THE STUDIO FOR ART, FAITH & HISTORY IS A PUBLIC EXTENSION OF GORDON COLLEGE'S ARTS-ORIENTED SEMESTER PROGRAM IN ORVIETO.
The Studio for Art, Faith & History promotes activities that re-connect the three terms of its name:
- Re-connecting Faith with History, by creatively adapting the practices and disciplines of the historic church to 21st century faith and community life;
- Re-connecting Art with Faith, by exploring the role of the arts in theological reflection, spiritual formation, and catechesis as well as in liturgy and private devotion;
- Re-connecting Art with History, by engaging contemporary artists not only with the themes and narratives of historic Christian tradition but with the media and modes of production used to create the rich heritage of sacred art and drama readily experienced in the Studio's base in Orvieto.
The Studio is especially interested in promoting projects in the visual and performing arts that place the work of art back into the fabric of a local community's life and identity.
Recent activities of the Studio:
- An on-going series of plays that revivify the local tradition of medieval religious drama, both by recasting existing plays (La Discesa agli Inferi [The Harrowing of Hell], June 2016; L'Albero della Vita [The Tree of LIfe], January 2017), and by creating new plays in the same tradition (Balaam & L'Asina [Balaam and the Talking Donkey], June 2017.
- An on-going series of new plays that operate in the "sacre rappresentazione" tradition, such as Giobbe, an Italian translation of the contemporary French writer Fabrice Hadjadj's Job (January 2016), and Le Porte Regali, a drama created by Andrea Brugnera on the life of the 20th-century Russian Orthodox priest, mystic, mathematician, martyr, Pavel Florensky (January 2018).
- A production in an Orvieto palazzo of Claudio Monteverdi’s Renaissance opera Orfeo, with professional musicians from New York City and Orvieto, in association with the Compagnia de’ Colombari theater company (June 2014).
- Annual summer programs for students and teachers from classical-Christian academies, developed with Dr. Christopher Perrin of the Society for Classical Learning and Classical Academic Press, exploring Tertullian’s question “What has Athens to do with Jerusalem?” via the art and literature close to home in Orvieto (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018) .
- A graduate-level summer seminar in Theology and the Arts developed with the Institute for Christian Studies in Toronto and its professor of art history and aesthetics, Dr. Rebekah Smick (2015, 2017, 2018).
- A winter seminar that opens Gordon College’s Jerusalem & Athens Honors Program to a wider circle of students, alumni and adult learners, exploring themes such as the Virtues and Vices in medieval-Renaissance philosophy, theology, literature and art; What Is the Good Life? as understood in classical and medieval-Renaissance thought; Music and the harmony of the cosmos, the polis, and the soul in classical and medieval-Renaissance thought (January 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018)
- Regular winter programs developed with Cameron Anderson, executive director of Christians in the Visual Arts, on topics such as “Who made the Art Work?” in medieval-Renaissance Italy compared with nowadays; and Rethinking the role of gallerists, curators, and collectors in fostering community engagement in the arts.
- Regular pilgrimage-retreats using the great Umbrian saints and mystics from Benedict to Francis to explore themes of spiritual formation, in partnership with Rev. Dr. Susan Skillen (Canon for Spiritual Formation in the Anglican Diocese of New England), (June 2015, January 2016, June 2017).
For additional information regarding past events, conferences, exhibitions and performances please visit http://www.gordon.edu/safh.