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Thresholds: Expressions of Art & Spiritual Life


Expressions of Art & Spiritual Life

August 27 – October 23, 2005The Gallery will be closed for the College’s Fall Break on Sunday, October 16, and Sunday, October 23.
Because of the large number and scale of the works in this exhibition, Guilford College Art Gallery partnered with the Green Hill Center for North Carolina Art to present it. The art is being displayed in both Guilford College’s main gallery and atrium galleries (located in Hege Library) and outdoors near the library entrance. Additional works are displayed in Green Hill’s main gallery, located in the Greensboro Cultural Arts Center at 200 N. Davie Street, downtown.  The public is cordially invited to attend the free events held in conjunction with the exhibition listed below.

Opening receptions: Thursday, September 1,  

Guilford College Art Gallery,  4:30-6:30 p.m.

Green Hill Center for NC Art, 6:00-8:00 p.m.
Both events are free, and the public is cordially invited to attend.

Artist-in-Residence Bryant Holsenbeck will create a 10- to12-foot diameter  recycled bottlecap mandala in the Hege Library atrium with the assistance of students and gallery visitors, Thursday, September 15 through Friday, September 16, 2005.

Lecture by exhibition curator, Eleanor Heartney: Wednesday, September 21, 7:00 p.m., Joseph M. Bryan Jr. Auditorium, Frank Family Science Center

Curator’s Statement

Questions of the meaning of religious faith and its place in public life are critical now. They manifest themselves equally in the international arena, where extremist versions of religion fuel war and civil conflict, and within the United States where questions of the proper relationship of Church and State are constantly being revisited. They are also posed by the broad and ever increasing embrace of both organized and personal forms of religion by the American public and by the reemergence of the rhetoric of good and evil in the political sphere.

Loren Schwerd, Body of Water, cast iron, glass, and water 

Compounding these complexities is the long standing assumption that art and religion, or at least avant garde art and traditional religion, are natural antagonists. But this assertion ignores a long and fruitful history of mutual influence between the aesthetic and spiritual realms. In recent years, as we have moved ever further from the rigid iconoclasm of the mid-twentieth century avant garde, this influence has manifested itself in a growing number of artists who draw on their religious backgrounds or spiritual inclinations as a subject matter for art.

Edouard Duval-Carrié, Erzulie Dantor, mixed media installation

Thresholds: Expressions of Art & Spiritual Life presents a selection of artworks which explore the dualities embedded in the idea of religion. Artists from five Southern states examine the many borders inherent in religious belief and practice – among them the borders between life and death, body and soul, matter and spirit, past and present, public and private.  In the diversity of their convictions, stylistic approaches and backgrounds, they present a celebration of ecumenism. While differences in beliefs can be divisive, the co-existence of these many voices demonstrates that religion can also be a healing force when embraced in the spirit of love and mutual understanding. That is the hope which is embedded in this exhibition.

Eleanor Heartney