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Makers Series | Intimate

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Our next Makers Series explores how visual, written and musical arts can still connect us with each other and the material “stuff” of the world on intensely personal—though not always private—terms. Doors open at 6:30 for coffee and snacks, and the program begins at 7:00.


To be intimate implies close physical proximity, but also much more: a relationship that is unguarded, reciprocal, and perhaps even a bit intense. That combination makes intimacy something we crave, but also something that requires effort to maintain.  It is usually private—experienced among a few individuals or in small communities—and it can be fragile, even among those closest to us.  In other words, real intimacy is hard. But if it’s both so important and so complicated, where do we turn to find out what true intimacy looks like, and feels like? 

Many of history’s most profound works of art are loved because they depict and allow insight into moments of deeply personal connection. Today, we still are drawn to contemporary images, narratives, and songs that promise to show us the way forward in our own lives. Yet the offer of peeking in on the private moments of others can just as easily tilt to voyeurism, envy, or worse, and these days we glut ourselves on media that may have nothing whatsoever to do with relational truth, much less unguarded community.  In our age of global stardom, corporate-sponsored spectacle, and pervasive anonymous consumption, are creative practices still a means to understand or even recover authentic intimacy?

Our next Makers Series explores how visual, written and musical arts can, indeed, still connect us with each other and the material “stuff” of the world on intensely personal—though not always private—terms. Our presenters will be glassblower Peter Jacobsen from Tacoma, Washington; Farmville-based poet Neil Perry; and retro-gospel duo The Welcome Wagon, coming in from Brooklyn, NY. Each of our guests' creative work emerges and flourishes in small, highly relational contexts, and each makes art by paying close attention to the details of their media but also by being attuned to the connections between form, content and their intimate community. Each now invites us to draw close, too.

Location: Third Church Fellowship Hall

600 Forest Ave.

Henrico VA 23229

(Right across the street from Tuckahoe Elementary School)


The signature program of makeRVA (a collaborative outreach to and through Richmond’s arts communities), each edition of the Makers Series is organized around a unifying theme and brings together three “makers”—a writer, a visual artist, and a musician—to discuss their history and practice as artists and touch on their spiritual paths. In a coffee-house setting with refreshments available throughout, each guest presents for 20 minutes, followed by a moderated conversation and Q&A with the audience, seeking to find commonalities between each maker’s experiences and to draw out insights about faith, culture, and creativity


Peter Jacobsen

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Peter Jacobsen began glassblowing at age 12 thanks to an innovative in-school creative-arts job training program in his native Tacoma, run by the non-profit Hilltop Artists in Residence.  Beginning as a student, he quickly joined the production team and was soon spending 30 hours a week blowing and working glass, showing and selling his work not long after.  Seeking out internships, apprenticeships and any grunt work that would keep him close to the furnace and more experienced artists, Peter has worked at the Pilchuck Glass School in Seattle and studied with some of the worlds leading glass artists, including a month in Biot France at Antoine Pierini’s Studio and now another month with Richmond’s own Grant Garmezy. While many of his own pieces are intimate in scale, working on larger pieces in a shop is an intensely collaborative, intimate experience.  Moreover, Peter’s understanding of the glass medium, itself, speaks to our Makers Series theme:  

“I enjoy working in glass because it is like being in a relationship with a person.  You cannot force your will upon it or dominate it.  Glass can be very temperamental and forces you to respect its fragile properties. You must respect it and get to know it in order to be entrusted with its inner life.  In order to create, you must cooperate with it and be able to work together to create something beautiful.”

You can see some of Peter’s work at his website.

The Welcome Wagon

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The husband & wife duo of Vito and Monique Aiuto developed their distinctive retro-gospel style by working out new tunes for old hymns in their Brooklyn living room, and still play mostly in small house-concerts and small venues–even with three Sufjan Stevens–produced albums to their credit.  More accurately, their primary musical venue (and community) is the Brooklyn church where Vito is lead pastor.  Writing for and singing in that context means that, for The Welcome Wagon, music and community are both focused on getting to the intimate heart of relationships that matter. 

You can preview the music of The Welcome Wagon HERE and read more about their journey as artists and spiritual guides for their neighbors in Brooklyn HERE.

More ways to connect:

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In addition to presenting at the Makers Series on Friday night, Vito and Monique will be our conversation partners at a Saturday morning Makers Conversation: Intimate Worship workshop at Third Church, and they will be giving a concert on Saturday evening hosted by Redeemer Anglican Church at (at Boulevard & Grove, across the street from the VMFA).  Click HERE for tickets.

Nathaniel Perry


Hampden-Sydney literature professor Neil Perry believes poetry can bring deep, sustained focus to the profoundly ordinary things that surround us in our daily lives.  Indeed, the intimate relationships among his family and others in his rural community (including animals, plants, and the land, itself) were the subject of his first acclaimed book, Nine Acres.  But more than just “paying attention” to the creatures and even traditions we are all intimately connected with, Perry’s work also honors the way we are constrained by them—for the good of ourselves and those others, alike. As one reviewer said, “the poems in his debut collection consider what it means to be faithful—as husband, father, neighbor, and as steward of land, poultry, orchard, and garden.”  You can read the whole review here, or click on the image to order your own copy.