A STRANGE PLACE STILL? RELIGION IN CONTEMPORARY ART
A Symposium of the Association of Scholars of Christianity in the History of Art (ASCHA)
Rachel Smith | President
Dr. Rachel Hostetter Smith holds the Gilkison Chair in Art History at Taylor University. She worked in book publishing for many years and was a member of the graduate faculty of the School of Comparative Arts at Ohio University prior to joining the faculty of Taylor University. She has been a Visiting Scholar at the American Academy in Rome on two occasions, a participant in NEH Summer Seminars on Medieval Art in Paris and York, and has taught in Orvieto, Italy and in Vancouver, British Columbia.
The recipient of the Best Article of the Year Award from the journal Explorations in Renaissance Culture, Dr. Smith publishes on a wide range of topics in the arts including art, architecture, literature and film. Currently she is serving as project director and curator of Charis: Boundary Crossings—Neighbors Strangers Family Friends, an international traveling exhibition of work by fourteen Asian and North American artists based upon a joint seminar held in Indonesia in 2008. Smith is now developing a follow-up project with the Nagel Institute of Calvin College with China or South Africa as potential venues. Smith is the 2009-2010 recipient of the Franklin W. and Joan M. Forman Distinguished Faculty Scholar Award.
James Romaine | Vice President
Dr. James Romaine serves as a professor at Lander University in Greewood, SC. He has an undergraduate degree from Wheaton College, an MA in art history from the University of South Carolina (thesis: A Modern Devotion: The Faith and Art of Vincent van Gogh), and a PhD in art history from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (dissertation: Constructing a Beloved Community: The Methodological Development of Tim Rollins and K.O.S.).
Dr. Romaine is a frequent lecturer on faith and the visual arts. His books include Objects of Grace: Conversations on Creativity and Faith. He has authored numerous articles in the Art Journal of the College Art Association, American Arts Quarterly, Books and Culture, Christian History & Biography, Image: A Journal of the Arts and Religion, and The Princeton Theological Review. He has contributed to several multi-author books including The Lion Companion to Christian Art and Tim Rollins and K.O.S.: A History published by MIT Press. His current projects include Tim Rollins and K.O.S.: The Three Dimensions of a Complete Artist, and You Will See Greater Things Than These: Essays on Art as Spiritual Perception in Honor of E. John Walford.
Ronald R. Bernier | Secretary
Dr. Ronald R. Bernier, is an Assistant Professor in the Dept. of Humanities and Social Sciences at Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston. He recently received a master's degree in Theology and Religious Studies from the University of Scranton, Scranton, PA, and holds an MBA from the Whittemore School of Business and Economics, University of New Hampshire's Executive Program. He also earned a Ph.D. and a MA in Art History & Theory from Essex University, England and earned a BA in Art History from Vassar College.
Dr. Bernier is the author of numerous exhibition catalogues and scholarly essays, including, "The Economy of Salvation: Narrative and Liminality in Rembrandt's Death of the Virgin (Religion and the Arts, 2005), the book Monument, Moment, and Memory: Monet's Cathedral in Fin-de-Siècle France (Bucknell University Press, 2007) and author/editor of Beyond Belief: Theoaesthetics or Just Old-Time Religion? a collection of essays on Religion and Contemporary Art, released by Wipf & Stock Press in June 2010. From 2001-2008 he was the director of the Sordoni Art Gallery at Wilkes University, PA, where he also served as Adjunct Faculty, in Art History, Department of Visual and Performing Arts.
Linda Stratford Treasurer
Dr. Linda Stratford received her Ph.D. from the State University of New York, Stony Brook with emphasis on Art and Society. She writes on identity politics in late French modernism and is currently completing a manuscript exploring the French art world in the post World War II period. Artists into Frenchmen: The Quarrel over Expressionist Abstraction in France, explores the aesthetic call to order in the postwar era. The manuscript stems from her research in art and national identity in modern France and a research fellowship awarded by the Hans Hartung Foundation, Antibes, France.
As a historian of art and society Dr. Stratford's interests include the means by which artistic initiatives come to be viewed as belonging, or not belonging within the framework of a community. The dynamics of inclusion and exclusion have led her to question contemporary understanding of art as secular and to a large extent autonomous from religious purposes and understanding. At Asbury University she was appointed Lilly Scholar in 2005, supporting her secondary interest in art and theology with emphasis on the vocation of the artist.
Anderson is an artist, art critic, and associate professor of art at Biola University. His research and writing focuses on modern and contemporary art, with a particular interest in exploring its relations to religious and theological studies. He is the coauthor with theologian William Dyrness of the book Modern Art and the Life of a Culture: The Religious Impulses of Modernism (IVP Academic, 2016), which received the 2017 Book of the Year Award of Merit in Culture & the Arts from Christianity Today and was named one of the Top Ten books of 2016 by Image journal. Anderson's scholarly essays include "The (In)visibility of Theology in Contemporary Art Criticism" (Christian Scholarship in the Twenty-First Century, Eerdmans, 2014), and he has contributed to several other books and journals, including Religion and the Arts, ARTS, Christian Scholars Review, and Themelios.
Ned Bustard is an author, illustrator, and printmaker, and the owner of a graphic design company called World's End Images. He is also the creative director for Square Halo Books, director of the Square Halo Gallery, and staff designer with Christians in the Visual Arts (CIVA). Some of his books include It Was Good: Making Art to the Glory of God (editor), Squalls Before War: His Majesty's Schooner Sultana, and The Church History ABCs. His most recent project was an art history curriculum for children called History of Art: Creation to Contemporary.
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