My art practice reflects the cyclical processes and rhythms of life in the Greenbrier River Watershed. I live at Bethlehem Farm, an intentional Catholic community in the Appalachian Mountains. Our primary ministry is low-income home repair, teaching sustainable practices, and hosting service retreats. I am almost always drawing (in some form!), learning to care for creation, and participating in many beautiful creative processes with materials from drywall to river mud. Reflective practices of walking, reading, swimming, writing help me to keep asking - what does it look like to make art that flows from my faith tradition, is committed to sustainable practices, and responds to this bioregion, with deep care for the places we call home?
Right now I'm digging into a body of work that I call the “Returning to Water” drawings. At a variety scales, shapes, and sizes, these pieces share a colored pencil palette inspired by local bodies of water. Cyclical, interconnected, topographic, concentric shapes and passages explore themes of Watershed Discipleship. Developed by New Testament theologian Ched Meyers, Watershed Discipleship brings together wisdom traditions and watersheds. Living in a Catholic Christian community in a watershed directly impacted by extractive energy infrastructure like the Mountain Valley Pipeline, a deepening commitment to Watershed Discipleship is at the heart of my creative practice. I keep making these “Returning to Water” images, allowing them to open possibilities for a faith and a spiritual, creative practice rooted in right relationship with local rivers.
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Casey Murano grew up in the Roanoke Valley and continues to deepen her connection with the Blue Ridge Mountains as a Caretaker at Bethlehem Farm. In 2021, she graduated from the University of Richmond with a B.A. in Visual and Media Arts Practice, and then completed a year of service with the St. Joseph Worker Program in St. Paul, Minnesota. She primarily share her work regionally and across faith-rooted networks.