By Hannah Deane ’20
Christians in the Visual Arts (CIVA), curated by Michelle Arnold Paine, brought their exhibit, “Faces of Mercy,” to the Gordon College campus. The exhibit focuses on modern art in Christianity.
“One of the things all of these artists have in common also is that they’re all committed to contemporary art, they’re not trying to revive some past religious art. In fact, I don’t think anyone in this room would call themselves ‘a Christian artist’ or a maker of Christian art ” said Bruce Herman, Lothlórien Distinguished Chair in Fine Arts/Gallery Director.
“They would call themselves Christians and they’re artists” he continued.
The exhibit features pieces that directly display faith such as, “Christ Comforts the Cripple” by Edward Knippers. It also features pieces that are a little more abstract, such as, “Pardon Me” by Jean Weatta.
“Faces of Mercy” focuses on not only the aspect of mercy in a sense of religion, but also mercy as a sense of humanity.
Sergio Gomez’s piece, “Bleeding Borders,” brings to life the constant struggle of immigration. Where Bryn Gillette’s piece, “Haiti- Beyond the ruins: Cathedral,” speaks of the struggles of the earthquakes that were experienced in Haiti. In each piece the want for mercy and human compassion is apparent.
“There’s an underlying feeling in CIVA that we’re not here just to make religious art” said Bruce Herman. “We’re here to make good art and we want to give it everything we’ve got.”
Herman continued, “We also care deeply about our own time. So, we are contemporary artists, practicing art out of a place of faith, out of a place of commitment to Christ. There are different variations here, [in the “Faces of Mercy” exhibit] some advertently referencing the Christian tradition, others are more indirectly.”
“Faces of Mercy” seeks to make modern art accessible to modern time and to keep the theme of compassion, whether it be in Christ or in humanity, alive.