november 2018

18nov2:00 pm3:30 pmConversation Pieces: “Art, Power, and Spirituality”


Event Details

Conversation Pieces: “Art, Power, and Spirituality”
2-3:30 p.m.

Our Conversation Pieces series brings together professionals from across disciplines to discuss art, academia, and contemporary life. These panelists are presented with works of art and themes from special exhibitions and asked to discuss the relevance and impact these things have on the world around us, opening up dialogue about art, practice, and its impact in a broader academic and contemporary context. 

Spirituality is both personal and universal. At the same time, it shares a complex relationship with history, power, and art. Each of these themes is present in the exhibition Power and Piety as well as in the work of Angel Suarez-Rosado. In this panel, each of our presenters will delve into these intricate themes in relation to their own careers and studies. Each will give short 15-minute lectures, followed by an open dialogue between the panelists and the audience, in which everyone will explore the crossroads of art, power, and spirituality.



Bridget Kelso Anthony is a graduate of Union Theological Seminary (class of 2015). While at Union, Bridget served as the student-life assistant and as a chaplain intern at New York Hospital–Queens. Her focus while at Union was on theology and the arts, and preaching and worship. In addition to her ministerial call, she is an actor and playwright and has a BA in theatre from Marymount College and an MA from New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study in Playwriting and Performance. Her art and ministry explore the ways that spirituality, the arts, and social justice intersect. She feels especially called to minister to black women, and to be an ally of the LGBTQIA community.


Nicolás Dumit Estévez Raful treads an elusive path that manifests itself performatively or through experiences where the quotidian and art overlap. Concurrently, this path has been informed by a strong personal interest in immigration, cultural hybridization, and Estévez Raful’s understanding of identity as a process always in flux. He hence approaches the concepts of home and belonging to the U.S. American context from the perspective of a Lebanese-Dominican, Dominican York who was recently baptized as a Bronxite: a citizen of the Bronx. He has exhibited and performed extensively in the United States as well as internationally. Residencies attended include P.S. 1/MoMA, Yaddo, and the MacDowell Colony. Estévez Raful holds an MFA from Tyler School of Art, Temple University, Philadelphia, where he studied with Coco Fusco; and an MA from Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York. He has curated exhibitions and programs for El Museo del Barrio; the Institute for Art, Religion and Social Justice at Union Theological Seminary; Art in Odd Places; Cuchifritos; the Center for Book Arts; Longwood Art Gallery/Bronx Council on the Arts, New York; and for the Filmoteca de Andalucía, Córdoba, Spain. He is currently curating As Far as the Heart Can See, an exhibition that celebrates the 10th anniversary of the Elizabeth Foundation Project Space in New York. Publications include Pleased to Meet You, Life as Material for Art and Vice Versa (editor), One Person at a Time, and For Art’s Sake. Born in Santiago de los Treinta Caballeros, Dominican Republic, Estévez Raful lives and works in the Bronx.


Laura James has been working as a professional artist and illustrator for more than 20 years. In addition to painting sacred images from various religions, she portrays women, families, and scenes of everyday life, blending intricate patterns, text, vibrant colors, and sometimes surreal imagery into what she calls “art for the people.” Laura is best known for her illustrations in The Book of the Gospels lectionary published in 2000 by Liturgy Training Publications, Chicago. An award-winning edition of the four gospels, it includes 34 paintings rendered in the Ethiopian Christian Art style, which over the years Ms. James has made her own. The book is used worldwide by numerous Christian denominations and her religious art is at the forefront of the movement toward a more inclusive representation of Biblical figures. Ms. James has recently expanded her repertoire to include sacred images from other traditions including Buddhism, Yoruba, ancient Egyptian themes and Islam.


(Sunday) 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm

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