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Art & Anticipation

Art & Anticipation

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At Image, as we contemplate pandemic exhaustion, political transition, and news of vaccines, the best word for what we’re feeling might be anticipation. In anticipation, that strange cocktail of eagerness and anxiety, dread and longing, hope and impatience, the psalmist’s lament, “How long, O Lord?” meets the prophet’s announcement, “Behold, I am doing a new thing!”

Artists help us live with such anticipation. Consider, for instance, Elizabeth Alexander’s “Praise Song for the Day”:

A woman and her son wait for the bus.
A farmer considers the changing sky.
A teacher says, Take out your pencils. Begin.

From these everyday images emerges a poem of epic sweep. After walking us through a continent’s history of risk and struggle, after naming the price that has been paid, it’s no accident that Alexander ends with hope:

In today’s sharp sparkle, this winter air,
any thing can be made, any sentence begun.
On the brink, on the brim, on the cusp,
praise song for walking forward in that light.

Here at Image, we are filled with anticipation. We are looking forward to all the creative work that is already emerging from a difficult season. We hope to commune around art and music again, even as we fear for the survival of our artistic institutions. We long to gather with friends at an in-person Glen Workshop, and to host live readings and performances again. We are grateful that you are part of the Image community. We hope you’ll join us in anticipating the contribution art and artists will make to the life of this world in the years ahead. We are grateful for your support, in all its forms.


signature of Jamie Smith

James K.A. Smith
Editor in Chief

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Greg Pennoyer
Executive Director

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