Thursday, July 31, 2014

Obama Nominates First Non-Christian to Lead Religious Freedom Initiative

By Peter Montgomery
“O. C. Blue Amulet” (2009) by Yona Verwer; print 16” x 20"
S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced yesterday (Monday) that President Barack Obama is nominating the first non-Christian, Rabbi David Saperstein, to the post of ambassador for international religious freedom. Saperstein has served as head of the Religious Action Center for Reform Judaism for more than 30 years, been a member of the advisory council for the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, and teaches First Amendment and Jewish law at Georgetown Law school. In his remarks on Saperstein’s religious freedom pedigree, Kerry called him “the gold standard,” pointing to his work “across faith lines,” with “women of faith networks,” and with “American Muslim communities.” [link]

Goryeo Buddhist Paintings Are 'Resting Place' by Ven. Hyedam

"Water, Moon Gwaneum" by Ven. Hyedam. Courtesy of KyeTae Temple
KOREA---She's not one to count how many hours she spends re-creating Goryeo Buddhist paintings, because for her, it is a way of practicing Zen. But Ven. Hyedam, 63, who, for more than four decades, usually spends 16 to 18 hours a day on such paintings, thinks it comes down to some 200,000 hours. Since she was a child, Ven. Hyedam has been enraptured by Goryeo Kingdom (918-1392) Buddhist paintings. She will show her work based on the paintings at her special exhibition at the Louvre Museum in Paris, France, which will run from Dec. 9 through Dec. 15. [link]

Miniature Art Works With a Hindu Touch

By Zeenia Baria,TNN
Miniature art works with a religious touch
INDIA---Jaipur-based artist Ajay Garg is no stranger to Mumbai. Having exhibited his works in the city in the past, the talented artist is back with his latest collection of Rajasthani miniature paintings. The works, done in a traditional miniature style, feature Lord Ganesha, Krishna, Shrinathji and other religious figures. A miniature art work can at times be as small as just four to five inches and is filled with a plethora of details. Recent works by Ajay Garg can be viewed at Jehangir Art Gallery, AC - III, 161-B, M G Road, Kala Ghoda, from August 4 to 10, 11 am to 7 pm.  [link]

Roman Convent’s Profane Frescoes Restored

By Sarah Cascone
The profane frescoes at the Santi Quattro Coronati, Rome. Photo: courtesy the Santi Quattro Coronati.
ITALY---For the first time ever, the public will have the opportunity to view the profane medieval frescoes of Rome’s Santi Quattro Coronate basilica, rediscovered during the course of a decade-long conservation project that started in 1996, reports the Art Newspaper. The Santi Quattro Coronate paintings, which date to the 13th century, are significant as the country’s most important cycle of profane medieval frescoes. It’s no “Nikasitimos was here mounting Timiona,” as reads the world’s oldest erotic graffiti (recently reported by artnet News), but the subject matter is still pretty daring for a group of medieval nuns. [link]

Bold Color, Pop Culture and Religious Ecstasy: the Art of Corita Kent at MOCA Cleveland

By Steven Litt
OHIO---The Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland prides itself on being an up-to-the-minute kind place that serves as Northeast Ohio's window on the latest doings in the art world. This summer, however, it's taking a vacation from its typical role with a retrospective glance at the colorful, ecstatic and faith-infused art of Sister Mary Corita, whose career peaked in the 1960s and '70s when she taught at a Catholic college in Los Angeles and then broke away to become an independent artist.[link]

The Most and Least Bible-Minded Cities in the U.S. in 2014


Jan. 23, 2014 – The social, economic and political values of any given city compose a richly distinct cultural climate—but what about the spiritual values? How does one city differ in spiritual profile to the next? Barna Group’s latest Barna:Cities study, conducted annually in partnership with the American Bible Society, examines a combination of regular Bible reading with belief in the Bible’s accuracy across the top 100 metropolitan areas in the United States. The result reveals a geographical portrait of the most and least Bible-minded U.S. cities. Yet even in one year, the spiritual climate has notably shifted, as evident by comparing to last year’s study. [link]

Katie Longmyer Connects Young Artists to Corporate Types

By Jennifer Miller

NEW YORK---On a chilly night not long ago, Katie Longmyer sat behind the D.J. in the Living Room Bar at the W New York Downtown hotel and surveyed her creation: fashion-industry denizens, purveyors of high art and Lower East Side hipsters, all dancing with gleeful abandon. That’s tricky. She calls herself a “business artist,” a title she made up. As she explains it, companies are eager to harness the “authenticity” of young artists, but they lack access to those subcultures. Artists, meanwhile, want a platform for their work, but they don’t want to be co-opted or accused of selling out. [link]