The exhibit, “Contemplating the Sacred: Religious Works of Contemporary Artists,” is provided by the Foundation for Sacred Arts and will run from March 8 to April 15 in the center’s entry-level gallery. The series of five lectures, scheduled from March 8 to April 13, will be held at the center and at CUA. (For lecture details, see listing below.) The talks and the exhibit are free and open to the public.
The events coincide with the Lenten season, which culminates with the celebration of Easter Sunday on March 27. The lectures will expand the theme of a fall 2003 lecture series at CUA that explored faith and the formation of intellect. The current lecture series explores truth and the imagination, as expressed in painting, sculpture, music and literature.
As part of his March 31 lecture, Monsignor Robert Sokolowski, CUA’s Elizabeth Breckenridge Caldwell Professor of Philosophy, says he will discuss portraiture as “a presentation of a whole life in its significant, articulated parts.” His talk is titled “Art and the Christian Intelligence.”
“If the portrait is serious and successful, if it is poetic and not a mere likeness, the person depicted in it will look out at us and declare, ‘This is what I have done and what, consequently, I am. This is what I have done with the chance I was given,’ ” says Monsignor Sokolowski.
The installation of the exhibit at the Pope John Paul II Cultural Center is the first of several stops on a national tour, which also includes a Denver location to be determined by the Archdiocese of Denver; Mary Queen of the Universe Shrine in Orlando, Fla.; and several other places around the country.
The Foundation for Sacred Arts, based in Baltimore, was established in 2002 to stimulate a new movement in the art world by promoting contemporary sacred works, inspiring their creation, and making them available to as wide an audience as possible. The foundation seeks to counteract trends in art that devalue truth and beauty as well as religious belief, says James Flood, executive director of the foundation.
The works displayed in the exhibit reflect the words of Pope John Paul II in his 1999 “Letter of His Holiness Pope John Paul II to Artists.” In his letter, the pope wrote, “Art has a unique capacity to take one or other facet of [God’s] message and translate it into colours, shapes and sounds which nourish the intuition of those who look or listen . . . without emptying the message itself of its transcendent value and its aura of mystery.”
All lectures start at 7 p.m. For more information about the events, call 202-319-5114.
Armstrong, sculptor and board member of the Foundation for Sacred Arts,
“Images of Christ through History from the Catacombs to the Present Day,”
Nora Heimann, CUA associate professor of art, “Joan of Arc:
A Saint for a Secular Age,”
Robert Sokolowski, CUA’s
Elizabeth Breckenridge Caldwell Professor of Philosophy, “Art and Christian
Giles Dimock, O.P., S.T.D., professor of liturgy
and sacraments at the Dominican House of Studies, “Art and the Liturgy,”
Michael Mack, CUA
associate professor of English, “Seeing Man: The Sacred and the Secular in Holbein’s ‘The Ambassadors,’ ”
Media: To cover the event, contact Katie Lee in the CUA Office of Public Affairs at 202-319-5600.
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