by Cameron Anderson
Like oxygen and water that sustain the body, hope nourishes our soul. In one of his songs musician Charlie Peacock asks, “I gotta wonder: is the brightness still in me? Can I hold my own and sing a simple song?” Hope moves us through obstacles to serve the projects, causes, and people to which we have been called. As Peacock’s song suggests, hope is a precious commodity.
In 2013 Christians in the Visual Arts has been a source of hope to many. Those able to join us for our Biennial Conference at Wheaton College surely witnessed this as a record 354 attendees gathered to sort out the dynamic and often difficult relationship between art and justice. But hope was also present each time a CIVA Traveling Exhibit found its way to the walls of a new gallery, when a fresh copy of SEEN Journal was slipped from its plastic sleeve, and artists found new resources, contacts, and opportunities in one of CIVA’s online social networks.
God, of course, is the source of all hope and the most tangible expression of this hope is the gospel — God, in Christ, taking on human form. The task of God’s people is to offer this hope to the world. In 2013, CIVA has been the source of fresh ideas, generous conversation, restored imagination, and renewed resolve for those who make art, write, produce, and lead.
Looking ahead, some dates on my calendar are inked-in well into 2015. Indeed, CIVA has embraced the large and generous theme: Come to the Table and for the next two years a host of innovative projects will help us to explore this big idea. Early in 2014 we will launch a new traveling exhibit centered on works of art that depict the Lord’s Supper and will also produce a new handbook for churches who seek to establish a gallery or further develop one they already have. We will publish two new issues of SEEN Journal — one exploring the art and faith movement in the South African Context (Spring 2014) and another, Just Design (Fall 2014). We will continue to invest in the professional and spiritual development of rising leaders (hosting another Doing Good Well event in August), strengthen our online presence, and take a more active role in supporting the local and regional projects or our members. Hope abounds!
Like many of you, each December my wife and I sort through a large number of year-end requests for financial support. There are so many worthwhile projects, but we can’t support them all. We can, however, support some and we count that a real joy.
As you assess your year-end giving priorities, let me be bold in inviting you to contribute to CIVA and its mission. In return, I promise to do all I can to use your gift to generate hope for those so deeply invested in the art and faith community, as well as the many who benefit from their creative endeavors. Approximately one-third of CIVA’s financial support arrives in December. If our income in this closing month of 2013 is abundant, was can start 2014 in a good position to invite many to Come to the Table.
Grace and peace,
Cameron Anderson | Executive Director