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Transpositions Tidbits: Art and Artists

February 20, 2011

This is a bumper tidbits post! We’ve been hearing how much the posts about Artists and Art are particularly enjoyed, so I thought that a post featuring Artists, recent projects and lots and lots of links will be the best way to go. If you’d like to be considered as a Featured Artist or have a project you’d like to have us consider featuring, drop the Transpositions team an email:(transpositionstheblog@gmail.com).

On Art & For Artists

Art Organisations

Artisan

Artisans Online Self described as:

home of the dreamers, the drop-kicks, the underground, high-flying, hopeful, honest, creative, and above all subversive lovers of God and his incredible creation. This space is a resource for people working out their Christian faith in Arts, Media, Fashion and Entertainment industries.

Artists in Christian Testimony – “Artists in Christian Testimony International’s ultimate objective is to see people around the world—as they come to Christ—worship God and express their faith in their own language and cultural style, while mobilizing and training church and mission leaders to more effectively worship and communicate the Gospel through music and the arts.” A.C.T. has been working towards establishing a mission board alongside their pre-existing not for profit ministry supporting arts ministry and missions worldwide. They have mentoring programs and the support of some high profile Brits.

Arts Centre Group – Also out of the UK, “Arts Centre Group brings together Christians who are working professionally in the field of the arts. We exist to support, encourage, inspire and mentor each other as we seek to integrate our lives, faith and artistic endeavours.”

Brehm Center -“At the Brehm Center for Worship, Theology, and the Arts we believe in the revitalization of the church through the arts. By engaging expert faculty, visiting scholars, and world-class artists, the Brehm Center investigates the theory and practice of artistic ministry.” Jen Waters writes about the Brehm Center in this Washington Times article.

Cafe credoCafe Credo -All about the art of oral storytelling.

The Credo Storytellers are a group of performing artists working in the fields of television, film, poetry, theatre and education. As artists we are excited by the revival of the oral tradition of storytelling. We are attracted by its simplicity of form, the inspirational release it brings to the imagination, its capacity to deal with universal themes and complexities of the heart.

Christians in Entertainment christians in  entertainmentoffering fellowship and encouragement for Christians working in the Entertainment industry. Founded by Chris Gidney, this organisation is predominantly based in the West End.

Christians in the Visual Arts (CIVA) – Christians in the Visual Arts exists to explore and nurture the relationship between the Visual arts and the Christian Faith. Founded in 1979, CIVA first met to consider the place of the Christian artist in the church and in the world-at-large.

Artists create culture. They have eyes to see, ears to hear, and hands to make. The genius of Christian community is that all who belong are invited to participate, invited to bring their skills and their passions to contribute to the greater good.

As men and women bear God’s image by all kinds of creative expression, CIVA equips those called to the visual arts to flourish in their holy vocation and to pursue it with excellence.

Chrysalis Seed Trust -Based in New Zealand, Chrysalis offers a model for others interested in long term ministry to artists. Take a look at their site for more on how their  vision to ‘generate multiplying groups of artists in a subculture centred in Jesus’ has played out.  Its mission is to ‘equip artists to integrate their art and faith, and to reconcile art and faith communities’.

Imago – A Toronto based organisation, founded in 1972 by Wilber Sutherland (formerly of InterVarsity Canada), promoting the artistic development of Christians in theater, dance, fine arts, music, film and literature.

Art serves as a humanizing presence and that role has been underappreciated in our culture. Given the current state of affairs in our global community it should be evident that the presence of art is critical as a resource for bridging our differences and offering some threads of hope in the deeply troubling situations we face.

Imago also published profiles of artists, and provides opportunities for artists as part of their showcases.

International Arts Movement (IAM) – IAM sees itself as a catalyst arts organization that seeks to work towards cultural and spiritual renewal. Its programs support individual artists in their work and embrace the entire arts community. IAM is very active in Tokyo and New York City, with affiliated groups in Orlando, Los Angeles, and London. Its vision:

a fusion of creativity and faith that expresses and illustrates God’s intimate and merciful identity in the world.

veritasseVeritasse – Veritasse is the moniker for the Oxford Arts Society; an organisation supporting artists, providing mentoring and opportunities to showcase and sell their art.

Art Publications and sources of Articles

Journals, magazines, e-zines, and articles related to Christians in the visual arts.

UNESCO cities unite in a lyrical celebration! Let’s Get Lyrical is asking everyone to share their stories about the lyrics they love through www.letsgetlyrical.com. Live on the site now are recollections and stories from a host of Scottish musicians, writers, politicians and plenty of others!

If you are interested in the role of the arts in social justice, you might find this EV podcast inspiring, in which Jurgen Moltmann says that the answer to poverty is community.

From Creative Scotland: Private Investment in culture in Scotland is on the up – Arts & Business’s survey figures reveal that in 2009/10, private investment in culture in Scotland stood at £41.7 million, a 6% increase in real terms from the previous year. The overall private investment increase is due to a significant boost from Trusts and Foundations, resulting, in part, from support for major capital projects.

All of Life Redeemed: A site that offers resources and links to the world of scholars, including philosophers and theologians, interested in philosophical aesthetics – including Calvin Seerveld.

ARTS Magazine – ARTS: The Arts in Religious and Theological Studies is the journal of The Society for the Arts in Religious and Theological Studies published by the theology and arts program of United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities. Information about the Society, the academic program and the journal are available on the website.

Collide Magazine – it has an apt tagline: “Where the media and church converge.” Often thoughtful engagements with contemporary culture and media as it is being used by the church.

CommentArtprovides a resource for exhibitions, public art, art resources, events and education and art related jobs, along with profiles of curators, artists, and exhibition spaces.

Christian Artists ResourceSpecifically asks questions about the relationship between Christian testimony and your art.

Stoneworks – Belhaven College’s visual arts publication and program which focuses on the spiritual and artistic formation of the next generation of Christians in the arts.

First things – Published by the Institute on Religion and Public Life, which describes itself as an “interreligious, nonpartisan research and education institute whose purpose is to advance a religiously informed public philosophy for the ordering of society.”

God’s Friends – Episcopal publication on Visual Art as Incarnation. Latest issue includes Visual Artists and the Spiritual Life: A Conversation and features the art of Sandra Bowden, Olivia Kuser, Gloria LamsonMichael Mallard, Michael Markowitz,, and Christen Mattix.

Image Journal – A literary and arts quarterly founded in 1989, is a unique forum for the best writing and artwork that is informed by-or grapples with-religious faith. Also offers a range of programs serving artists and art education.

One of the legacies of the modern era has been the secularization of culture. For much of the twentieth century, the belief that God is dead, or at least inaccessible, has stripped a great deal of religious vision and wisdom from the modern imagination. Most of our leading critics and thinkers have been skeptical of, or indifferent to, artistic expressions of religious faith. A culture is governed by its reigning myths. However, in the latter days of the twentieth century, there is an uneasy sense that materialism cannot sustain or nourish our common life. Thankfully, religion and art have always shared the capacity to help us to renew our awareness of the ultimate questions: who we are, where we have come from, and where we are going.

Understandably, religion and art also need each other. When we lack the kind of stimulus which only the imagination can provide, we make it more difficult to live the life of faith. And art, when it sees no creation to celebrate, and no soul in need of nurturing, loses its respect for truth. Clearly, our culture is now more open to the art that engages the age-old tradition of exploring God’s ways with man. Secular ideologies have lost much of their appeal and once again people are hungering for the unifying vision of the religious imagination. This is the context out of which Image has emerged. Living as we do in a fragmented society, the need for cultural renewal is greater than at any time in our history.

Lausanne Congress – Something that may surprise some of you is the “Cape Town Commitment to the arts” that has come out of the recent Lausanne Congress held there. The following is excerpted from the longer document:
“We long to see the Church in all cultures energetically engaging the arts as a context for mission by:
1) Bringing the arts back into the life of the faith community as a valid and valuable component of our call to discipleship;
2) Supporting those with artistic gifts, especially sisters and brothers in Christ, so that they may flourish in their work;
3) Letting the arts serve as an hospitable environment in which we can acknowledge and come to know the neighbour and the stranger;
4) Respecting cultural differences and celebrating indigenous artistic expression.”

As David Taylor encourages, for the rest of the text, see here and scroll down to “Bearing witness to the truth.” See also this Occasional paper on Redeeming the Arts, which was produced by the Issue Group on this topic at the 2004 Forum is available for download and perusal.

Manifesto: Christians and the Arts – Edited by Craig Bartholomew, this Manifesto is the product of the combined efforts of a group of Christian art educators, art historians, philosophers, theologians and artists who desired to meet a need to provide direction for those concerned that God (and how) should be glorified in the arts. “Over a period of about four years this group organised a number of conferences to discuss and write this Manifesto. This document is by no means the final, definitive statement in this area. Nevertheless we present this, our loaves and fishes, in this urgent hour with the prayer that the great Imaginer Himself will multiply this vision to his glory in the arts in South Africa and beyond.”

McKenzie Study Center – Articles from McKenzie Study Center (an Institue of Gutenberg College) discussing the arts, media, and literature, along with links to their Student Art Show & Performance.

Rabbit Room – “The Rabbit Room is a place for stories. For artists who believe in the power of old tales, tales as old as the earth itself, who find hope in them and beauty in the shadows and in the light and in the source of the light.”

SalvoMag – A magazine exploring science, culture, religion, philosophy and in their own terms: “Critiquing art, music, film, television, and literature, interrupting mass media influence, and questioning the sanity of our consumerist lifestyle”

Touchstone –  a Christian journal, conservative in doctrine and eclectic in content, which described itself as having “editors and readers from each of the three great divisions of Christendom—Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox.” They often include articles about literature and film.

Christian Art Retreats

Glen Workshop – Writing classes. Art classes. A seminar on arts and aesthetics. A retreat option. The Glen Workshop combines an intensive learning experience with a lively festival of the arts. Administered by Image.

Grunewald Guild – Have been offering retreats, workshops, and courses helping artists to delve into the relationship between art and faith for 25 years. Located close to Leavenworth, Washington, USA.

IAM EncounterEncounter 11 | Be Generative is the 20th anniversary conference of International Arts Movement. It is for thinkers, skeptics, artists, patrons, singers, dancers, musicians, clergy, business leaders, students, professionals, and other creative catalysts. Taking place 3-5 March, at Tribeca Performing Arts Center, there’s still time to register.

Keswick Convention – held in Cumbria, it is a Christian convention that has been taking place since 1875. This year launches Keswick Unconventional, an arts programme happening during Week 3 (30th July to 5th August).

L’Abri – Though not necessarily for artists, and without a rigid group retreat feel,L’Abri has been supporting Christian artists and artists searching out what God has for them and their art. Their model is very much about community and mentored learning. Locations include: England, Holland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Switzerland, Sweden, Canada, Korea, Germany, Australia, and Brazil. Our own Jim Watkins gave some lectures while at the Switzerland L’Abri last year.

Discussion Forums for Christians in the Arts

Arts and Faith – this forum focuses mainly on film and music, but there are some discussion threads about the visual arts.

Christian Forums Creative Arts Discussion – this forum is most often frequented by practitioners and is usually quite practical. There are, however, some conversations of depth and this might be a place to ask deeper questions.
Image Journal Forums – Culturally and philosophically informed discussion predominantly focusing on literature, but also addressing the visual arts and some film.

Image publishes a list of its top 100 films of the year annually and the forum is often where the heated discussion really takes place.

Veritasse Forum – A forum for artists and those interested in Art.

A Selection of Artists and Art Online

We’ve been noticing an increase of articles on religion and contemporary art in publications like the New York Times.  Ruth Mar over at Counterpoint Cafe has a great summary of recent articles on contemporary art and religious themes:

The Huffington Post’s recent article The Return of the Religious in Contemporary Art, by Michael Milliner, is well worth reading. Writing in response to recent openings by artists Makoto Fujimura (pictured above) and Enrique Martinez Celaya, Milliner points to an apparent “thaw” in contemporary art towards religion, despite recent controversies (i.e. David Wojnarowicz’s “A Fire in my Belly” exhibition). The work of Martinez Celaya and Fujimura, he says, suggest that “far more interesting things are afoot than an art world/Republican party standoff.” Religious artists are, thankfully, moving beyond sentimentality; for, “Compared to the bracing reality of the gospel itself, urine and ants are as offensive as Champagne and butterflies.”

On a related note, here is a short documentary on Fujimura’s exhibition, “The Four Holy Gospels.” Makoto Fujimura – The Art of “The Four Holy Gospels” from Crossway on Vimeo.

There’s also this interview with Fujimura by CrossWay’s editor and blogger, Justin Taylor, or this interview with Tim Challies.

A recent project released from Google may prove to be of much interest to you – http://www.googleartproject.com/ enables you to explore some of the world’s best museums! There really isn’t anything like walking through Centre Pompedieu or MOMA, but this is a way if you’d like a glimpse.

Here’s some other artists that might provide inspiration:

If you’ve hung in this far you’ve done well – I did say this truly was a bumper issue! Once again, if you’ve got links you think we need to see, send us an email at transpositionstheblog@gmail.com

Image: Photo

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Nathanael permalink
    February 20, 2011 7:31 pm

    An excellent compilation you have put together!

    I would suggest one addition. Though not explicitly Christian, in the world of art criticism and poetry it is hard to beat The New Criterion for a periodical that seeks to restore an bolster what is effectively a classical Christian aesthetic. Even better, The New Criterion is recently available in the UK. http://www.newcriterion.com/

    • Anna Blanch permalink
      February 23, 2011 1:36 pm

      Thanks for the suggestion! Is there anything else you would add?

  2. February 21, 2011 7:41 pm

    I’m so glad to see ACT and CIVA listed. You are missing one (less well known)
    and that is Chrstian Fellowship of Art Music Composers. Similar to CIVA, though focused on the ‘classical’ music genre. (art music is the more accepted term for ‘classical’ which is technically a specific era of music); there’s a biennial national conference and lots of fellowship.

    http://www.cfamc.org

    • Anna Blanch permalink
      February 23, 2011 1:37 pm

      Kyle,

      I should think that we’re missing alot more than one! Thanks for your suggestion of CFAMC. I will make sure it is added to our list of organisations. Please let us know if there are other organisations or publications you would suggest!

      Thanks for taking the time to comment.

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