Church & Art: 2 Recommended Websites

2004 Compline service at Hope Chapel, Austin, Texas

1. Visual Arts and the Church

Pamela Nelson in the background
I've yet to find a print or digital product as useful as this one for thinking through the practical considerations of marshaling the visual arts on behalf of corporate worship: "Hope and the Visual Arts." Yes, I've read the "large cathedral" books. Yes, I've employed the booklet that CIVA (along with Sandra Bowden) produced a few years back.

Yes, I own Catherine Kapikian's Art in Service of the Sacred, Bill Dyrness' Senses of the Soul: Art and the Visual in Christian Worship, Mark Torgerson's An Architecture of Immanence, and I've seen CICW's "Visuals for Worship." (No, I haven't yet bought Nancy Chin's Spaces for Spirit: Adorning the Church because it's a really expensive book for 72 pages of material.)

And, yes, I'm sort of biased.

Jason Haskins
Still, I think Kate Van Dyke has produced an immensely helpful resource for churches interested in the visual arts. It will be most useful to churches looking to integrate visual art in a substantial, thoughtful fashion. The site includes essays related to the curating and exhibiting of visual art, jurying, displaying the work, writing artist statements, matting and framing, and presenting artist's talks.

It will not of course answer your every question and that's why you may wish to acquire the resources I mention above. If you have any questions, feel free to contact Kate. She'll be more than happy to respond to your questions and to take feedback on the site, as she looks for ways to make it even more helpful.

2. Church and Art Network

I met Luann Jennings for the first time two years ago at the Laity Lodge. Since then we've corresponded at length and shared a mean tea on the Lower East Side in New York City. Having spent the better part of six years overseeing Redeemer Presbyterian's arts ministry in NYC, she now divides her time between teaching at St. John's University and leading the Church and Art Network.

I hopefully pay her a compliment by saying that I'm envious of this work. It's an incredibly important one and I pray many take advantage of her wisdom and savvy, as together we all seek to serve the church with excellent and compelling works of art as well as with artists who both live well and love well.

Shaun Fox et al
What exactly is the C&A Network? "Church and Art Network is a gathering of arts leaders who are extending our capacity to serve God in our creative work, by sharing resources, making connections, and advocating together for the importance of our work to the church and the world."

I'm glad to know Luann as a friend and I'm the beneficiary of her hard labors. I highly commend this effort to you. And I hope that both of these websites serve ultimately to edify the church and to bless the world, as I imagine they surely will.

The "Art & Church" track at the CIVA conference
Lastly, you will find here a description of the three sessions that I'll be leading at this week's CIVA conference. If you're going to the conference, I hope to see you and I'm sure we'll have a fantastic time together in breezy, shiny, lively Los Angeles.


i'm such a geek for input, this post made me almost have to breathe into a paper bag. i'd lost track of Hope Chapel's art site -- didn't realize it'd been relaunched. Looks like a terrific resource! and, up until now, I didn't have a good context for the Church & Art network, so your help with that is very much appreciated. as for the sessions you'll be leading in LA this week -- those lucky, lucky dogs!

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