Friday, March 6, 2015

Mom crowdfunds online for her son's tuition fees by offering his art

By Henri Neuendorf

PENNSYLVANNIA---When a Pennsylvania art student learned that he owed $7,000 for his tuition fees, he shrewdly used his artistic talent to raise the money to pay back the debt. When Noah's mother eventually found out about his plan to leave school and work at a grocery store until he could repay his debt, she launched a fundraising campaign titled Will Paint for Tuition, which invited internet users to donate money in return for an original artwork by Noah. The young artist set his prices between $25 for a sketch or caricature, to $1,000 for commissioned works. Within two weeks Noah raised $8,110, surpassing his $7,000 goal. [link]

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Resurrection of sacred space: developer creates an inspired home in a former church

By Carolyn Ireland
CANADA---It’s the rare Toronto citizen who can survey the changing cityscape from the vantage point of his own bell tower. But developer J.F. (Joe) Brennan has long had an affinity for turning unconventional buildings into monumental living spaces. His own home is the most palatial of the four freehold townhouses he created out of the Romanesque Revival building that originally served the worshippers of College Street Baptist Church. [link]

My pastor is one of those fighting Indiana's 'religious freedom' bill

By Stephanie Wang
Pastor Melody Merida of LifeJourney Church speaks at vigil for those who oppose the new bill. Her wife Kristin Herrman stands beside her holding their son Brody, age 4. Photo Charlie Nye, The Star
INDIANA---For a Southern Baptist pastor bound to his Bible, the legal protections around religious freedom do not go far enough. Without further safeguarding, he fears he could be forced to wed a gay couple against his beliefs. For a Christian minister, further enshrinement of religion in state law could turn her son away from a hospital, prevent him from joining a T-ball team or stop her family from adopting another child — because she is married to another woman, because she wears a clergy collar or because she has a mixed-race family. Faith leaders across the state are split on Indiana's most contentious political issue this year: a proposal to strengthen "religious freedom" protections in state law. SB 101 has passed the Indiana Senate and likely will be debated in the House in the coming weeks. [link]

New magazine launched by Russian Orthodox artist association to promote contemporary Christian art

By Sophia Kishkovsky

RUSSIA---A group of Russian Orthodox artists and intellectuals has launched an arts journal in an effort to promote the role of religious art in today’s increasingly secular society. The launch of Dary, or “Gifts”, which is published in a glossy magazine format, came just before Patriarch Kirill I of the Russian Orthodox Church publicly denounced Kazimir Malevich’s Black Square, 1915 as a “black and frightening” reflection of darkness both in the soul of the artist and in society at large. The magazine is published by Artos, an association created to promote Christian contemporary culture. “Artos” is a Greek word that the Russian Orthodox Church uses to signify “communion bread”. [link]

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Kehinde Wilkey's religious paintings at the Brooklyn Museum helps show why black lives matter

By Ned Resnikoff
"Arms of Nicolas Ruterius, Bishop of Arras," 2014. Some of Wiley's recent work has been stained-glass portraits meant to evoke medieval depictions of saints.
NEW YORK---With his golden halo and gentle gaze, the man on the pedestal in the stained-glass window looks like a medieval Christian saint. But the high-top sneakers and white hoodie give it away; this is the work of the artist Kehinde Wiley. Wiley’s portraits of young black men and other people of color — rendered in oil paintings, bronze, stained glass and video — are deliberately at odds with many images common in American mass media. A new exhibition on view until May 24 at the Brooklyn Museum offers a retrospective of his work over the last decade and, for many who attend it, continues the discussion on race and justice begun by the Black Lives Matter movement. [link]

Mexican sentenced to prison for smuggling meth in frames of religious art


PENNSYLVANIA---A Mexican citizen living in Pittsburgh, has been sentenced in federal court to 60 months of incarceration and five years of supervision on his conviction of violating federal narcotics laws, according to an announcement by United States Attorney David J. Hickton. According to information presented to the court, Rojas-Perez had initially received a “test” package from Toluca, Mexico, consisting of a framed religious picture, which contained no drugs. Rojas- Perez opened the package and assured himself that the package had not been tampered with, before storing it in his residence. Approximately one week later, Rojas-Perez received two additional framed religious pictures, containing nearly one kilogram of methamphetamine hidden inside the hollowed-out frames. [link]

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Iraq reopens Baghdad museum in response to Islamic State vandalism

By Martin Bailey
The museum encompasses about 7,000 years of history - Reuters
IRAQ---In response to the destruction of antiquities in Mosul last week by Islamic State militants, the Iraqi government reopened the National Museum of Iraq in Baghdad this weekend, with Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi speaking out against the terrorist group at the ribbon cutting on 28 February. Preparations to reopen the museum—which has been closed to the general public since shortly before the 2003 US-led invasion—had been underway for many years, and the final stages of work were recently completed. Nevertheless, it is significant that the Iraqi government chose to hold a high-level ceremony for the opening. It sent a clear message to the Islamic State militants that it abhors the destruction in Mosul and is now confident of the security situation at the Baghdad Museum. [link]