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Art: PBS Series, “Art in the 21st Century”

How does contemporary art address the idea of spirituality? In the first season of the PBS series, "Art in the 21st Century," one program was dedicated to exploring this question through the work of five contemporary artists:

  • Beryl Korot harnesses the power of modern technology to create a space for reflection and intimacy.
  • Ann Hamilton, an experimental and tactile artist, explores the creation of art using bubbles.
  • John Feodorov seeks to blend his Native American heritage and humor.
  • Shahzia Sikander's paintings explore the balance between Islam and life in America.
  • James Turrell has devoted his life to capturing the ethereal properties of light and its powers to evoke transcendence and the sublime.

This series is now available on DVD and VHS, but the web site itself provides a wealth of photo galleries and video clips and is definitely worth exploring. There is also a companion book to the series:

In it, Lynn M. Herbert writes, "The realm of the spiritual is… a place where we are encouraged to explore the unknown."
Art itself remains relatively unexplored in Adventist circles–or so it would seem to me. Do you agree? Where is art in Adventism? How might we explore the spiritual in visual arts? And how might the creation and appreciation of art enrich the spiritual experience? Who is God as Creator and Artist? These are some of the questions I'm interested in exploring in the art-related posts on this blog.

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