Episcopal Church & Visual Arts

Encouraging visual arts in the life of the Episcopal Church

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ECVA is a community of artists, arts supporters, art historians and theologians acting in support of our common life in the Episcopal Church. It encourages local artists and visual arts communities, assists churches in integrating the visual arts into their worship space and liturgy, develops forums to explore the theology of visual art, and creates a heightened awareness of the spiritual role of the visual arts in an individual's life and in the life of the church.

Friday, June 01, 2007

We Have Moved

Remarques has moved to a new address which is

Join us at this new spot where you will find ECVA Sketchbook, a new project which invites you to participate and share your art.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Call: Stations of the Cross

The Episcopal Church of the Redeemer in Kenmore, Washington, invites you to submit two-dimensional artwork expressing the theme of "Stations of The Cross" for a group exhibition in the nave of the church from April 1 - May 25. Artists may submit work depicting a particular one of the 15 stations, or expressing the theme of the Stations of the Cross as a whole. Deadline for submissions is March 12th. For details, please visit

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Unto Us A Child Is Born Exhibition Online

The Advent/Christmas exhibition for ECVA, Unto Us A Child Is Born, is now online. Curated by photographer, The Rev. Wilfredo Benitez-Rivera, the exhibition is a collection of images inspired by the incarnation.

Filled with a wide range of expressions of the holy mother and child's power, joy and vulnerability, this exhibition is as rich in color and expression as those of us in the Episcopal Church have grown accustomed to for the Advent/Christmas exhibition. Fr. Wilfredo describes the content:

"Looking at these works, taking them in with a contemplative eye and heart, one begins to cross the boundary between this world and the world of spirit. It is from this world of spirit and devotion that these works of art originate. There is no limit to the styles or media presented here: there are paintings, drawings, woodblocks, photographs, sculptures, vestments, etc. Yet all reflect the creative imagination of souls seeking and embracing the mystery of God coming to dwell in our midst, Emmanuel!"

Fr. Wilfredo likens the diversity of artistic expression found in this exhibition to the divergent views held by church members on many issues, yet all celebrating God's descent into the world as one of us. These differing interpretations of the grace we all received by the birth of Christ is a timely and refreshing reminder that it is "time to rejoice, for soon the light of the world will be upon us. Rejoice, Rejoice!!!"

Yes, it is time to rejoice over what unites.

Jan Neal
ECVA Program Director

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Art at the Cathedral

Art-at-the-Cathedral, a Collaboration by Christ Church Cathedral Choirs and Gallery in Lexington, Kentucky, invites you to create works of art in response to the texts and/or music selected from four centuries. You may respond to a musical text, the music, or to art from those eras. The selected visual interpretations will form a collaborative exhibit. Digital images should be emailed by February 1st. No commission is charged for sales, but a donation in the amount of 20% is requested for Art-at-the-Cathedral. The exhibit will be held February 9-11, with a performance and open gallery on February 11 and gallery hop February 16. For more information contact Jesse Mark at or 223-2602. A prospectus can be found at this link:

Thursday, November 16, 2006

"Visual Preludes" Videos Now Online

The Episcopal Church and Visual Arts (ECVA) has launched a
new online multimedia feature, "Visual Preludes 2006: The Videos."
These videos offer a multimedia experience based on the Visual Preludes
presented during daily Eucharist services at the 75th General
Convention of the Episcopal Church in Columbus, Ohio, June 13-21, 2006.
They are available for viewing over the Internet at

Nine separate videos, geared to Convention's daily worship themes,
combine visual images and music to create an atmosphere for meditation
and reflection. The Preludes are suitable for private viewing, group
meditation and liturgical settings.

During each day's Service of Holy Eucharist at Convention, the videos
were projected onto large screens erected near the altar. Images flowed
continuously during Communion and before and after the service, with a
single image onscreen during the Liturgies of the Word and Eucharist.
Live music accompanied the videos at their presentation in Columbus.
Online at the ECVA web site (, the images blend with
music from ten different contributors.

The Preludes are the product of artists and musicians within the
Episcopal community who have donated the use of their work. The 123
visual artists range in age from 15 to 96; as a community their
heritage spans black, white, Hispanic, Native American, and Asian
roots. They reside in 55 dioceses across 38 states. Their images
include painting, sculpture, photography, stained glass, fabric arts,
jewelry, printmaking, and mixed media. Their expression ranges from
medieval icons - some with non-traditional subjects gleaned from
natural science and contemporary society - through the Stations of the
Cross expressed in digitally manipulated images from current news. The
ten musicians' offerings range from chant to cello to didgeridoo, an
aboriginal wooden flute often described as the oldest musical
instrument on earth.

The Visual Preludes 2006 exhibition series was created by a national
team of three curators, a music consultant, a video director, and a
producer, all in partnership with the Executive Offices of the General
Convention of the Episcopal Church. Their original purpose was to
create an atmosphere for worship at General Convention.

The mission of ECVA is to encourage artists, individuals,
congregations, and scholars to engage the visual arts in the spiritual
life of the church. ECVA values the significance of visual imagery in
spiritual formation and the development of faith, and creates programs
to support those who are engaged in using the visual arts in spiritual
life. For more information, visit

For additional information contact:

Brie Dodson
Director of Communications, The Episcopal Church & Visual Arts
(703) 786-6668

Mel Ahlborn
Producer, The Episcopal Church & Visual Arts

Dan Hardison
Editor, The Episcopal Church & Visual Arts
(910) 815-6661

Monday, October 09, 2006

ECVA launches Visio Divina Exhibition

Visio Divina : Concept & Practice

The 'Visio Divina : Concept & Practice' exhibition at showcases
seven Episcopal communities across the United States where the visual arts
nurture people¹s spiritual lives:

- Christ Church Cathedral in St Louis
- The Shrinemont Center in the Diocese of Virginia
- Grace Episcopal Church in Lexington North Carolina
- The Philadelphia Cathedral
- Trinity Church Copley Square in the City of Boston
- St Paul¹s Episcopal Church in Macon Georgia
- St Mary the Virgin Times Square, NYC

³The Holy Spirit speaks many languages, among them the language of art in
all its forms.² With these words, Frank Tracy Griswold, 26th Presiding
Bishop and Primate of the Episcopal Church opens our understanding of what
the role of art in a life of faith might be, and what it might become.

Visio Divina has its roots in the classical method of contemplative reading
known as ŒLectio Divina¹. With its gentle pace, and quiet setting, the
practice of Lectio Divina opens scripture up for us, in such a way that we
might come into its very heart.

The Art and Soul Café at Christ Church Cathedral in St Louis uses visual
arts, music, poetry and dance to dissolve old barriers that have often
divided people of different faiths.

The Art and Soul Retreat at the Shrinemont Center in the Diocese of Virginia
nurtures the creative life through the visual arts in an annual week-long
retreat centered on worship and community.

The Artist-in-Residence program at the Philadelphia Cathedral brings
contemporary artists into the cathedral community, stretching the believer's
horizons, and challenging the faith community to think in new ways about old
truths and familiar stories.

The Faith and the Arts Committee of Grace Episcopal Church in Lexington
North Carolina involves artists, performers and musicians from other
churches in their community. There they are finding that as collaboration
with other congregations grows, so too does the experience of ecumenical

Faith on Tap at Trinity Church in the City of Boston is an ongoing program
that exposes young adults to important life topics, and provides in its
speakers concrete examples and testimonies to the translation of Christian
faith into Christian action.² In Spring 2006, awarding artist Bradford
Johnson was their featured speaker.

The Friends of Music and the Arts at St Paul¹s Episcopal Church in Macon
Georgia supports a host of programs, including the Midsummer Macon Summer
Arts Camp.

St Mary the Virgin Times Square has a Visual Arts Committee that sponsors
regular exhibitions and lectures in the parish hall, where guests of the
parish often find something to chat about, and a reason to linger.

The Episcopal Church and Visual Arts Visio Divina program is designed to
explore and identify the possibilities of spiritual formation as it is
revealed through the visual arts. And, to assist others in developing Visio
Divina programs by sharing program models and resources. A companion
exhibition offers in-depth documentation of the arts and spirituality
programs in 5 Episcopal parishes in the Diocese of Philadelphia, on view at

Contact: Mel Ahlborn, 925-631-1387,

Friday, August 18, 2006

Homeless Awareness Arts Contest

In the months leading up to Samaritan Ministry of Greater Washington's 20th Anniversary, and the advent of our third decade, we've let our imaginations run wild thinking about the future; so now let your imagination run wild! Samaritan Ministry of Greater Washington is sponsoring a Homeless Awareness Arts Contest! Twenty-one winners will receive cash prizes and special recognition during a special 20th Anniversary display and program at the Washington National Cathedral on October 14, 2006. There are no religious requirements for participation. Just like the work of Samaritan Ministry, art and poetry have the power to inspire feelings of hope, fulfillment and happiness. We're searching for artwork and poetry that are unique, original and capture the essence of the Samaritan Ministry's mission and the biblical story of the Good Samaritan. We are looking for art and poetry that says even in the most difficult of circumstances, there are people and places of hope. Work will be accepted in drawing, painting, sculpture, media/digital/computer arts, photography, mixed media, and Written Word. Entries must be submitted by 4:00 pm on September 22, 2006. Youths ages 8-25 are eligible to submit artwork. For contest guidelines and entry form, visit the Samaritan Ministry website at or call Chuck James at 202-722-2280.

Jan Neal