How I Spent My Small Grant: Rev. Ron Weatherford

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One of the ways that we encourage participants in our Spirited Life program to focus on their wellness is by awarding them each a one-time grant of $500. Pastors are encouraged to use the grant to offset costs associated with their pursuit of the health goals. They’ve used their grants for everything from gym memberships to hobby supplies.

Rev. Ron Weatherford used his small grant to further his love of painting. Below is an interview with Rev. Weatherford:

Q. How long have you been in ministry?
A. My first church appointment was in 1988 and last appointment was in 2011. Currently I am classified as local pastor. I am not in an appointment.july__17_2013_028Q. What did you do before you entered into ministry?                  
A. I was a bi-vocational pastor for 25 years. I retired from the U.S. Postal System in 2009. I also founded a non-profit called Nia’s Ark that addresses health issues in the Retirement ExpressAfrican American church.  We have partnered with UNC Chapel Hill “Ethnic Minority Health Organization” on research projects in the faith community. We are currently planning prostate cancer workshops in the faith community for the fall of 2013.

Q. What did you purchase with your small grant?
A. I used the grant to purchase art supplies and to pay membership fees for local artist guilds. I bought canvases and paints and brushes.

Q. Are there other artists in your family tree?
A. My son majored in art in college and plans to pursue a master of fine art degree.

Q. What about art inspires you? What do you find relaxing about it?
A. I have always enjoyed art. As a child I enjoyed creating art. My favorite art form was ceramics at summer camp. I began painting in February 2013 after looking at some photos of the stars from the Hubble telescope. I was attempting to capture the beauty of the universe through painting. I found that painting allowed me to channel my feelings onto canvas. I started to experiment with different styles of painting. I studied the styles of various artists. There was a practice period where I tried to duplicate others’ work. During this period I had to learn about what brushes to use and how to blend colors. I eventually started to be able to bring my own visions to bring to life on canvas. I paint what I feel on a given day. My inspiration comes from conversations with friends and life itself. There is still a lot I have to learn. Art is instrumental in helping to maintain my mental health. I started doing art when I was going before the Board of Ordained Ministry. The outcome was not what I expected and art allowed me express what I was feeling. I did a painting called Jacob’s Ladder that came out that experience.  When I started sharing my art with friends they were surprised because it was something new. I was commissioned to do a few pieces for a local business. My art is on display for purchase. Art allows me to tell a story on canvas.

Q.What do you do with the art work when it’s completed? Sell it? Donate it? Keep it?
A. When I complete my art I post it on the Fine Art America website.  This is a great website as people from all over the world are viewing my art. I am trying to get art galleries to take them on consignment.photo_(22)Many thanks to Rev. Weatherford for sharing!

– Angela M. MacDonald

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