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“I always thought, ‘There’s life in the boundaries.’ But now I realize that I want less and less of that. I want to figure out ways of creating more space for myself to be who I am to be in this world, to see the holy in me and the holy without me.”


Lanecia Rouse Tinsley is an abstract artist based in Houston, Texas. She creates out of a desire to make the invisible landscapes within us known, using texture, form and color to speak to life in ways she feels words cannot. She says she is drawn to the “negative spaces” in life—times of ambiguity and uncertainty, silence and mystery.

Tinsley and I sat down at the Glen Workshop, where she teaches mixed media and painting, to talk about the creation and experience of art as ways to lean into prayer; the artists who minister to her pain and remind her to feel joy–including Rothko, Alma Thomas and poet Mary Oliver; and how the interdisciplinary collaboration that happens at the Glen Worksop inspires us. Tinsley works to make that kind of communal experience more accessible to more artists and people in her own community. She works with projectCURATE in Houston as a Spiritual Director and Consultant for the Arts. She is also co-founder of the ImagiNoir Group, an international alliance and think-tank of black activists, artists, writers, scholars and educators.

Jessica Mesman, Host
Jessica Mesman, Host

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