Thursday, July 28, 2011

Liturgy, Formation, Mission and Art // A Conference in Durham

On November 8-10, 2011, Duke Divinity Th.D. student and arts pastor David Taylor will host a conference on liturgy, formation, mission and art. While the focus will be on Anglican and Episcopalian traditions, it's for anyone with an appreciation for liturgy. Plenary speakers will include Sam Wells, Mark Galli, Lester Ruth and David Taylor. Click here for more information.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Creation of Torrit Smoke // NC Filmmaker Follows Painter's Creative Process

The Indianapolis International Film Festival is currently running at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, and I was able to attend a showing last night. I fell in love with the half-hour documentary "The Creation of Torrit Smoke." North Carolina filmmaker John Francis follows painter Blakely Dadson through a 4-month process of creating a painting. It is fascinating from a purely artistic, compositional standpoint, but the parts I found truly inspiring were those where Dadson talked about the creative process and the spirituality of it. He had some interesting things to say about the perils of perfectionism, the nature of art as a calling, and the way in which painting is often more like discovering something old than creating something new.

Click here to read a review of the film, or take a look at the trailer below.

"All Truth Is Hard Truth" // Thornton Dial at the Indianapolis Museum of Art

This past Saturday, I had the pleasure of getting a tour of the Thornton Dial exhibit currently on display at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. The exhibit is entitled "Hard Truths" (taken from a quote by Mr. Dial: "All truth is hard truth") and includes somewhere around 70 incredible pieces by the 82-year-old artist. Not only are the pieces incredible visually, Dial explores all aspects of life and society, from grief to racism to socioeconomic oppression to cultural elitism to post-9/11 America. Below is a link to an article in the New York Times that covered the opening of the exhibit in Indianapolis this past February. -- Sarah


Full article here // Excerpt below

By Carol King

THORNTON DIAL has never been one for talking much about his artwork. Ask him what inspires his monumental assemblages, made from twisted metal, tree branches, cloth, plastic toys, animal bones and all manner of found materials, and he is likely to respond tersely, as he did while showing me around his studio here one bone-chilling day last month.

“I mostly pick up stuff,” he said. “I start on a picture when I get a whole lot of stuff together. And then I look at the piece and think about life.”

Keep reading...

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Artful Is God // A Hymn by Richard Hall

Artful is God, creation is his canvas
on which he paints his cosmic masterpiece:
brushstrokes both broad and delicate in detail,
colours and shapes composed in perfect peace.

Read the full hymn here.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Celebrity and Iconicity: Some Preliminary Sketches // Carole Baker in The Other Journal

Full article here // Excerpt below

By Carole Baker

That contemporary America is captivated by the phenomenon of celebrity is hardly a contestable observation. Even those of us who try to limit the impact of celebrity on our life find that its tenacity is hard to overcome. Some try to overcome the impact of celebrity by willing its insignificance. But that some energy is required to will its insignificance should be an indication that, despite our best efforts, as contemporary Americans we are beholden to it. Celebrity has become the lingua franca of our society.

As I survey the relationship between celebrity and the two disciplines of theology and visual art, it may be worth stating my modest aims bluntly: by drawing attention to the phenomenon of celebrity, I hope to investigate a nagging suspicion of mine that something fundamental is missing in present enthusiasms surrounding the role of art and artists in the contemporary church. And that something entails a thicker theological account of materiality and Christian identity, an ontology and anthropology that goes beyond the typical imago dei apologetics. What follows are some preliminary sketches of these matters, and as any artist knows, preliminary sketches are just that—preliminary.

Keep reading...

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Music from The Gathering Church // Hymns Record Kickstarter Campaign

It's been a while since this blog has been updated, but this seems to be an appropriate topic for a return to posting. The Gathering Church of Durham is drawing on its congregation's phenomenal talent pool to produce an album of hymn arrangements, and they are raising money through Kickstarter to fund the project. Check out their video below, support their efforts, and look forward to some great folk-style sacred music coming soon out of the local community.

The Gathering Church is recording a new album of traditional hymns arranged in a different way with plenty of guests. It is a followup to 2010's Christmas Nights EP, a successful start to the recording vision of Chapel Hill's Gathering Church.

This project is larger in scale and needs your support. As it is a full length with guest vocalists, we need a larger recording budget and honorariums for the guests that appear on the record. Your money will go towards this and other expenses involved in manufacturing CDs and artwork along the way.

Proceeds from the recording after expenses will be split evenly between the production team and fundraising for the music ministry of the Gathering Church. Donations are to the church - a 501c3 non-profit - allowing them to be written off on your taxes.