Would you give us an overview of the most recent exhibit in the Still Point Gallery, and reflect on why you found it important to include?


(Ivy Tyson) #1

Hi Jill,

Thanks so much for joining us! Would you be willing to give us an overview of the most recent exhibit in the Still Point Gallery, and maybe reflect on why you found it important to include?

(Jill Carattini) #2

Hi Ivy!

YES. Thanks for this question. For those who might not be familiar with this new initiative with RZIM, Still Point is a our new and vibrant, formal art gallery housed within the headquarters of RZIM, with the hope of supporting local and international artists. You can read and see more at stillpointarts.org. The arts have always been one of the five areas of focus for RZIM because we see this arena as an area of cultural influence. Ravi has certainly always been an amazing storyteller, evangelizing in ways that captivate imaginations for Christ. Still Point is one more means of inhabiting this spirit. Our hope is to offer exhibits that offer exceptional art that would bring in even the most stringent art critic, while holding an international, thoughtful quality that encourages discussion and fosters community. We will have four exhibits a year, which will vary in scope and form, from exhibits of import in terms of art history to theology, featuring international artists and exhibits to local artists, all the while hoping to pair and expand the work that is already happening in the building with the Zacharias Institute and Wellspring International.

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So this is the backdrop in terms of overall vision, and our current exhibit, which will be on display at Still Point until August 18, fits beautifully within these themes. It is called “Between the Shadow and the Light: An Exhibition Out of South Africa.” This collaborative exhibit includes the work of 21 professional artists and educators who were chosen to be a part of a two week seminar in South Africa in 2014 to study the history of South Africa, its social wounds, its ongoing works of reconciliation, and the unique ways in which art and artists have engaged this history and contemporary reality. The resulting exhibit hastens the way artists walk “between the shadow and the light,” encouraging its viewers to wrestle with far more than art as beautiful or a mere means of preference, but a moral force that raises questions, invokes powerful memory, tells the stories of others, creates space for healing, and suggests the possibility of hope, reconciliation, and renewal. In many ways this exhibit offers a challenge to American sensibilities that suggest art as a mere means of preference or beauty in the eye of the beholder. This exhibit cries out for narration, for stories to be told and remembered, for discussion and for community. For all of these reasons, I am thrilled to have hosted this exhibit. It was a beautiful, powerful starting point for a conversation on race, art, and the hope of reconciliation, a gentle means of engaging a conversation as relevant to South Africa as our own neighborhoods.

thumbnail imageKeith Barker, The Queens of Soweto, photograph, 2014. This photograph was taken outside a church riddled with bullets and scars from the worn-torn history of Apartheid. A sculpture of Jesus inside the church is missing its hands, lost in a bombing raid. And yet, the artist was captivated by these woman who did not bear these scars of anger and bitterness, but whose hands reflected grace and hospitality despite the history they carry in their memory.
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Phumlani Mtabe, The Hole Truth, cardboard and wire, 2014. This work by South African artist Phumlani Mtabe remembers an event that took place on 16 June 1976 when school children rose up in peaceful protest of the requirement that they be taught in Afrikaans instead of their own languages. Something went awry and many children were killed by police. Yet this event became a wake up call for many and is seen as a turning point in the struggle against apartheid.

Still Point had a reception open to the public last Friday and once again (this was our second public reception) we found ourselves hosting people who had never heard of RZIM, who were Jewish or Muslim or altogether uninterested in religion, but were willing to step foot into a Christian ministry because of our engagement with the arts in excellence and a meaningful topic. In short, Still Point and this exhibit in particular are hopefully offering powerful ways to start the conversation with people who might not otherwise find themselves at an RZIM open forum or a university Q and A or a church event. And on the other side, I am thrilled to be able to pour into artists of excellence, both Christian and otherwise, who are influencing culture in their life and work. Jesus is good news to all and we are so grateful for this opportunity to love others in his beautiful, powerful name.

Thank you for your prayers in this new venture for RZIM!

(Kay Kalra) #3