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CIVA Biennial Conference – June 11-14, 2015 – Calvin College, Grand Rapids MI

BETWEEN TWO WORLDS: CONTEMPORARY ART AND THE CHURCH
JUNE 11-14, 2015, CALVIN COLLEGE, GRAND RAPIDS, MI

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Conference Theme

It is an understatement to say that the church and the contemporary art world find themselves in an uneasy relationship. On one hand, the leaders of local congregations, seminaries, and other Christian networks don’t know what to make of works by artists like Banksy and Chris Ofili, or Marina Abramovich and Barbara Kruger. Not only are these kinds of artist mostly unknown to church leaders, they and their work cause them to regard the world of contemporary art with quizzical indifference, frustration, and even disdain. On the other, many artists lack any meaningful experience with the contemporary church and are mostly ignorant of her mission. Not infrequently, these artists regard religion as irrelevant to their art practice, are disinclined to trust the church and its leaders, and have experienced personal rejection from these communities. Clearly, misunderstanding and mistrust abound.

CIVA’s 2015 Biennial Conference at Calvin College will host a conversation between these two worlds. During our four days together, we will explore the misperceptions that we have about each other, create hospitable space to talk and listen, and imagine the possibility of a renewed and mutually fruitful relationship. With these lofty goals before us, this conference will provide a range of case studies that exemplify the kinds of programs, partnership, and patronage that might serve the greater good. Meanwhile, where the difference between these two worlds is too great to overcome, this conference seeks to build a bridge that facilitates understanding and mutual respect. In other words, we seek to find common ground for the common good since we — Christians at work in the visual arts — believe this is what God, in Christ, would have us to do.

Makoto Fujimura will present at a ‘Day-Ahead Program’ - 

A  long time CIVA member, he will lead a discussion on his new book Culture Care to advise other CIVA members and friends to apply Culture Care principles toward implementation and integration, creating a cultural estuary within CIVA. Culture Care principles will “change the metaphor” from Culture Wars to Culture Care, seeing culture as an ecosystem to steward, rather than territories to be fought over.

Click here for complete conference information, rates and registration