Chris Anderson (keynote)


Art Overcome by Grace: New Hope for the Good, the True, and the Beautiful Community


New York visual artist Chris Anderson, who has worked extensively in creative and leadership capacities in numerous arts communities here and abroad, attempts to reinvigorate our vision for genuine community at a time when for many the term has lost its significance. Anderson's paintings explore the concept of home and neighborhood within a changing rural, suburban, and urban landscape. She concludes that we are inveterate nesters and escapists, concurrently building and avoiding a place of permanence in life. Community, like home, is often a place within which one seeks to find sanctuary and from which one equally hopes to escape. Increasing problems of physical and spiritual homelessness, social displacement, and domestic alienation—not to mention the proliferation of building without architecture, development without environmental planning, and the thinning of our natural reserves and rural cultural fabric—have complicated our attempts to build genuine and lasting communal relationships. Anderson offers hope for the formation of true community, drawing from her painting installations, "Family Stories," based on three generations of a family life to Josef Alber's seminal work, The Interaction of Color; from Ernst Käsemann's concept of "corporeality in the mode of belongingness and participation" to Dorothy Martyn's "corporate nature of the invasive power of God's grace"; and from the communal studio experiment, "Till We Have Faces Revisited," to its success in creating one of this generation's most exciting collaborative works of public art.


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