Friends of CIVA,
One clear benefit of serving as CIVA’s Executive Director these past eight years has been
the opportunity to participate in a non-stop exchange about art, faith, and life with you,
CIVA members and supporters. Honestly, I never weary of it.
Having listened a fair bit, let me be bold to say that the social and political machinations
of 2017 have taken their toll. Partisan affiliations aside, we are weary—tired of the banter,
the posturing, and the incivility. What, we wonder, does the future hold?
I am convinced that CIVA cultivates hope and was reminded of this a few weeks ago during a trip to Chicago. There, I had the good fortune to reconnect with artist Makoto Fujimura whose words I often cite during travels and speaking:
Art is an inherently hopeful act, an act that echoes the creativity of the Creator. Every time an architect imagines a new building, an artist envisions that first stroke of a brush on a white canvas, a poet seeks a resonant sound in words, or a choreographer weaves a pause in layers of movements, that act is done in hope; the creator reaches out in hope to call the world into that creation.
—Refractions (NavPress, 2009), 68.
Since creation itself, hope has been ever-present. It finds expression as we make things, serve others, and wrestle with ideas—actions that “moth and rust” cannot corrupt, practices that extend the kingdom of God to our faltering world.
In the closing weeks of 2017, please consider a generous financial contribution to Christians in the Visual Arts so that we can press ahead with this mission in the year ahead.
Cameron J. Anderson
We trust the following snapshots at the close of this year illustrate CIVA’s wise investment in
people, programs, and practices that engender hope. This work was made possible because
of your generosity:
In “The Weight of Glory,” C.S. Lewis suggests that beauty comes as “brightness, splendour, and luminosity.” No words better describe the art selected by Mary McCleary, assisted by Michelle Westmark Wingard, for our newest traveling exhibit. The show will launch at the 2018 Calvin Symposium on Worship and will showcase beauty as it appears amid the complexity of our fallen world.
CIVA SEEN JOURNAL
After much deliberation, we are proud to introduce the newly formatted, more-pages-and-art-added CIVA SEEN Journal. Our hope is that the quality of the essays and art in this tuned-up format, along with its new portability, will encourage readers to carry it with them, savor its contents, and share with others.
Two questions animated CIVA’s biennial conference at Azusa Pacific University in June. The first revolved around the cultural and theological implications of making art, and the second considered how Christians can exhibit grace, peace, hospitality, love, and shalom in the process. From the tireless efforts of Kent Anderson Butler to launch the conference, to the last projected image at the Late Late Show, rich conversations are ongoing.
GOD IN THE MODERN WING
Sunday, November 19, concluded God in the Modern Wing, a three-year lecture series examining 16 artists in the Art Institute of Chicago’s Modern Art collection. Presented in partnership with Fourth Presbyterian Church of Chicago, guest lecturers Makoto Fujimura, Bruce Herman, Tim Lowly, David McNutt, Matthew Milliner, Steve Prince, Leah Samuelson, Joel Sheesley,and Linda Stratford each shared their insights.
Alongside the items from 2017 listed above, we are pleased to report that the substantial investment of our staff team to build CIVA membership is bearing fruit. We will enter 2018 with CIVA membership at an all-time high. Share CIVA with a friend this Christmas at the discounted rate of $50.