Dark to Dawn: The Rise of Hope Among Nations

WELD AT WORK:  Dark to Dawn: The Rise of Hope Among the Nations [The Art and Film of East-West Ministries]
WELDER:  Trey Hill
Interview by:  Kristin Read

What better way to kickoff “WELD at Work,” which will feature ongoing WELDer projects that deserve our eyes and ears, than by introducing the newly appointed Chief WELDer of the Dallas location, Trey Hill! As Austin Mann transitions over to lead the Tennessee WELD location into creative greatness, don’t miss your chance to hear from Trey himself why running WELD Dallas was a dream come true. But first, let’s talk about “Dark to Dawn: The Rise of Hope Among the Nations,” a gallery event curated for East-West Ministries.

Share your passion about the “Dark to Dawn: The Rise of Hope Among the Nations” project you’re working on with East-West Ministries.

Since my first trip to Cuba with East-West in the spring of 2010, I’ve had the distinct privilege of traveling with them to 9 countries, witnessing the artful ordering of our Father’s grace and majesty at incredibly close range. In that time, through the tens-of-thousands of frames and terabytes of video footage collected, a singular belief has solidified in my heart: Where goes lightgoes life.

For the last four years, I’ve gathered over 50,000 images for this ministry. This project is the result of having curated all of my work with the organization, and selecting a body of work that highlights the work East-West is doing in a way that was artistically challenging. Most of the work has never been seen before, but we have also included a handful of images that have helped shape my understanding of who I am as a photographer and storyteller.

How has the work you’ve done with this ministry changed your view of the world?

I have seen how the promise of the day to come can unshackle a man condemned by leprosy. I have seen how light can give courage to the two Christian families in a city of a half-million Muslims. I have watched as people experience Jesus for the first time in a dark hut through the flickering light of the Jesus film, then stood in awe as those same people were baptized in a puddle in the dark of night, just down the road.

To paraphrase my friend Barry Jones, there is a day coming when there will be no tears and all the rough places will be made smooth. These images represent little glimpses into the lives of people and places who have experienced a taste of that day in this one — or who are desperate for such a hope as this.

Where can we see the fruits of your labor on display?

East-West is hosting a one-night only gallery event on October 3 at 8pm at Fashion Industry Gallery, featuring more than 100 of my photographs from around the world. The event is free, but you need to register online (click here to register now) in order to attend. To help spread the word, I’m asking for everyone's help. Please feel free to steal the image below and post it wherever you like: Facebook it (click here to share the event page with friends), Tweet it, Pin it … Do all of that and more. Even if you’re not able to come or don’t live in Dallas, I’m sure there is someone in your network who would be interested in an evening filled with art and good company.

Tell me why the WELD life is the good life. What drew you to WELD?

About 5 years ago, my buddy Steve and I had an idea for a co-working space in Dallas. I looked at the cost (financial, personal and professional) and balked, and said no to that quest. I didn’t have the capital or the desire or the stomach to risk everything for others. That’s hard to admit, but it’s honest … whereas Austin willingly sacrificed everything to bring WELD to life. And by everything, I mean everythingTo enable, inspire and grow the creative communities of Dallas — and now Nashville — is a gift that multiplies Austin’s heart for people a thousand fold. And amplifies the impact he alone can have in the world.

Austin-- WELD’s founder, Austin Mann // a birds eye view of the WELD Dallas patio

Why take over the reins as Chief WELDer?

When Austin came to me and asked if I’d be willing to take over, I had a million thoughts to mull over. But as I thought about my friends in Dallas who come to WELD every day, and this city my family calls home, and the deep seated beliefs I have about who we “creatives” are supposed to be in society, I realized the quest that I was being invited into, which is the real treasure after all. I’m incredibly thankful to Austin for cultivating this community, and I’m incredibly honored that he’d hand me the opportunity to care for the fruit of his sacrifice.

 . . . So, WELDers, here we go . . .

Doug Klembara