Between the Shadow and the Light

Exhibition Out of South Africa

WhenFriday, August 21 – Wednesday, September 16, 2015
LocationEarl and Virginia Green Art Gallery
ContactJeff Rau at Ext. 4807 or

Friday | August 21 through Wednesday | Sept 16, 2015
Opening: Friday | Sept 1 | 6:00 - 9:00 PM

A new traveling exhibition, which features art created by North American and African artists following a joint trip to South Africa cosponsored by the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities, has begun a multi-year tour across the United States. The exhibition Between the Shadow and the Light presents the artist as both piercing prophet and hopeful seer, and pushes viewers to consider the resonance of South Africa for North America and beyond.

The exhibition includes 45 works in painting, sculpture, photography, collage, textile and book arts, installation, assemblage, new media and videocreated by 21 Christian artists from the United States, Canada, Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa. These works range from narrative to conceptual in a variety of styles and approaches. Together they create a vibrant visual conversation on issues relevant to us all no matter what our nationality or circumstance. The group included roughly equal numbers of women and men and blacks and whites, and ranged in age from their twenties to their sixties, bringing in a truly diverse range of perspectives to the project, said Rachel Hostetter Smith, professor of art history at Taylor University in Upland, Indiana, and curator of the exhibit. 


The artists spent two weeks together in South Africa in an intensive seminar in June of 2013, where they participated in a program designed to introduce them to the many social, economic and political complexities in the region.  “Why did we want to do this project in South Africa? There is a remarkable visual arts renaissance taking place in that land, where recent history, lively religious dynamics and contemporary social challenges make a compelling setting for Christian artistic reflection and experimentation,” said Joel Carpenter, director of the Nagel Institute for the Study of World Christianity at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and co-leader of the seminar.  The seminar, which followed a structure created by a similar seminar that took place in Indonesia in 2008, was titled “R5” (a reference to the five-rand coin commonly used in South Africa) and highlighted five critical issues often included in South African art:

Remembrance: the intertwined and contested histories of varied people groups.
Resistance: the old, vivid, and continuing tradition of prophetic artistry.
Reconciliation: persistent questions over how to justly reconcile aggrieved people.
Representation: in a post-colonial, multicultural society, who may represent whom?
Re-visioning: how does hope factor into artistic imagination?

Check out the trailer:

The Earl & Virginia Green Art Gallery is located on the campus of Biola University in La Mirada, CA.

When visiting the Earl & Virginia Green Art Gallery, please enter campus at the main Biola University entrance on Biola Avenue. Parking for gallery visitors is free but you must obtain a visitor parking pass from the attendant at the entrance to campus. They will also direct you to parking lots where visitor parking is available.

The Earl & Virginia Green Art Gallery presents a program of rotating contemporary art exhibitions on the campus of Biola University. Located in the greater Los Angeles area, the Green Art Gallery is well positioned to represent a vital Christian worldview within the critical dialogue of contemporary visual art and to produce engaging exhibitions that grapple with issues concerning the intersection of faith with art and culture. The Green Art Gallery also provides professional development opportunities for Biola art students through gallery exhibitions and internships.

The Earl & Virginia Green Art Gallery was renovated and dedicated in September 2013. The gallery is named in memory of Earl and Virginia Green—the parents of Roberta Ahmanson—whose lives exemplified faith and commitment to their family, church, and community, and who inspired their daughter’s love of the arts as a person of faith. Biola University expresses profound appreciation to Howard and Roberta Ahmanson for their continued generosity in supporting arts programming at Biola.


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