“And Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances.” - Exodus 15:20 From its first noted mention in Exodus 15:20 to its present day incarnations, liturgical dance has been a part of worship for centuries, its elegance representing a true expression of God’s love flowing through each movement. We here at African American Expressions™ wanted to give it the honor and dedication it truly deserves. So what exactly is Total Praise? It is true devotion to God and His loving word. It’s the passion to express our unfettered belief of His teaching, a passion so strong that it comes out of us in prayer, song, and (of course) dance! The striking images found in this year’s 2021 Total Praise calendar are the works of noted artist, Carl M. Crawford. Completely self-taught, Crawford began his artistic journey early in life and earned national acclaim by developing and refining a remarkable technique known as Collage Illusion™, in which he assembles shapes and colors from magazine clippings to form a desired image. At first glance, Crawford’s pieces appear to be vibrant oil paintings, but a closer look reveals the various shapes of the paper used to form the image. Over the years, Crawford has perfected this technique he calls “recycling at its finest”, expertly capturing the grace and the passion behind the expressive art form of dance.