When asked, How does prayer intersect with your work as an artist?, Leslie's answer is immediate. Prayer and artmaking are interconnected. "Making art is an act of intercession, she says, "and prayer is an act of intercession. I feel called to be both artist and intercessor."
Leslie Iwai’s art at UNVEILED Prayers of the People illustrates the ways art and prayer can subtly and powerfully merge, reflecting her sense of calling as both an artist and an intercessor.
An intercessor is someone who expresses prayers and petitions on behalf of others. The “other” can be someone dearly loved, or someone held at a distance. The other can also be a group, members of a family or community, or the larger nation and world.
Working as an artist—with images and material—can be a meditative and tactile form of prayer for all these “others.” Leslie says, “I have dedicated time solely to prayer and I have also dedicated time solely to artmaking. As I work, I have found they slowly come to intersect.”
But it’s not just about her experience as an artist, she points out. “I think artmaking provides a place for others to connect with the Maker that I work with – the Maker who is God. I think that art is a way of providing connection and bringing people, whether they realize it or not, into my relationship with God, which I enjoy as a ‘maker’ who makes art with the Creator. Part of my prayer is that people connect in some way with the Holy Spirit through my work.”
People connect with God through a variety of ways. Some people are more intellectual. Some people connect through their emotions. Others engage in more physical ways. “Within my art, I want to create and bring together those different ways of connecting,” Leslie says.
Leslie Iwai’s installation at UNVEILED brings together the physical, emotional, and intellectual. Titled Share Table, the huge piece where people can actually sit and ponder, evokes an invitation to something greater. It also offers an opportunity to share written prayers, reflections, words, or memories as these emerge and are unveiled through the exhibit.
When you come to UNVEILED, you will not only see but experience Leslie’s artwork, Share Table. We look forward to hosting you during an upcoming evening Open House, or during our daytime hours. See below for details.
Daytime Schedule and Evening Reservations
Daytime: Unveiled will be open from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, Monday through Friday, from April 6 through May 6 (except for Monday, April 19 when it will be closed). You will be asked to sign in when you arrive.
April 22 — Thursday — 25-person capacity per time slot
May 6 — Thursday — National Day of Prayer (final day of event) — 25-person capacity per time slot
Attend with your church small group, bible study group, prayer group, family members, or friends by reserving a time exclusively for your group.
April 21, 28, and May 5—Wednesdays
April 29 —Thursday
8:00-9:30 pm are available.