ArtWay Newsletter 2022
By way of this newsletter I want to fill you in about a year that was a year of transition for ArtWay. We have looked for new ways to continue ArtWay, as I saw myself compelled to reduce my activities due to quickly fatigued eyes and decreased energy because of it. Unexpected doors have opened, while others were closed. I will tell you more further on, but first let us focus our attention – in the spirit of ArtWay – on the work depicted above.
At first glance this may look like a Christmas landscape, but is it? I recently saw this work by the German artist Caspar David Friedrich used as Advent work and after some reflection I could well agree with that choice. For many years Friedrich has been one of my favorite artists. I love his fine manner of painting and his rich use of symbolism. Art history sees him as the romantic artist par excellence, but I see him most of all as a God-fearing artist who translated his view of life to the canvas in a totally unique manner.
What do we see? Take a few minutes to look at the image, as there is much to discover. Did you notice them: the eternally green pine trees pointing up and the church towers with three crosses in top rising up from the mist? Did you see the crucifix hidden within the front conifer like a new-testament burning bush? And the man on the ground before the crucifix, praying, his crutches cast away? The misty twilight and the serene snow fill this place, where a man prays for healing, with tranquil holiness. There is hope, there is redemption and a redeemer, and visibility on restoration and a better future. Is that not our focus during Advent?
At the end of 2021 I came in contact with the Kirby Laing Centre for Public Theology in Cambridge, England. Right away we had a good connection and Craig Bartholomew, director of KLC, asked me to collaborate on an issue of their magazine The Big Picture, that would be partly devoted to my father as he was born 100 years ago.
When another possible takeover of ArtWay did not work out, KLC was the next organization on the list. KLC reacted with great enthusiasm, which means that the English/international side of Artway will be continued by KLC from the beginning of 2024. Coming year will be spent on the renewal and technical update of the ArtWay website. KLC is so kind to extend the update to the Dutch side of the site as well.
Like ArtWay KLC is Kuyperian (or neo-Calvinist as the Dutch call it) and ecumenical. KLC intends to become a central point for like-minded reflection on art. To this end KLC is also in the process of setting up an arts research hub, in which scholars and other interested folk across the world take part. In the meantime I have become a fellow of KLC, participating in the research hub.
With the help of KLC a publisher was found for the English version of the book about neo-Calvinism and art that was published in Dutch in 2020. This book that will most likely be called ‘Art in the Kuyperian Tradition’ will come out in December 2023. It is edited by Roger Henderson and me and includes authors like Adrienne Dengerink Chaplin, John Walford, James Romaine, Calvin Seerveld, Lambert Zuidervaart, Wessel Stoker, William Edgar and Victoria Emily Jones. In 2024 KLC wants to organize a symposium around the book, at which point ArtWay will be launched as part of KLC.
I will continue to be the editor-in-chief of the Dutch side of the website. I am looking forward to collaborating with the new chief editor of the English site, who will be selected before too long. I hope that ArtWay may continue to play a supporting role in the area of art and faith.
In 2023 there will be two visual meditations per month. This number may change again in 2024, but that is up to KLC!
To end let me mention a special development in the Netherlands, where in the framework of UNESCO ArtWay has been selected by the Royal Library in The Hague to become part of its digital heritage collection. In this way ArtWay will continue to be available for future researchers. This makes me very grateful indeed.
We are thankful for all who support our work. Art needs no justification, yet in the world of large numbers art is often sidelined for the qualitative contribution it has to offer. Your contribution is most welcome. See below the details of how you can contribute.
The Artway team wishes you a joyful heart during Advent, Christmas and 2023!
May you wish to do so, you can give to ArtWay via the Paypal button on the website, click here and go to the bottom of the page.
For those in North America who wish to make a tax-deductible contribution:
*** In the United States contributions should be made out to CMML and mailed to:
Christian Missions in Many Lands
PO Box 13
Spring Lake, NJ 07762
Please include a separate note, clearly marked ‘for Laurel Gasque, via MSC Canada’.
If you are donating online, go to https://www.cmml.us/donate and direct the funds to MSC Canada and then indicate Laurel Gasque’s name when you come to a place where you can send a message to CMML/or maybe it says ‘vendor’.
*** In Canada: contributions should be made out to:
101 Amber St., Ste 16
Markham, ON L3R 3B2
Clearly marked: ‘for the work Laurel Gasque for ArtWay’.
To donate online go to https://msccanada.org/give-now/ and follow instructions, again marking the gift ‘for Laurel Gasque’.