By Cameron J. Anderson

“I need your help,” posted friend Andrew Nemr–an exceptional New York based tap dancer. “Everyone is talking about love these days, but very few people are talking about what it means.” He continued with this question: “How would you define love in a single word?”

Almost reflexively, I keyed HOSPITALITY.

rembrandt-prodigal-sonrublev-holy-trinityHospitality is the antidote to most of what ails humankind. Think about it. Accounts of radical hospitality abound in the biblical story . . . like in Genesis 18:1-8, where Abraham welcomes three strangers to his tent and serves them a feast. Or in Luke 15, where we meet a wayward son who, having squandered his inheritance, returns home to his father’s prodigally gracious welcome and, again, a festal celebration ensues. If Andrei Rublev’s fifteenth-century icon Holy Trinity has added to the renown of the Trinitarian visit, then of course Rembrandt’s seventeenth-century painting of the despondent son, has illumined the latter.

In our weekly blog, the pages of SEEN Journal, and at our conferences and events, we aspire to host the conversation about faith and art, to showcase our members and their work, and to engage the culture around us by being present in it . . . graciously, generously, hospitably.

Tanja Butler- 2
Tanja Butler, God Comes to Dinner

It is encouraging to see growing numbers of churches and other Christian communities offer pride of place to art and artists. But perhaps our greatest hope is for a day when deep, life-giving conversation about the visual arts begins to occur between communities of faith and those not given to religious belief. It is time for hospitality to take down the walls of hostility. This is CIVA’s vision going forward.

In the closing month of what has been a full and very promising year, please consider a generous donation to CIVA. In return, we will continue to extend hospitality that is rooted in the visual arts and marked by Christian faith.


Cameron J. Anderson is the Executive Director of CIVA and the author of The Faithful Artist: A Vision for Evangelicalism and the Arts.

Un-Making the Flag

By Christina Carnes Ananias “What brought you here tonight?” Artist Sonya Clark softly asked me this question the other night, as I stepped up to join her in unraveling a confederate flag. Her performance piece, Unraveling, is currently on view at Duke University’s Nasher Museum as part of their exhibition, Southern Accent: Seeking the American… Continue Reading

Making: The Prophets

By Caleb Stoltzfus In August of 2015, I moved to Indianapolis, as Artist in Residence for the year at the The Harrison Center for the Arts, and began oil painting full-time. Knowing many artists who would love to work in their studios full-time, the weight of this opportunity was not lost on me. Every day… Continue Reading

Making a Storybook Bible (Part Two)

Ned Bustard talks with Mark T. Smith Ned: We’ve known each other for more than two decades, but I don’t think we’ve ever talked about “religion.” What did you think when I asked you to make some prints for Revealed: A Bible Storybook for Grown-ups? Mark: Religion is such a thorny topic . . . (pun… Continue Reading

Making a Way with Grief

By Vanessa Wells I spent the day deliberating the posting of this personal commentary; it’s not something I do. But I’ve been feeling depleted lately (physically, emotionally, spiritually), which has been complicated by feelings of grief for which I still haven’t attained closure. The best information I’ve read on this topic tells me that it’s… Continue Reading

Making More Room

Bonnie Norlander interviews Liza Cucco As someone who is interested in the question of what art can “do,” I was pleased this month to attend the Creative Time Summit, held in Washington, D.C., and especially happy to reconnect with a good friend from art school, Liza Cucco.  Cucco is a multi-media artist working in sound, image,… Continue Reading

On Making and Creating

By Fr. Richard Ganz, S.J. Love ought to manifest itself more by deeds than by words. –St. Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556) Long ago, while in the first semester of my theological training, we were required to take a course called “An Introduction to the Old Testament.” I have never taken a “survey” course that was… Continue Reading

Inside Roger Feldman’s “Threshold”

In 2013, Laity Lodge, nestled along the Frio River in Texas’s Hill Country, commissioned Seattle artist Roger Feldman to construct a permanent, site-specific art installation, the culmination of months of planning and years of dreaming of such a project. The installation, titled Threshold, consists of three interconnected chiseled limestone monoliths, some towering up to 15 feet… Continue Reading

Making a Little Joy

By Meaghan Ritchey Shared resources, mutual support, and creative camaraderie lie at the heart of any dynamic artistic collaboration. At a three-day retreat at BARN ON THE POND in Saugeteries, New York, the inaugural event presented by the ladies of Little Joy, these values will be near enough to taste. A bit about the group: Little… Continue Reading

God took dirt . . .

By Ruth Anne Reese According to the Christian tradition, at the beginning of time, God took dirt and formed it into a human being and placed that human creature in the garden God had made – a place where God and humanity would meet and share in intimate relationship (Gen. 2). God shared his own… Continue Reading