The lettering was done by Andrew Miller, whose work we’ve really come to love. As complex as the issue of suffering is, he elegantly depicted the beauty of it without making it a thing too “soft.” We thought the little thorns were nifty.

For the artwork, we chose the off-white color and black and white photo to depict some of the complicated messages introduced by the event’s subtitle, The Power of Christ for Grace in Weakness. The image is some zoomed-in shot of a waterfall. It’s soft and graceful, but immensely powerful. One feels that they can be crushed by it just as easily as they can be thrilled by it. Suffering is usually a lot more “crushing” than “thrilling,” but for those who are in Christ, the implications of His power for grace in our weakness is not only thrilling, it’s staggering. In 2 Corinthians 12:9, Paul writes, “He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.’”

Learn more about Thorns and Thistles at parkrenew.org/thorns-and-thistles.

Who Are We?

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The Coming of the King: Advent & Christmas

Sermon Series Artwork • Park Church • November

This is one of those projects where we point to our creative community and brag. Jeremy Grant is one of those artists that has a remarkable vision, incredible patience and work ethic, and out-of-his-mind talent. For Advent 2015, he created these collages for Park Church by hand—the purple background and the lighter filling of the crown. That year we took his artwork and simply added typography. For 2016, we re-mixed the artwork just a little for The Coming of the King, shaping the crown and again doing the typography.

We’re proud to share a project for which we supplied maybe only the last 10% of the work. Why? First, because collaborative artwork is powerful, and we seek to be able to carry any project to completion and implement it well across a church’s platforms. Second, because our creative community gives us incredible tools for creating unique, excellent artwork, and that’s something special we can offer (rather, I should say that’s something special about the people God has placed around us).

Rhetorically speaking, Jeremy designed these collages with intense symbolism. In all of his work, Jeremy is considering each strand he lays and what it’s communicating. We adore that about his work. In this peice,The purple, besides being a traditional color for Advent, is representative of the chaos and disorder into which Jesus was born—a disordered world He came to set straight by His love and His good rule. The collage that makes up the lighter filling of the crown is composed of images of sky and earth (the real world into which Jesus came), with streaks of red (representing His own blood that He would let men spill to accomplish His work) and streaks of purple (representing His cosmic royalty as true Son of God).

Who Are We?

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Park Kids Brand

Branding • Park Church • October 2016

Park Church approached us about creating a logo for Park Kids, their children’s ministry. The logo needed to be a clear sub-brand of the main Park Church brand for two reasons. First, because it passes the trust that parents already have for Park Church down this important ministry of Park Church. Second, because it demonstrates that their children’s ministry is an important part of the church as a whole—that Park Kids is “of” Park Church. This may seem obvious, but historically in the American church, children’s ministries are easily “siloed,” hidden in other parts of the church, staffed by a separate team, and given a different, unrelated brand. Using the “bench” element of Park’s main brand and similar typography, we have a brand that both references and represents its “parent” brand.

Now for the fun stuff about this brand. Park Church is a very arts-focused church. Whereas it’s not unusual for a church to feature music as a form of worship, Park Church seeks to demonstrate how the whole realm of human creativity is useful for experiencing our creative God and worshiping Him. For this reason, our Park Kids logo is deeply colorful, playful, and expressive, while balancing an abstract, asymmetrical jumble of shapes inside the outline of the Park bench.

The rhetorical value here is rich—kids of all kinds, who each experience God differently, can keep their uniqueness and blend with the uniquenesses of their peers, all under the direction of the bigger Park Church organization, through the teaching of the Gospel. They together make up a community and young congregation that’s deeply important to the rest of the church body!

Lastly—and admittedly by accident—a staff member at Park noticed that in the middle of the logo there was a sort of “mountain” shape. The large purple polygon meets negative space towards the top of the logo that creates a sort of snow cap. After this was pointed out to us, we did the work to make it a “useable” or “readable” part of the logo. It’s obviously pretty subtle, and we want it to stay that way and not become a gimmick. However, upon a little studying, the mountain pops out. This is rhetorically useful. Children growing up in Denver will see mountains as one of their first experiences of God’s majesty, and we know that as their childhood home rests in their hearts, they’ll have the opportunity to reflect on the greatness and creativity of their God. They’ll likely not remember this logo, but we do hope they’ll remember what they learned in Park Kids about the wonderful, loving God who both created the mountains and is willing to move them for the regard of even one of His little ones.

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The Gospel, Together

Event Artwork • Park Church • October 2016

The Gospel has an everyday impact on our relationships. It can be the basis for our relationships, but it can also be the hope for battered and broken relationships. We’re created as relational beings by a relational God, and His gracious work through the life of Jesus had not only reconciled us to himself, it has reconciled us to each other.

Preparing the artwork for Park Church’s Fall 2016 symposium on this topic, we wanted to illustrate this “tie that binds” us together in Christian love. The two colors in the artwork, contrasting but complimentary, represent two parties in relationship. This can be two people, two people groups, two churches, two family members, etc. The white lines represent the Gospel, the place where we connect. Although the Gospel is doing different work for different people, and although we’re different as people, herein is the only source of all relational beauty and reconciliation.

Art /Rhetor created the artwork, but also a small promotional postcard (front shown below), a larger “program” card (back shown below), posters, the event’s webpage, and all graphics to be used during the event itself. We’re also thrilled to partner with artist Alexandria Ladue of Lore (and many other creative ventures) for the stage design during the event. We can’t wait to show you what she does!

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The Book of Acts

Sermon Series Artwork • Park Church • April 2016

Painting by Lane Geurkink (Native Rambler).

Working with Lane is something we have always wanted to do. When we met up do discuss ideas for artwork for the book of Acts, we had the basic goal of illustrating the infiltration of the gospel into our world. Over the course of a week as we received pictures from her studio, it became clear that what she had created was amongst the most amazing art projects we’ve ever “directed.” The tension of the message of the gospel hitting our cities is so vividly illustrated. Art /Rhetor provided the oversight and typography, but really this piece is 99% Lane. This is one of those portfolio items that we share because we want to brag about our incredible creative community.

Walk in the Light Artwork

Walk in the Light Artwork
Walk in the Light Artwork
Walk in the Light Artwork

Walk in the Light Artwork