Exploring Art of the Faithful

February 24, 2007


Source: Portland Press Herald


The religious influence is obvious in such works of art as Leonardo DaVinci's "The Last Supper," Michelangelo's frescoes at the Sistine Chapel or any number of the Renaissance-period pieces depicting Madonna and Child.

But outside the clear iconography of certain religious traditions, how is art influenced by faith?

A forum this month at the University of Southern Maine's Portland campus looks to explore where art and spirituality intersect and how art can be an outlet for confronting society's problems. "Making the Invisible, Visible: Spiritual Responses in the Visual Arts to Poverty and Homelessness," is part of a yearlong program at the university that looks at faith and the arts.

Members of USM's Interfaith Chaplain's Office organized the program, which will feature art from local artists, a discussion and an opportunity for people to create art.

"In this series, we hope to show that faith can be a creative resource for artistic persons," said Evan Pillsbury, an associate chaplain at USM. "Instead of a barrier, it's a catalyst."