Tracks, Seminars, and Roundtables

JUSTart Conference Tracks

Church Leaders Track
Today one often hears the claim “art museums have become the new churches.” What is to be made of this statement? Is it true? What does it imply for the church? What does it imply for the contemporary art world? More specifically, what might churches learn from visual artists, in order to better function as places of meaning and refuge? What might artists learn from the church to more faithfully practice their vocation in whatever context God has placed them? In this track, pastors and church leaders will be offered practical and theoretical helps to bring the visual arts into the worship and mission of the church. A pre-conference day trip to the Chicago Art Institute followed by lunch “in the Loop” at the top of the Chicago Temple will be offered as space permits on Thursday, June 13. This track will be hosted by Brian Moss, Linda Stratford, and David Taylor.

Scholars Track Papers and Presenters

    • Francisca Ireland-Verwoerd, Shall the twain ever meet? Theological foundations for social justice through artistic practices
    • Will Carpenter, Wax Sensuality, Wane Justice
    • Michael Spicher, Art as a Glimpse of Paradise
    • Jeff Siemers, Reconciling arts-based research and artistic practice with non-Western ways of knowing
    • Ryan Stander, Tortured Narratives: Daniel Heyman’s Iraqi Portraits as Dangerous Memories
    • Matt Drissell, Shalom Now! – Justice and Contemporary Art
    • David Zersen, Justice in the Art of Dr. P. Solomon Raj
    • Steve Prince, Second Line: The Art of Social Justice
    • Steve Scott, The Distant Gleam: Ruskin, the Hinksey Diggers and ‘Relational Aesthetics’
    • Mark Philip Venema, Art Crossing the Borders of Justice from South Africa to Korea
    • Maria Fee, Body Life Ethics
    • Sarah R. Bernhardt, Intersect: Arts and Diverse Community

JUSTart Conference Seminars

This year’s seminars are divided into five categories based on how attendees might choose to be involved.

Sessions fall into the following time slots:
Session A: Friday, June 14, 1:45-3:15pm
Session B: Friday, June 14, 3:30-5:00pm
Session C: Saturday, June 15, 1:45-3:15pm

PARTICIPATE: Interact with an art form and each other in an artist-led project

Nora Howell – Arts Based Dialogue on Racial Identity: Seminar Session A
Nora Howell, a practicing community artist in Baltimore Maryland, will facilitate an arts based, hands on seminar and discussion on racial identity. Through performance-based sculpture and video, Howell explores “whiteness” and what it means to be white. Her work utilizes fashion and cultural symbols such as white bread, crackers, marshmallows, Oreos, and mass media advertisements as an entry point into a topic that is historically difficult to approach. Utilizing her artwork as a launching point for discussion, Howell will facilitate an art-making dialogue on racial identity, systemic racism, and the implications of whiteness as a social construct.

Sarah Jane Gray – Collect: Seminar Session B
This interactive project explores interdependence and fluidity within a community. The ever-changing shape and sound of the installation is influenced by the individual responses of many different viewers within a particular environment.  Note: the project will be available for viewers to interact throughout the conference, regardless of whether they choose to attend the scheduled seminar.

Sarah Jane Gray is a working artist and educator living in community at the Grunewald Guild in Leavenworth, Washington.

Craig Goodworth – Vcela (a theopoetics of honeybees): Seminar Session C
A liturgical installation composed of drawing, altered found object, sound and word, exploring the place of the honeybee in scripture, ecology, literature, and ritual as a sacramental symbol in and for the world.  Participating artists: Liturgy co-generated with Travis Poling (poet).  Independent performance by Amy Day and Jacob Amundson.

Craig Goodworth is an interdisciplinary artist whose practice lies on the boundaries between ecology, poetics and spirituality. Goodworth holds master’s degrees in sustainable communities and fine art and has received fellowships in art and writing as well as serving as an artist-in-residence in various contexts.

ENGAGE: Explore different ways that artists can engage their audience

Barry Sherbeck – Creating Together: Seminar Session A
As artists, we create, and we want others to experience the things we make. Sometimes we’re spontaneously inspired and the work flows freely, but many other times we must force ourselves to just show up and be faithful to do the work we’re compelled to do. Sometimes it’s joyful, and sometimes it can be tedious, discouraging drudgery. Sometimes a deadline makes all the difference. Rather than facing this alone, even as other nearby artists face it alone, we can in some helpful ways face these challenges together. This workshop explores ways to collaborate as local artists and people of faith, select themes and ideas, challenge one another, wrestle with meaning, create art, and enthusiastically share it with our community in a variety of venues and formats.

Barry Sherbeck works in Madison as an artist, photographer, writer, and web designer. Barry serves as CIVA’s webmaster, and he helps lead a local CIVA-affiliated community of visual artists who gather for mutual learning and support.

Audience Engagement Artists’ Panel: Seminar Session B
Panel featuring conversation and Q & A surrounding the topic of audience engagement in a variety of settings, including the academy, the church, and the public square. Panelists include: Carolyn Elaine, a Chicago community mosaicist; Jason Leith, artist and leader of Saddleback Church’s arts initative, Ex Creatis; Meghan Hers, Studio Coordinator for ReCreate Outreach Art Studio of Hamilton, Ontario; Leah Samuelson, a community-based arts and participation facilitator from Oak Park, IL; and Shannon Sigler, a church-based installation artist.

Gaylund Stone – Considering the Present and Future of Christian Art Education: Seminar Sessions B and C

Session B: Friday Afternoon

Is the current practice of education crippling and silencing a generation? Faith in the art room: What distinguishes Christian art education from art education in secular schools? What do we teach? – an examination of desired outcomes.

Session C: Saturday Afternoon

Artist as teacher and teacher as artist: How do these roles interact?
Is the isolated teacher in the art room still an appropriate model for art education?
Things I didn’t know: What questions should we be asking? How can we be of assistance to one another?

Gaylund Stone serves as the Dean of Arts and Sciences at Concordia University Wisconsin.

REPRESENT: Examine the ethics of art making and representation.

Tim Lowly – Just Representation: Seminar Session A
A symposium considering issues of justice and representation in painting.  For example - Can representation via painting do justice to/for a subject?

Tim Lowly is a Chicago-based artist, curator, musician and teacher.

Christopher Miller - Re-Thinking The Plan of Chicago as Civic, Natural and Sacred Order: Seminar Session B
A critical consideration has been underway for two years of how the Chicago metro area should be fashioned for the future beginning from Burnham’s 1909 Plan of Chicago. Funded by Religion and Innovation in Human Affairs, of Boston’s Historical Society and the John Templeton Foundation, this research project proposes that “Baroque urbanism and Catholic social teaching can help locate the modern metropolis in both nature and sacred order.” The present state of the work will be exhibited and Philip Bess, the principal investigator and graduate director of the University of Notre Dame’s School of Architecture, will present the project. Matt Milliner, Mark Torgerson, Ty Warner, Noah Toly, and Miller will respond as a panel.

Christopher Miller teaches the history of architecture and Judson University.

Kim Garza – Design and Justice: A Continuum of Engagement: Seminar Session C
Designers have long been drawn to justice as the lofty and noble use of our communication, creativity, problem solving and making skills — and in part to counter the commercial role we traditionally play. Recent initiatives like AIGA’s Design For Good once again bring the conversation back to the ethical responsibility of the designer. What are the different ways in which designers engage with justice today? We’ll look at case studies from ethically run design firms, studios exclusively working for social justice causes, designers engaging with communities and those empowering communities.

Kim Garza is an educator, graphic designer, and experimental filmmaker in Austin, Texas.

ORGANIZE: Gain practical skills to promote your art or build an arts community.

Derek and Susan Hooks – It Takes More than Talent to Be a Professional Artist: Seminar Session A
You know you have talent, but may wonder what is holding you back from reaching your goals as a professional artist. Are you setting prices correctly? Do you present your work and supporting information professionally? Are you addressing the long-term needs of your clients? Are you prepared to work with a commercial gallery? What else can you do to move forward?

Derek and Susan Hooks, a husband and wife team originally from New York City, are the owners of White Stone Gallery in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Established in 2002, the gallery’s Art & Faith program, featuring the works of Makoto Fujimura, Sandra Bowden, Edward Knippers, Bruce Herman, Steven Spann, Ted Prescott, Cornelis Monsma, Maria Tarruella and other notable artists, has made them one of the leading commercial galleries in this genre.

Maureen Lovett – The Local Church and Civic Arts Engagement: A New Paradigm for Arts Ministry: Seminar Session B
Many churches want to start “arts ministries” in order to “engage culture.” However, many of these arts ministries often prevent artists from participating fully in the life of their church and/or their civic arts community. In this seminar, we will explore alternative ways of ecumenical arts engagement at the local level intended to encourage artistic excellence, community collaboration, and Christian faithfulness.

As the Executive Director of the New City Arts Initiative in Charlottesville, Virginia, Maureen Lovett coordinates arts spaces and programs through community partnerships.

Dick Ryan – Easy Steps to Building an Effective Arts Community: Seminar Session C
Many artists feel isolated and yearn for a family where they are both understood and “have a voice” – this seminar will show how to take effective steps to establish such a community.

Dick Ryan is the National Arts Director of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA, and has been building communities of artists all over the country for 20-plus years.

GROW: Develop spiritual practices for your daily life and art making.

Saundra Diehl – Exploring Spiritual Direction: Seminar Session A
What happens when two people covenant to meet together for holy listening? Where one companion offers presence and attentiveness to the other? We’ll explore the nature and meaning of this practice in spiritual formation.

Saundra Stabler Diehl is a hospital chaplain, spiritual director, and artist in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Barry Sherbeck – Delighting in the Light: Seminar Session B
King Solomon said, “Light is sweet, and it pleases the eye to see the sun.” Whether we are photographers, painters, sculptors, illustrators, potters, or whatever our medium as visual artists: do we notice the beautiful things the light is always doing around us? Do we miss some of the amazing light show right before our eyes? How does light behave? How might we “delight in the light” as a daily discipline? And how might this discipline inform our art-making, as we create visual artifacts with many layers of meaning, but also as we are called to live as light? Let us examine how light makes possible our serious art and serious faith.

Barry Sherbeck works in Madison as an artist, photographer, writer, and web designer. Barry serves as CIVA’s webmaster, and he helps lead a local CIVA-affiliated community of visual artists who gather for mutual learning and support.

Derek and Susan Hooks – How do I Serve God as an Artist?: Seminar Session C
God has given you talent and the mechanical skills to make art. Like many artists, you may bare the constant burden of deciding what to do next.  You may be looking for guidance with finding spiritual inspiration for your work, direction in choosing projects or creating in a visual “language” that others understand.  You may be confused, worried or even a little scared about how to serve God as an artist. How will you find a way to fulfill His purpose for you?

Derek and Susan Hooks, a husband and wife team originally from New York City, are the owners of White Stone Gallery in Philadelphia, PA. Established in 2002, the gallery’s Art & Faith program, featuring the works of Makoto Fujimura, Sandra Bowden, Edward Knippers, Bruce Herman, Steven Spann, Ted Prescott, Cornelis Monsma, Maria Tarruella and other notable artists, has made them one of the leading commercial galleries in this genre.

John Bakker – Life? After Art School?: Seminar Session C
A New York City comic harassing the crowd of recent grads about their worthless degrees said, “What!? You majored in art history?” What he didn’t know was that the guy with the art degree paid the way for the Ivy League graduate.  So much for the stereotype! This session provides practical stories about how artists from a variety of institutions have put a life together. The session will help identify some of the skills artists use to sustain themselves. Bring your own story and make the session a potluck.

John Bakker has chaired the Art Department at Trinity Christian College in Palos Heights for most of the last 30 years. His work is in a variety of private and public collections, most notably two commissions from the City of Chicago’s Office of Public Art. He was recently part of a PBS panel discussion on the arts in public education. His students have gone on to noteworthy careers in art, design and art education across the country.

Guided Shows and Screenings

Guided Gallery Visits for the Conference Juried Exhibition, QU4RTETS, and others.

Film screenings of original works by Micah Bloom, Roger Feldman, and Craig Goodworth.

Nathan Clarke Workshop: Roger Feldman, Untitled: Seminar Session A

Nathan Clarke Screening: Craig Goodworth, You Are Where You Live: Seminar Session B

Micah Bloom, (Codex): Seminar Session C
“(Codex) haunts me with its beauty, nonverbal poetry, ritualistic compassion, resurrection themes  . . . and the music is like no requiem I have ever heard–I want everyone to see that movie.”
- Rick Watson, North Dakota Associate Poet Laureate

Micah Bloom is an artist. He grew up in Minnesota, earned an M.F.A. at the University of Iowa, and teaches in North Dakota. Married for elevan years, Micah and Sara share four delightful daughters, and they all love to make things. Bloom’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, and he directs the multi-media art project: Codex.

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