Arts+Culture

Arts+Culture

We Are the Eighth Day, © Melanie Weidner

On Art

Coptic Altar

Betty LaDuke of Ashland, Oregon, has spent decades traveling through the developing world. She has recently been painting people who have benefited from Heifer International, which donates animals to help families in poor countries become self-sufficient. Coptic Altar derives from her eight trips to Eritrea, a small country in the Horn of Africa. The painting is an aesthetic fusion of cultures, melding a Western genre with a contemporary African visual style. In the center panel Jesus, the Good Shepherd, stands at the threshold with a sheep, surrounded by admirers in various postures of prayer and reverence. In the left panel are more admirers of Christ, surrounded by angels and crosses. The right panel portrays a church leader accompanied by some of the faithful, who are sheltered by the Madonna and child, a crescent moon, saints and crosses.


—Lois Huey-Heck

Books

A review of For the Beauty of the Church

Too much writing about the arts and Christianity is apologetic, explaining why the church should be concerned about artistic expression. Within that category is a lot of writing that voices high-minded generalities about "good art" and "bad art" and about who should and should not be making art.

Film

Get Low

Directed by Aaron Schneider

Get Low is a redemption story that doesn't feel hollow or fake. That's mostly because the protagonist, a Depression-era small-town Ten­nessee recluse named Felix Bush, is played by Robert Duvall in a wildly imaginative performance that may be the finest he's ever turned in.

Books

Playtime

Anyone who has watched children play knows the spectacularly creative and subversive ways in which they can use playthings, even "safe" religious ones.

On Art

Landscapes

(dual-channel video installation)

Video installations at museums and galleries evoke fascination and unease. Often we are torn between our desire for a traditional cinematic experience and curiosity about something deliciously unfamiliar. In Landscapes, Illinois artist L. Ashwyn Collins presents overly amplified sound coupled with spare visual planes. As from a distance, we watch a solitary soul walk across one screen and return back through the other screen in unexpected close-up. The use of slow motion undermines expectation (and increases desire and anxiety). The slower the work becomes, the more viewers become aware of an interior tension. "One of the goals of my work," Collins writes, "is to unsettle the viewer's expectations and visual confidence—to make art that surprises."


—Lil Copan