BY KIMBERLEE R EMMERICH | PHOTO BY MACKENZIE DOHERTY
The artist and missionary, Paul Wislotski, paid Edgewood College a friendly visit in September to unite people through what he calls collective art pieces.
“I started at Woodstock many years ago and set up a tarp to let people paint on it and I saw how much joy it brought people to be creative together,” Wislotski said.
Over time, he experimented with different materials and eventually began a long journey that would take years to complete. “I am on a mission from God to visit all fifty states to create art pieces that will touch others,” he said.
Wislotski has committed himself to this mission since August 2014 and now has less than ten states to complete his goal.
Before this project began, he didn’t quite know what to do with his life.
“I took ten years off until I finally looked up to God and asked: ‘What do you want me to do?’ Finally, he told me “Okay, go,’ so I did and began to travel across America,” he said. Wislotski traveled from state to state in nothing but a van. He started to create collective art pieces with the students of the colleges he visited.
It doesn’t take much to create a collective art piece, according to Wislotski. He said that all people really need is a bedsheet for a canvas, oil pastels, and easel or table to lay the canvas down on.
“Then you just allow people to draw and let them be creative with it.”
However, there are a couple things that are not allowed when it comes to these pieces — no words or symbols. Including these things may result in negativity being brought onto the piece. “Symbols are not something that you created. I want something that comes from your imagination,” he said.
It is encouraged that artists add on to others work because people are inspired by each other’s art. Wislotski firmly added that once a collective art piece is finished, it is important to take a picture of it and share it with everyone so that they may have a piece of the creation and cherish it for as long as they live.
Wislotski’s goal for this project is to “bring revival to the world.” He stated that all over the world, people are suffering, especially with events that occurred in places such as Charlottesville. “There is so much hate going around, but by responding to hate with love through all of these art pieces, all the fellow artists that contributed and I can make a difference in some way,” said Wislotski. “You got to make the moment instead of sitting back and watching it happen. Let’s be creative together. Let’s touch people with art and give others a piece of our imagination.”
With only a few more states to go before his mission is complete, he has already planned out what he wants to do next.
“I want to travel across America to big cities and share more art pieces,” he said. “Instead of only having one set up for people to create, I want at least ten so that more people can participate and create together. Once they’re finished, I want to send more of these pieces out to countries across the world, because we’re not the only ones suffering.”