Posts Tagged ‘Art’

‘Spiritual Practices’ Art Exhibit Showcases Works of Four Jesuit Artists

Spiritual Practices: Meditations on Faith art showThe diverse works of four contemporary Jesuit artists are currently being showcased at an exhibit at the University of San Francisco’s Manresa Gallery. “Spiritual Practices: Meditations on Faith” is an exploration of the visual art practices of Jesuit Fathers Arturo Araujo, Thomas Lucas, Trung Pham and Josef Venker.

The exhibition features a range of mediums — including prints, stained glass, paintings and sculptures — that explore and reveal contemporary issues through art. According to Jesuit Father James Hanvey, the Lo Schiavo Chair in Catholic Social Thought at the University of San Francisco who specializes in Ignatian spirituality, “Whatever their professional training as artists, their ‘eyes’ and their ‘hands’ have come to see and touch with the senses of the [Spiritual] Exercises.

“Each one of the artists in this exhibition has his own unique voice but each, in his own way, illuminates some aspect of our lives and our souls,” writes Fr. Hanvey in an essay on the exhibit.

Fr. Araujo, a Colombian Jesuit, currently serves as an assistant professor of fine arts at the University of San Francisco. His works in the exhibit focus on the landscape of “Cienega Grande,” a network of salt-water lagoons on Colombia’s northern coast. The landscape became a battlefield when violence erupted and left 60 dead by the paramilitary in 2000. “The same landscape serves me as a mythical place to seek reconciliation,” Fr. Araujo writes.

Fr. Lucas, a professor of art and architecture at the University of San Francisco, says that during his 35-year career as a liturgical artist, designer, curator and Jesuit, his work has been shaped by the symbol, myth and ritual of the Catholic tradition.

He uses everything from ancient materials to modern techniques. “The pieces reach back to traditions of the gothic glassmaker, the byzantine iconographer and Latin American baroque craftsfolk, but also are touched by the contemporary realms of found objects, electricity and computer-aided design,” Fr. Lucas writes.

A professor of fine arts at Seattle University, Fr. Pham’s paintings explore the intimate relationship between mother and child. When his father was sent to a re-education camp after the Vietnam War, his grandmother and mother’s love became even more intense for Fr. Pham. “These two women not only loved me unselfishly but were also immeasurably strong, wonderfully intelligent and unbelievably hard working,” he recalls.

Fr. Venker, an assistant professor of fine arts at Seattle University, worked with found objects to find spiritual and religious meaning through ordinary and discarded things. “This search for God has become a key pursuit of the Jesuits to this day,” he explains.

Information about the exhibit, which runs through May 12, is available at the Manresa Gallery website. View art from the exhibit below.

 

Jesuit Experiences God through Dance

Originally from Calcutta, Jesuit Father Saju George Moolamthuruthil is a dynamic and unique artist with a rare vision and passion for the art and culture of India and a dancer of the bharatanatyam style.  For over 15 years, he has shown a constant concern to conjugate his dancing with his Catholic faith and considers art as an effective means of spiritual integration and social transformation.

In recent years, Fr. Saju has given over 200 performances in India and worldwide and adopting both Hindu and Christian themes in his incorporation of images whether of Radha-Krishna and Shiva-Parvati or of the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ.

“I love dance, I love to dance, I love to teach, and I love to experience God and the sacred in and through dance,” says Fr. Saju.

According to the Saju, this art involves prayer and adoration, self-awareness and divine realization, social service, the promotion of interreligious peace and harmony and ecumenism.

The bharatanatyam is an elegant form of dance with a strong visual impact. Originating in the temples in Tamil Nadu, a state in southern India, literally thousands of years ago, this dance style is the oldest of the main forms of classical Indian dance. The dancers, through their choreographies, display gestures and movements representative of mythology, philosophy, epics, ancient stories, contemporary themes and other experiences of life.

Jesuit Says Suffering Jesus Doesn’t Please but Intrigues Art Viewers

Jesuit Father Gregory Waldrop

The graphic depiction of Jesus as the suffering Man of Sorrows is not a crowd pleaser but is a crowd draw, according to Jesuit Father Gregory Waldrop, assistant professor of art history at Fordham University.

Fr. Waldrop moderated a March 18 panel discussion on the Man of Sorrows as part of a symposium organized by the Fordham Center on Religion and Culture in conjunction with a new exhibit at New York’s Museum of Biblical Art.

“No one would dispute the importance of Christ’s sacrificial death in Christian theology, but we are less inclined today to decorate our living rooms with bloody representations of him,” said Waldrop.

But Waldrop said the Man of Sorrows — which is an image of Jesus upright, dead but not yet resurrected — still resonates artistically and religiously. “It continues to attract and provoke, responding to current conditions of anguish, loss and deprivation in the world, and showing up in contemporary songs, popular images and even as a theme in artworks by high-profile, emphatically secular contemporary artists.”

For more on Waldrop’s panel discussion, visit Catholic News Service.

Jesuit Says Suffering Jesus Doesn't Please but Intrigues Art Viewers

Jesuit Father Gregory Waldrop

The graphic depiction of Jesus as the suffering Man of Sorrows is not a crowd pleaser but is a crowd draw, according to Jesuit Father Gregory Waldrop, assistant professor of art history at Fordham University.

Fr. Waldrop moderated a March 18 panel discussion on the Man of Sorrows as part of a symposium organized by the Fordham Center on Religion and Culture in conjunction with a new exhibit at New York’s Museum of Biblical Art.

“No one would dispute the importance of Christ’s sacrificial death in Christian theology, but we are less inclined today to decorate our living rooms with bloody representations of him,” said Waldrop.

But Waldrop said the Man of Sorrows — which is an image of Jesus upright, dead but not yet resurrected — still resonates artistically and religiously. “It continues to attract and provoke, responding to current conditions of anguish, loss and deprivation in the world, and showing up in contemporary songs, popular images and even as a theme in artworks by high-profile, emphatically secular contemporary artists.”

For more on Waldrop’s panel discussion, visit Catholic News Service.