CIVA is blessed to have a dedicated Board of Directors and staff that work to serve our membership. Just like our membership, each member of the CIVA team has a unique background and skill set. Take a moment to know the CIVA staff and board.
CIVA staff members carry out the everyday operations of the organization.
Lawan is a Texas native who has called Tuscany her adopted home for over 30 years. With an undergraduate degree in Political Science and an M.A. in Anthropology, she was honored to be the Graduate Teaching Assistant to Dr. Mary Louise Hart, Associate Curator of Antiquities at the J. Paul Getty Museum. Lawan received her Certificate of Museum Studies before taking her postgraduate fieldwork overseas in Classical Archaeology, focusing on Art and Architecture History. During these academic years, the vast divide between the institutional bubble and the business ecosystem became vividly clear. The world needed “bridge builders” between scholars, artists, and donors. Leaving academia with hesitation but clear vision, she began Medici Way—a consulting and access service for philanthropists, eccentrics, and non-profits. Recognizing that she makes a better cheerleader than artist, Lawan brings awareness that today’s art will be tomorrow’s artifacts. Lawan splits her time between Italy and Texas with her golf pro husband. When traveling, he patiently hits the links while she visits galleries. Their romantic fate was sealed when he asked her to accompany him to a Caravaggio exhibit for their first date. She still hasn’t learned to golf.
Exhibitions and Programming Coordinator
Abbey is a visual designer and dancer born and raised in Wisconsin. She earned her degree in Graphic Design and Illustration from Madison College. After graduation she made her way to New York City where she worked as a graphic designer for several interactive agencies. Eventually she made her way back to home to Wisconsin where she now spends her free time hiking, biking and dancing. She loves tapping into contemplative arts, music, and nature as a way to connect to the beauty and mystery of life.
Michelle Arnold Paine
Michelle is a painter whose subjects of landscape, figure, and architecture reflect a dialogue with the divine. She spent three years living and working in Italy for Gordon College’s study abroad program, where she steeped herself in the Renaissance masters, the rhythms of the liturgy, and the intimacy and beauty of daily Italian life. After her return, she received a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and went on to earn an MFA degree from the University of New Hampshire. She paints in her home studio in Ohio, where she lives with her husband and two daughters. Her work can be viewed at www.michellepaine.com.
Vincent received his BFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, MA. He then went on to study and apprentice in Florence, Italy. Working with master artisans throughout his career, his sculpture, wearable art and 2-D work progressed from millimeters to meters, growing larger and more complex. In his current work, he explores intangible elements of language, space and time coupled with tangible shapes, materials and textures. Vincent works out of his studio in Lambertville, NJ. His current work can be found at www.vwhstudio.com.
Catherine received her degree in Anthropology, Film Studies, and Theatre Arts from Minnesota State University-Mankato. Her studies explore the relationship between media and culture while her passion for the arts lead her to perform as a cast and crew member for plays and independent films. Catherine has also worked in marketing roles and as a writer and video producer for television. When she’s not working, Catherine enjoys many hobbies including sewing, woodworking, running, martial arts, and spending time outdoors with her growing family.
Board of Directors
The CIVA board consists of individuals that are elected to their positions by the CIVA membership and are responsible for the full and final shared authority over the affairs of the organization.
Joe Cory, Board Chair
Artist │ University Professor
Joe Cory is a visual artist and an Associate Professor in the Department of Art and Design at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, where he also serves as a Faculty Fellow in Samford’s Center for the Worship and the Arts. Using fragmented imagery, he creates paintings, collages, and digital artworks to help him navigate the complex world in which we live. Cory is especially interested in using his work to serve as a reminder of God’s grace amidst a broken world. He exhibits his artwork across the United States and has received numerous grants and awards. He is a member of Shades Valley Community Church (EFCA) where he serves as an Elder. When he is not in the studio or classroom, Joe enjoys spending time with his family, reading, and watching sports.
Kim Garza, Vice Chair
Professor | Designer | Experimental Filmmaker
Kim Garza is an Associate Professor of Graphic Design at St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas. Besides creating engaging experiences for students, she leads campus programming on vocational exploration and career preparation. She works on creative projects as a user experience designer and an experimental filmmaker in collaboration with her singer-songwriter husband, and she is a mom of two boys. Kim has been an active CIVA member since 2001 and serves in leadership with Doing Good Well. She holds a B.A. from Anderson University and a Master of Graphic Design (M.G.D.) from North Carolina State University.
Nate Risdon, Secretary
Director of Operations and Programs
Nate Risdon has served in leadership roles in the non-profit and educational sectors for the past 13 years, having most recently served as the Director of Operations and Programs for the Brehm Center at Fuller Theological Seminary. In the Spring of 2019, he successfully completed his PhD in Higher Education administration with an emphasis on equity, diversity, and inclusion. His background in the creative arts coupled with his experience in research and analysis and administration helps him provide organizations with creative solutions based on sound information. Nate is married with three children and resides in Southern California.
Amy Fox, Treasurer
Seal Beach, California
Visual Artist | Innovator | Adjunct Professor
Amy Fox is an artist, educator, innovator and marketer who has actively been connected to creative endeavors most of her career. A past contributor to Grove Art Online, she teaches as an Adjunct Professor in the BA and MFA program in the Department of Art and the Design Studies program at Azusa Pacific University. She holds her MFA from Rochester Institute of Technology and her MBA from University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Born in California, she has lived throughout the U.S. and overseas. She has visited all 50 states and travels to see glimpses of this big beautiful world.
Artist | Theologian | Educator
Maria Fee is an artist, theologian, and educator. Her visual art explores ideas of fragmentation, metizaje (cultural mixing), alienation, and hospitality. These notions also drive her theological research currently explored through the art of Theaster Gates and other social practice artists. As an adjunct professor at Fuller Seminary, she delves into theology and art topics through courses like Visual Arts and the Christian and Capstone Theology and Art. Maria has also contributed her expertise and energies to the Brehm Center’s Visual Faith initiative. She currently lives in Pasadena with her husband Brian Fee, who is also an artist.
Jennifer Allen Craft
West Point, Georgia
Professor | Author
Jennifer Allen Craft is Associate Professor of Theology and Humanities at Point University in West Point, Georgia where she teaches courses in theology, philosophy, and the arts. She earned a PhD in Theology, Imagination and the Arts from University of St. Andrews and is the author of Placemaking and the Arts: Cultivating the Christian Life (IVP Academic 2018). She has also contributed to other publications such as Transpositions, SEEN Journal, Christianity Today, and The Visual Commentary on Scripture (forthcoming). Her latest research focuses on the prophetic imagination in contemporary art, along with the relationship between art and social justice.
NYC | Washington DC
Founder of New City Commons
Scott Crosby is a graduate of The American University in Washington, D.C. During 30 years of residence in Asia, he worked in diverse areas of the arts, publishing and missions. Scott established a gallery for Chinese contemporary art in Shanghai, as well as models of urban ministry in some of Asia’s global cities. In 2010, Scott returned to the US to establish the New City Commons Foundation to work with churches and networks in developing sustainable and effective models of Christian engagement of culture. Since 2013 Scott has worked with Christian Union to build a new model of urban ministry, beginning in New York and Washington DC. This entails building industry networks in key vocations to redemptively engage culture in the most influential cities.
Point Lookout, Missouri
Artist | Professor | Gallerist
Richard Cummings is easily distracted and enjoys sparkly things, things that move, and things with sugar. He is a Professor of Art at College of the Ozarks and the director of the college’s Boger Gallery. Richard holds a B.A. in English Literature from Milligan College and received his M.F.A. in Studio Art from the University of Leeds in England. He later went on to earn his D.W.S from the Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies. Richard has been a CIVA member since 2006 and has participated in numerous exhibitions as an artist and hosted numerous CIVA exhibitions and individual artists as the director of the Boger Gallery. Richard’s interests lie in the theological exploration of human creativity and in the nurturing of young artists of Christian faith.
Distinguished Artist in Residence
Artist Steve A. Prince is a native of New Orleans, Louisiana, and currently resides in Williamsburg, Virginia, where he serves as the Director of Engagement and Distinguished Artist in Residence at the Muscarelle Museum of Art at William and Mary. Prince is a printmaker, sculptor, and graphite artist who takes his message to the streets. He uses a black-and-white language to preach and teach an original and innovative vision. He spreads a message of hope and renewal to the global community through his art and philosophically through the cathartic nature of the Dirge and Second Line, a funerary tradition from New Orleans. . He received his B.F.A. from Xavier University of Louisiana and his M.F.A. in printmaking and sculpture from Michigan State University. To Steve, “We are all living epistles, whether we want to be or not.”
Communications Pastor | Artist
Greg Holmes received his BFA from The University of Texas at Austin and a Master of Biblical Studies degree from Dallas Theological Seminary. He has served in pastoral ministry in various forms and in various churches for over 20 years. Greg has spent much of his time wrestling with issues of art and faith within the context of the local church. He has led in areas of arts administration, branding, marketing, and digital media. Greg creates from his studio in Allen, TX and currently serves as Communications Pastor for a church in the north Dallas area. Greg is married and has three daughters.
Arts Theologian | University Professor
Taylor Worley serves as visiting associate professor of art history at Wheaton College and project director for “Thinking about Thinking: Conceptual Art and the Contemplative Tradition” funded by the Templeton Religion Trust. He completed a Ph.D. in the areas of contemporary art and theological aesthetics in the Institute for Theology, Imagination, and the Arts at the University of St. Andrews. Taylor is married to Anna, and they have four children: Elizabeth, Quinn, Graham, and Lillian.
Born and raised in Hawaii, Delro has been a contemporary artist and illustrator for over 30 years. He is a graduate of Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles and has exhibited both nationally and internationally. His work is in the collection of the Hawai‘i State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, several CIVA traveling exhibitions, and has been featured in Christianity Today, Ruminate magazines and CIVA’s Seen Journal. He is represented by Artrue Gallery in Taipei, Taiwan. Delro and his wife Sue love to travel, especially to Japan.
Assistant Professor of Visual Arts | Artist
Erin is a painter of borderlands, the spaces between worlds. As a visual storyteller and child of an Oklahoma farm, Erin tills the rich soil of dichotomy through her masterful uses of color, iconography, and story. As a Chickasaw-Choctaw artist, she creates in a state of tension, suspended between two worlds where both solemnity and humor pervade her art. Erin earned her BFA in studio art from Baylor University and MFA from University of Oklahoma. She is Assistant Professor of Visual Arts at John Brown University in Arkansas, an international speaker, and a featured artist in Visual Voices: Contemporary Chickasaw Art as well as other exhibitions around the U.S.A.
Kathy is an award-winning book artist, designer, and photographer with a BFA from Calvin College and an MFA from Colorado State University. She designed the SEEN Journal for over a decade and has taught at Messiah College, Indiana Purdue, Colorado State, as well as for The Glen (IMAGE Journal) in Santa Fe. Kathy’s working methods include image-gathering, photographs, drawings, narrative stories, and data collection to create books: trade books, limited edition artists’ books, photobooks, and interactive digital books. She is interested in how personal narrative reveals spiritual spaces.