Evangel University will launch its first Faith and the Arts Conference, themed “Creativity, Culture, and Calling,” on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 22 and 23, 2017.
The 2017 Faith and the Arts Conference will explore dynamic relationships between Christian faith and the arts. It will include presentations and workshops from featured speakers as well as Evangel professors.
The plenary sessions on Friday at 6 p.m., and Saturday at 7 p.m., are free and open to the public.
Friday night’s session features “Patterns of Evidence,” a documentary of evidence for the Bible by Tim Mahoney. Saturday’s session will be a panel discussion on the conference theme “Creativity, Culture, and Calling,” among the three featured speakers.
The full conference is open, but is a ticketed event. Information and tickets are available on the Evangel website.
In addition to the three main speakers — poet Scott Cairns, writer Blaine Charette, and artist Tim Lowly — attendees will be able to choose from presentations, workshops and artistic experiences led by approximately 40 other artists and professors.
Key experiences include participatory drawing, painting and clay sculpting, poetry readings and writing workshops, musical performances and film viewings and discussions.
Diane Awbrey, professor of English and chair of conference team, said, “The primary hope is that our students will engage with the speakers, presentations, workshops and worship experiences to expand their knowledge and understanding of the role of the arts in faith and life.
“We defined ‘the arts’ to mean human production across many modes of creativity—fine art, music, theatre, film, literature—and we have been pleased at the response from fellow academics, alumni, and practicing artists from a wide variety of backgrounds,” she said.
Lunch is included with paid registrations. Registration for the public is $20 per day or $35 for two days. Student registration is $10 per day or $15 for two days. Admission is free to Evangel students.
“I’m particularly looking forward to seeing guests and students of all majors find a personal connection to some form of artistic expression or another,” said Awbrey. “The program has been developed to offer a wide range of options. There’s something for everyone.”
Scott Cairns is a poet, memoirist, librettist, essayist and professor at University of Missouri-Columbia, where he teaches modern and contemporary American literature and creative writing. Cairns is founding director of Writing Workshops in Greece, received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2006 and received the Denise Levertov Award in 2014.
Blaine Charette is a writer, film buff and Professor of Theology at Northwest University, Kirkland, Washington, where he teaches New Testament narrative literature and the convergence of theological reflection and cinematic narrative structures. He is a former president of the Society for Pentecostal Studies and is currently completing a book on Spirit baptism in the narrative contexts of the New Testament.
Tim Lowly is an artist, curator, musician and professor at North Park University, Chicago, Ill. Lowly is known for egg tempera paintings, in which egg yolk is mixed with pigment to make paint, depicting children in mysterious circumstances. Lowly has been awarded an Individual Artist Grant from the Michigan Council for the Arts in 1987 and Fellowships in Visual Art from the Illinois Arts Council in 1995 and 2005.