Session deTails

Plenary Presentations (Main stage)


ArtPlace America Panel:
In Situ: Society

Friday June 14th, 9:00 - 10:15 a.m.

ArtPlace America is a ten-year collaboration among a number of foundations, federal agencies, and financial institutions who came together in 2011 to create a $104 Million fund to serve their mission of positioning the arts and culture as a core sector of community planning and development. AP Executive Director Jamie Bennett will interview a number of practitioners and grantees, including pastors, artists and gallery directors, about their work of “creative placemaking,” when artists and arts organizations join their neighbors in shaping their community’s future, working together on place-based community outcomes.



Cara Megan Lewis and Linnea Spransy: Bridge Projects and The WaterTable In Situ: Studio + Society

Friday June 14th, 10:30 - 11:30 a.m.

Cara Megan Lewis and Linnea Spransy co-direct a multi-pronged arts entity in Los Angeles that will include an exhibition space (Bridge Projects) and an artist residency program (The WaterTable). These two organizations intend to hospitably conduct conversations which combine the concerns of contemporary art, religion and the long history of both. In this plenary session, Cara and Linnéa will share stories of both encouragement and set back as they prepare for their launch in October of this year. Linnea and Cara also maintain active studio practices embedded in the unique artistic ecosystem of Los Angeles. Cara’s collaborative practice with her husband as Díaz Lewis incorporates diverse media from photography to dryer lint to speak to issues of longing and belonging.  Linnéa, on the other hand, articulates curiosity about the nature of knowledge with the familiar medium of paint, and has never the less, experienced unfamiliar outcomes. 



Doing Good Well: Artist Panel In Situ: Studio

Friday June 14th, 7:00 - 8:30 p.m.

Betsy Carpenter, curator with Minnesota Museum of American Art, will moderate a panel of four artists working in different media: Caroline Kent, Lyz Wendland, Amanda Hamilton, and Catherine Prescott. Each artist will share at length about their discoveries in the studio, and together they’ll discuss how their work interrogates the questions we’re posing with ARE WE THERE YET, themes like: the already but not yet, women’s role in the contemporary art scene and how it might be changing, the presence of their spirituality in the studio, identity, personal history, and social responsibility, among other themes.



Hawona Sullivan Janzen interviews Sedrick and Letitia Huckaby In Situ: Studio + Society

Saturday June 15th, 9:00 - 10:15 a.m.

Hawona Sullivan Janzen, curator at the University of Minnesota’s Urban Research Outreach Center, will interview artists Sedricky and Letitia Huckaby, with a special focus on family history, African-American narratives in history and the role their personal expression plays in mediating that history for audiences. In light of what has been, together they will ask ARE WE THERE YET? of “what ought to be” and “what is to come.”



What Has Been and What Ought to Be: Three Visions Necessary for the Christian Artist for the Good of the World and the Church In Situ: Sanctuary

Saturday June 15th, 10:00 - 11:00 a.m.

Your beliefs will be the light by which you see, but they will not be what you see and they will not be a substitute for seeing.” -Flannery O'Connor

Pastor Vito Aiuto, pastor of Resurrection Brooklyn and half of the band The Welcome Wagon will offer a theological reflection regarding ARE WE THERE YET. Too often, Christian artists hear spiritual tropes that are long on theory, but short on practice. Here Vito will expound three modes of vision that engender artistic excellence for the person of faith, a fresh and practical perspective on seeing the unseen. Through his talk he will recount his personal experience of the more recent convergence of religion and art and how it has affected his own art-making and pastoral work with artists of faith.



Nate Young with Chris Larson and Rico Gatson discussing “The Raft” In Situ: Studio + Society

Saturday June 15th, 7:00 - 8:30 p.m.

Artist and Curator Nate Young will interview Guggenheim fellow and Twin Cities native Chris Larson, and NY-based Rico Gatson about their collaboration, “The Raft”, a multi-channel video and sound installation that Sheila Dickison, in her Brooklyn Rail review, called “a musical tale about an America that has not arrived at this enlightened state but still journeys down this river….Their artistic collaboration is symbolic of what ‘collaboration’ means — of people working together, of sitting together in their commonalities and insisting on change, keeping the American journey toward equality marching.”



Liz Vice in Concert

Saturday June 15th, 8:30 - 9:30 p.m.

Liz Vice is a musician best known for her Gospel, soul, and R&B-infused album entitled, “There’s A Light”. Raised in Portland, Oregon and a recent resident of Brooklyn, NY. Ms. Vice has performed and/ or shared the stage with artist such as  Cody Chesnutt, St. Paul and the Broken Bones, The Temptations, Lecrae, Eric Early of (Blitzen Trapper), Josh Garrels, The Wood Brothers, Tunde Baiyewu (Lighthouse Family), Luz Mendoza (Y La Bamba), Eshon Burgundy (Humble Beast), and more. No matter how large the venue, her genuine approach to her artistry and playful interaction with the audience makes everyone feel like they're sitting at home on the couch watching a friend sing their heart out. Having overcome many personal obstacles, she credits her adventurous life to not forcing anything. “It’s all about risk, and taking risk is never regretful…well, most of the time.”


Breakout Session Details (Classrooms forthcoming)


Paper Sessions

These sessions feature the scholarship of 27 selected presenters on a variety of subjects related to the conference theme, ARE WE THERE YET. Sessions are organized around the theme of “In situ: Studio, Sanctuary, and Society,” and includes an “open” category. Session leaders: Cindi Beth Johnson, Jennifer Awes-Freeman, and Christina Carnes Ananias.



Ten Years of Nagel Institute Seminars and Exhibitions

Join Taylor University professor Rachel Smith as she hosts a panel discussion on the three international art seminars and exhibitions sponsored by the Nagel Institute since 2008: The Charis Seminar (Indonesia, 2008), R5: South Africa (2013), and Matter and Spirit (China, 2018). The session will explore the international state of the arts, the vision of Christian cultural engagement in these countries, and the impact of these seminars on the artists involved. Session participants include Seminar director, Rachel Smith, and a selection of previous seminar participants.



Art as an Open Door to the Great Commision (Art and Missions)

Join representatives of two international missions organizations as they discuss their experience in art-related mission projects. Attendees will learn about how the visual arts create opportunities for mission throughout the world. The session will include a moderated discussion and audience Q & A. Session participants include Rachel Smith, Anthony Vasquez, Matt Carson, and Geneine Carson.



Creative Practices for Visual Artists

Join Bethel University Faculty member Ken Steinbach as he discusses insights from his recently published book Creative Practices for Visual Artists (Routledge). Developed from interviews with over 75 mid-career artists, Steinbach examines the methods and approaches highly successful artists use to stay creatively robust. This session will offer practical strategies and concrete solutions to helping artists form a strong studio practice. Session Leader: Ken Steinbach.



Renovation Lessons: Art and Faith through Deconstruction and Reconstruction

Join New York-based artist and former CIVA Board Chair Wayne Adams as he creates a safe space for conversation about what it means to question, deconstruct, and rebuild one’s artist practice and faith (sometimes simultaneously). The goal of this session is to unpack questions such as What is a “faith deconstruction”? How can one maintain and question their faith at the same time? How can I make art while disillusioned with the art world or art market? Sources will be drawn from contemporary and historical theology, contemporary and modern art, and the presenter’s repeated attempts and failures. Session Leader: Wayne Adams.




Join artist Sarah Alsum-Wassenar in this engaging interactive session as she leads participants in a walkshop around campus. Walkshops are mobile workshops that take place in the built environment and help participants to understand the complexity in everyday spaces they interact with. They will seek out various body positions and documenting when we find a space that is appropriate for a pose. If you enjoy creative exploration of urban spaces please join us on this adventure.  Participants will traverse and respond to the built environment through intentional action and performative gestures. Session Leader: Sarah Alsum-Wassenar.  



Was God Dead? Biblical Imagination in German Expressionist Prints

Join artist and collector Sandra Bowden as she discusses the Bowden Collections’ new traveling exhibition, Was God Dead? Biblical Imagination in German Expressionist Prints. Through the broad exploration of over 50 works of art, the exhibition examines the question of why biblical imagery saturates Expressionist literature and the visual arts and the importance of printmaking for the German Expressionists. Was God Dead? reveals the continued potential of the Judeo-Christian tradition to influence generations of modern and avant-garde artists. The session will feature information on the creation of this exhibition and insight regarding the importance of the medium of printmaking to avant-garde artists. Session Leaders: Sandra Bowden and Ed Knippers.



The Power of Sacred Art

Join Dr. Johan M. J. van Parys, Director of Liturgy and the Sacred Arts at The Basilica of St. Mary in Minneapolis, as he uses image and story to explore the use of visual art from Christianity’s earliest origins to the present. This walk through the history of sacred art will examine characteristics and virtues to provide a compelling argument as to why this art form continues to hold an important place in our society. Session Leader: Johan M. J. van Parys.



Creative Placemaking in the Arts

Join cultural entrepreneur Joanna Taft and author Jennifer Craft in conversation as they discuss the importance of placemaking in the visual arts. By exploring how the arts place us in time, space, and community, and encourage us to be fully and imaginatively present with each other, the arts call us to pay attention to the world around us and to cultivate our theological imagination. This session will explore these ideas through Taft’s work at Indiana’s Harrison Center for the Arts and Craft’s recent book, Placemaking and the Arts: Cultivating the Christian Life (IVP). Session Leaders: Joanna Taft and Jennifer Craft.