“God’s Intentions Bigger Than Our Own”
As many of you may know, for the past 5 years I’ve been fulfilling my passion, working as a full time freelance artist, but with no formal teaching. That is about to change. Recently I’ve been accepted, as 1 of 12 people in the world, into an 2 year program in Florence, Italy, to learn classic renaissance painting techniques in drawing and painting, with a concentration on Theology of the Body – The Sacred Art School of Firenze. This is an absolute blessing from God.
In a world full of spiritual, political, and racial differences, I try to create a art which anyone can relate to. My goal is compositionally creating a way to make my art parallel present day culture but spiritually driven as well. Most people coming across my art may not be a spiritual or religious, so molding pop culture/everyday situations into underlining spiritual themes is my goal. For the most part I’ve gotten the two (pop culture and spirituality) down separately. But it is my belief that my art and my life as an artist is meant to subtly integrate and synthesize the two worlds in a way people may not see at first but can relate to, and cause them to take a deeper look into situations and circumstances of life to hopefully bring about positivity and a change to the world.
Because I am 1 of 12 in the world, what a blessing this is, and what a tremendous opportunity to be able to bear fruits so rare, to be able to bring back new tools and weapons to the fight for peace and love in a more concentrated focus as an artist.
Unfortunately, while I’m studying and learning for 2 years in Florence, I won’t be able to work freelance or part time while in the program. While I am able to scrape up some funds from my savings it will come up way short. The target and goal of my fundraising campaign which includes tuition each of the 2 years, flight to Italy, plus housing, food and necessities will be around $70,000. I’ve broken it down to about $2,500+/month for total cost of living for each of the 24 months. Unlike typical American universities, there is no significant financial aid available for such a unique school. Therefore, I’m am asking you all, my friends to consider donating money for this endeavor.
All donations can be made through a 501(c)(3) – Non Profit Corporation – “Just Cause, La, Inc. (Tax ID# 45-4548766)” that has agreed to sponsor me – so all donations will be tax deductible as well! If you could contribute, any amount it would be greatly appreciated. And to let you know your money is going to good use I will happily send blog and picture updates while abroad.
Thank you so much for the continued support and prayers in my current and future endeavor.
Christian Life Magazine Feature
Jacob Zumo– Visual Artist
God’s Ways are Much Higher than Our Own
From Baton Rouge to Sacred Art School of Firenze in Florence
Q: Please share about your artistic gift. When did you first discover you were an artist?
A: Well, I remember I loved drawing on the class carpet in kindergarten and doodling under my bunk bed as a child, so maybe that was when it all began for me in terms of enjoying art. However, when in high school. my art teacher, Carol Hackler, really taught me to appreciate art. I took art in high school at Dunham thinking it was an easy A, like most tend to think, but I realized then it was a constructive way to release any tension or anxiety I may have had inside me. Carol was without a doubt our artistic psychiatrist – and through her direction and encouragement, my art oozed out of me. The more I look back at my art career, I see that my paintings are created due to the emotions housed inside me. This can be a downfall and a blessing! Anyway, aside from art, I was a college basketball player, but my coach did not believe I had room for both art and basketball. Due to ongoing nagging injuries that year, I returned home and complete my marketing degree. I also started dabbling in art again and several years later, I was driven by celebrity art. It has allowed me to travel the world and that is a true blessing.
Q: What would you say is your artist statement, why you create?
A: In a world of spiritually, politically, racially driven differences, I try to create a platter of things anyone can understand.. Compositionally, creating a way to make my art parallel present day culture and spiritually driven view is key. Most people walking by my art may not be a spiritual person but molding pop culture/everyday situations into a spiritual under lining is my goal. For the most part I’ve gotten the two down separately, It’s a matter of coinciding them in a subtle way that some may not see at first but connect to a piece that they notice.
Q: Do you feel painting is a spiritual gift?
A: Absolutely, I believe painting is a spiritual gift. Being able to create for a living is the most special gift God has given me. Being able to create as he did- He spoke the world into existence-the ultimate Creator, and I feel he has given me a gift of expression. I like to think I follow in His footsteps in some sort of way-creating along the journey. Our world and society we live in needs beauty, beauty and love will save the world. To me, it seems that the art world has gone from completely Christian driven to today’s view of a secular art being the only ‘good’ art. This is something I plan to change. Being an artist I have truly seen how much of a sense of humor God has and how fruit comes from skill, prayer, and loved ones, but also how quickly he can humble me in the process of creating. Art is a very emotional and spiritual battle. Through prayer and discernment of his grace and mercy, great work is made. God gets all the glory. The church and our world today is in desperate need of spiritual sacred artists.
Da Vinci, Raphael Donatello, Michelangelo, Botticelli and Caravaggio-just look at their work and you will see a glimpe of heaven. These are a few of the Renaissance artists I admire.
Q: You have been selected to go to Sacred Art School of Firenze in Florence which is quite an honor, please share how this all came about for you?
A: Norman, my future brother-in-law, was talking about this opportunity. Norman’s work is specifically “sacred art” and I felt he had a shoe into this program. On the other hand, I did not think I would get accepted. My works ranges from rappers, to weddings and spiritual themes. God had other plans for me. “His ways are much higher than our Ways” I prayed about it for over a month and decided He wanted me to go learn in Florence. This would give me an opportunity to not only learn art for the first time, but become more spiritually sound in my everyday life and career future. We had to submit a portfolio of our art, and write an essay of why we wanted to attend the school. Well, I was ecstatic to receive notification that I was 1 of 12 accepted into this program.
Q: Do you have a favorite book of the Bible or scripture that you have always enjoyed or reflected up?
A: “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, His love is everlasting… His Mercy endures forever.” Psalm 118: 1-2
Q: Share anything you would like our readers to know about your journey:
A: To be able to fully engulf myself into the program, I will not be able to work as a fulltime artist. I am seeking donations to help with the load of living costs and school tuition. Donations will be tax deductible. See website for more information: Artbyjzumo.com.
Please visit my website and if you are led to give to help me on this “sacred” journey, I will never forget your generosity or kindness.