Mud in Your Eyes Creatives is offering a three-day art workshop for those who wish to experience connecting with the religious community and unlock their inner artist.

"Hanging by a Thread," will take place from Thursday, October 20 to Saturday, October 22 at the Winnipeg Christian Centre. 

Mud in Your Eyes Creatives began in 2019 because several prophetic artists wished to gather and explore their art and the meanings behind them. It served as an outlet for them during the pandemic, to encourage creativity and to connect with like-minded people.

"Prophetic is always such an intimidating sounding word," says Shannon Schultz, a founding member. "It sounds so big and I don't know that it is. I think it's just a form of art where you can recognize the voice of God speaking to something that happens in your spirit, and it can open up conversations that might not happen in another environment. It's just a safe way to dialogue about tough issues."

The name of the artistic group was inspired by John 9, the story of a creative miracle when Jesus healed a blind man with spit and mud. Schultz says the biblical story encapsulates what the group was all about. They wanted to bring people out of shame and help them see better in a creative way with other people.

The founding members of Mud in Your Eyes Creatives (MIYEC) include nine people, Schultz, Cliff and Wilma Derksen (former members as Cliff has passed away), Teresa Jansen, Iris Kupchuk, Andrea Atkinson, Paige Buhler, Glen Klassen and Betty Ann Provencal.

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It was during the pandemic that these founding members decided to expand their artistic community to the rest of Winnipeg and decided to wait for the right time to encourage people to join them with their workshop.

Each of the three days is a different session with a different schedule.

"Thursday night is what we normally do on a Thursday night. It'll be Creative Soaking, so you're welcome to come and there's no cost for it. We have tables and chairs set up, there are easels if you need them, bring your own supplies if you've got them. If you're inspired 15-20 minutes into it, we do have extra canvases and paints and stuff."

The Thursday and Saturday workshops are free, the Friday workshop requires pre-registration and an entry fee.

"It's called Broken Crayons, and it's a workshop that I've done at women's retreats and in our own church to help people recover their creative voice. You have to give yourself time and be patient with yourself and now expect a perfect outcome."

The third workshop will focus on creating and sharing, working on art that holds a message meaningful to the artists and receiving criticism if asked. It will also feature the MIYEC members and their art and receive a behind-the-scenes look at the meaning of their art pieces. 

Schultz says that one of the purposes of the workshops is for people to gain confidence in their artistic ability, set aside fear and doubt and have fun.

"One of the retreats I did, we're studying the exercise everybody has done with their dominant hands and it's all good then I looked and there was a woman with a withered hand. And I thought, 'oh, well, I'm just going to be quiet,' and I watched her. She has this smirk on her face and she stuck the marker in her hand and wrote her name. When we went around the room to show and talk about what the process was like, she didn't need to do another thing. She could have left there a happy woman because she had never tried to use that hand and I think that's true for a lot of us. We don't know how creative we are because some kind of shame or fear of failure came on it and so we just stopped trying to be creative."

The art sessions are described as a safe place for people with that fear of failure or feeling of doubt to try gaining more confidence without judgement. The environment also revolves around giving glory to God, finding a new way to connect with Him, and joining a community that revolved around Him.

For people wanting to participate in the workshops, Schultz says they can simply walk into the Winnipeg Christian Centre to join. However, for the Friday workshop, preregistration is needed and will close Thursday evening. Participants are encouraged to wear comfy clothes and bring whatever art supplies 

hanging by a thread brochure