This article originally ran in the Cleveland Daily Banner on October 21, 2018
Trek Thru Truth, the Christian interactive museum, has set up a booth at the 2019 Cleveland Apple Festival and is raising funds through two of its most talented artists, coincidentally both named Becky.
Both of the women have practiced art for over 20 years, and while Becky Fowler started painting in pastels, Becky Pico was more involved with oil paintings; however, both of them cite oil as their go-to for artwork.
The Apple Festival will feature a booth for Trek Thru Truth, with Pico painting on Saturday and Fowler on Sunday. The artists will paint as many art pieces as possible throughout the day, and said they intend to incorporate aspects of the festival into their works.
Fowler met Trek Thru Truth president Doug Caywood through her church, Samples Memorial Baptist, as they are both Sunday school teachers there.
“He just mentioned Trek Thru Truth to me, and as it’s grown, he asked if I’d like to be involved, and I said yes,” Fowler said.
Pico met Caywood through a mutual friend. She added how she’s always excited for any opportunity to move God’s kingdom forward. Her first business with the organization came through painting onstage at the Trek Thru Truth Gala, where she said she felt an immense sense of unity throughout the room, despite the differing denominations in attendance.
While Fowler is originally from Cleveland, Pico moved here from Indianapolis because of her husband, who she met on christianmingle.com and who is originally from the area.
“Becky Fowler and I instantly connected on so many things,” Pico said.
Both Beckys worked as faux painting artists at one point in the ’90s, which is art using decorative paint finishes to replicate the appearance of materials such as marble, wood or stone. Pico said she slowly learned different methods of painting and through God-given talent, went off on her own to craft murals and other commissioned pieces.
The two believe that portrait art is valued more in the South, with wall painting more prevalent in the North. Fowler attributes this to the South’s love of history and the use of art as an indicator of current cultural events.
When seeking inspiration for her works, Fowler said conversations with others often give her ideas, as does the Spirit of God.
“I think artists have a tendency to be braggadocios, and this woman prayed over me when she first met me,” Fowler said, referring to Pico. “That’s the difference between a Christian artist and just an ordinary one.”
Pico said she originally only painted what she was tasked with through commissioned works, but once she began painting images from services at her church, Ascension Life, she immediately received inspiration from the Holy Spirit. She added how when she gets an idea, she knows it’s from God – if it remains on her mind. She also includes a written description, similar to a devotional, along with her inspired artworks.
Citing the impact art has on people’s souls, the two said their pieces sold at the Apple Festival can bring healing, peace or simply delight to buyers. In the past, Pico had painted a piece that she envisioned from a Bible verse. A woman who had just lost her grandson bought the artwork, and later told Pico she felt such peace from the painting that she now purchases them for friends going through tough times.
“This was simply a verse in Psalms that states God collects all our tears,” Pico said. “This only goes to better illustrate the power of art, especially when God’s hand is on yours.”
Fowler and Pico encourage everyone to come check out the Trek Thru Truth booth at the Apple Festival on Saturday and Sunday, and see what they’ve been inspired to paint on those days. All money raised goes to the Trek Thru Truth program, so not only can you leave with a beautiful painting, but also support a great cause.
For more information, go to Trek Thru Truth’s Facebook page, its website www.trekthrutruth.com or call 423-665-9229.