2019 Speakers

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Anthony Vasquez
Visual Artist

Anthony Vasquez was born and raised in Las Cruces, NM. Studied studio painting at Adams State University. He is tremendously supported by so many friends and patrons, and most importantly his wife Adrienn and their two children, Leila and Benicio. From 2015 to mid 2018 Anthony and his family lived in South East Asia and joined a team where he co-facilitated an International Artist Residency and other programs run by a local New Delhi arts organization. Through this opportunity Anthony began to learn more about his desire to mentor and encourage other artists in their journey as culture makers. He hopes to contribute to the blessing of the world around him by sharing God's truth that all people are made in His image, with inherent dignity and value, and the mandate to cultivate. Anthony really appreciates when artists make an effort to communicate with honesty and transparency. One of his goals in creating is that when his audience experiences his work they get a good idea of where he is and how he understands the world. In that way, he believes that it is important for artists to seek ways to position themselves in humility alongside the marginalized. In doing so we not only grow in empathy towards those on the fringes of society, but also receive and learn from the many gifts they have to offer. He believes that in doing so as artists we only enhance our ability to honestly portray the world around us and increase our understanding of ourselves.

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Jennifer Craft
Point University

Jennifer Allen Craft (PhD, Theology, Imagination and the Arts, University of St. Andrews, Scotland) 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 has lectured widely at conferences and universities, particularly on the topic of the theological significance of art and placemaking. She is the author of Placemaking and the Arts: Cultivating the Christian Life (IVP Academic 2018), and has contributed to other online and print publications such as Transpositions, SEEN Journal, Christianity Today, and Contemporary Art and the Church: A Conversation Between Two Worlds (IVP Academic, 2017), a book which resulted from CIVA’s 2015 biennial conference. Her latest research focuses on the prophetic imagination in contemporary art, along with the relationship between art and social justice. An advocate of practicing what one preaches, her academic research has also led to a variety of other placemaking practices, such as making jellies from the fruits of her back yard, painting an 80-foot long children’s mural on the story of creation and redemption at her local church, and restoring her 111-year-old home in Valley, Alabama, with her husband Brandon.

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Wayne Adams
Wayne Adams Studio

Wayne Adams is a Brooklyn-based artist who received his B.F.A. from Calvin College and M.F.A. from Washington University in St. Louis. Adams has exhibited throughout the Midwest, New York, and Vienna, Austria. Recent shows include, An Aberrant View, Anne Street Gallery, Newburgh, New York (2014), Wayne Adams is Speaking in Tongues: a show of objects and images organized by the unrelenting voice of interpretation, Barrington Center for the Arts, Gordon College, Wenham, Massachusetts (2014), Works Off Canvas, Denny Gallery, New York, New York (2013), and Adams | Miracle, STOREFRONT Gallery, New York (2010). Adams currently serves as president of the board of Christians in the Visual Arts.

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Sara Alsum-Wassenaar
Hope College

Sara Alsum-Wassenaar is a visiting assistant professor of art at Hope College.  She received her M.F.A. in New Media from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She also holds a B.A. in Psychology and Art from Hope College, and a Masters of Education from Grand Valley State University. In 2018 Alsum-Wassenaar engaged a team of student researchers in a project titled Embodied Design, where team members employ Raspberry Pis to document the gestures used to interact with ubiquitously designed objects, focusing specifically on hand gestures in conjunction with drinkware at local breweries and coffee shops. During graduate school Alsum-Wassenaar rode Amtrak’s Empire Builder from Chicago to Portland and organized stops along the way to meet with local historians and ceramic artists. She conducted object-based research, informally interviewing passengers along the way.This project resulted in a collection of objects, journals, images and videos. Sara was selected to conduct programing at the MDW Fair in Chicago, and her work was published in Plot magazine.    

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Kenneth Steinbach
Bethel University

Kenneth Steinbach is Professor of art at Bethel University, where he teaches classes in sculpture, design, and creative practices. Recently Kenneth concluded a four-year research project into the practices of successful mid-career artists. The resultant book, Creative Practices for Visual Artists: Time, Space, Process, was published by Routledge Press in 2018. This research has allowed him to speak to many groups of artists and educators about ways to maintain a vital and authentic artistic practice within our contemporary social and educational environments. Kenneth is the recipient of the 8th (2018-2020) Bethel University Professor Award, an award “to recognize and celebrate extraordinary faculty accomplishments within and beyond Bethel University,” and in 2018 was a Matter and Spirit seminar research fellow in China through the Nagel Institute at Calvin College. The recipient of many grants, Kenneth has also been awarded the Arlin G. Meyer prize in Visual Arts by the Lily Fellows Foundation, and a Faculty Excellence in Teaching award from Bethel University. About his practice, he says, “It is not only a means to explore personal expression, but also a form of physical theology that allows me to speak into questions, sometimes difficult ones, about the relationship between faith, art, and living.” He is married to Kari Steinbach, a freelance theater director in Minneapolis.