The Christian Faith in Action luncheon was held on Thursday, and the presenter was Kirk Clark, a member of Trinity, Pharr, and a “successful business, generous philanthropist, and incredible artist,” as introduced by Jill Oettinger, the chief executive officer of Good Samaritan Community Services (GSCS).
Clark briefly spoke about Bishop Lillibridge’s recent visit to Trinity, when during his sermon, Lillibridge asked the congregation, “Are you available to God?” This question resonated with Clark, who said his answer ran deeper than, “I am here.”
Clark was raised in McAllen by parents who are successful and well-known contemporary art collectors. At ten years of age, Clark completed his first painting – a self portrait – which ended up winning first prize in the Mission Citrus Fiesta art contest after it was accidentally entered in the adult division. An older lady, so impressed with the painting, convinced the ten-year-old Clark to sell it to her for three crisp $100 bills.
Painting has been a large part of Clark’s life, and after succeeding in the car dealer business for several decades, he began researching and learning more about the science behind sound and began painting what he heard. Clark’s first experience with this concept came when he painted the sounds of underwater species recorded by Bernie Krause. Clark said he is gifted to be able to “see sound and hear color.” He has completed over 300 paintings while listening to Krause’s underwater audios; and another series, “Universe Below,” is Clark’s attempt to show the connection between space and the depths of the ocean, noting that “God is everywhere.”
A very active supporter of Good Samaritan Community Services, especially in the Rio Grande Valley, Clark has seen the transformation by GSCS’ partnership with other ministries to educate the parents of the under-served children involved in the programs of GSCS. Many of the parents have been given the opportunity to receive a technical education, and ten have recently graduated from a welding program and are now employed.
Speaking to his paintings in which he tries to portray the voice of God and to the success of GSCS, Clark said, “God has equipped us to do special work on his behalf; we can show up out of duty or out of love.” He encouraged the audience to be available to God and to manifest God’s love in personal lives and endeavors.