Vocation & The Artist of Faith

by Daniel Siedell, Rachel Smith, Roger Feldman

From On the Strange Place of Religion in Contemporary Art

A panel moderated by Jonathan A. Anderson discusses how art and religion interact within vocational Christian art.

Rachel Hostetter Smith is Gilkison Professor in Art History at Taylor University in Indiana where she served as chair of the art department for many years. Before coming to Taylor in 1998 she was on the graduate faculty of the School of Comparative Arts at Ohio University. She earned her doctorate from Indiana University with specializations in Italian Renaissance, Medieval, and Asian art. She worked as a graphic designer and in book publishing early in her career and has curated several exhibitions, including East Meets West: Asian Art in Michigan Collections. Smith currently serves on the Board of Directors of Christians in the Visual Arts (CIVA) and is chair of the publications board, which oversees the journal SEEN.??Growing up in Pakistan, Mexico, and the United States, she has continued to work abroad on a regular basis. She has taught courses in Italy and Vancouver, Canada and has been a visiting scholar at the American Academy in Rome. In 1998 she received the Best Article of the Year Award from the journal Explorations in Renaissance Culture. She writes on a wide range of topics in the arts including historical and contemporary subjects in the visual arts, architecture, literature and film. Her work has been published in books and journals including Explorations in Renaissance Culture, Renaissance Quarterly, Sixteenth Century Studies Journal, Christian Scholar’s Review, SEEN, Arts, and Mars Hill Review.

Daniel Siedell, formerly the the Director of Whale & Star, the Miami-based studio of artist Enrique Martínez Celaya, has taught modern and contemporary art history, theory, and criticism at the University of Nebraska-Omaha. Daniel was also Chief Curator of the Sheldon Museum of Art at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for eleven years. His art historical research interests are the work of Enrique Martínez Celaya, Abstract Expressionism, and theology and the nature of belief in contemporary art. Siedell's work as an art historian, critic, and curator operates at the intersection of art history, cultural criticism, theology, and philosophy. He is motivated by the conviction that Christian thought and practice, as it is embodied in the seven ecumenical councils, can nourish a deeper and more expansive understanding of contemporary artistic practice. He is a Fellow at the Center for the Theology of Cultural Engagement in Portland, Oregon.

Roger Feldman earned his M.F.A. Degree from Claremont Graduate University in 1977. From 1978-89 Feldman worked as a graphic designer in the Seattle area and continued to exhibit as an installation artist. In 1986 he was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts Individual Artist’s Fellowship. Feldman’s installations were being shown internationally while he was a professor at Biola University (1989-2000). Feldman continues to exhibit nationally & internationally. Feldman’s work is listed in Marquis Who’s Who in American Art, Who’s Who in America, & Who’s Who in the World. He is currently the Chair of the Art Department at Seattle Pacific University in Seattle, Washington.


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