Posts in Faith and Art
Artist Profile Series 24: Flannery O' Connor

Flannery O’ Connor was a Southern, fiction writer and essayist born March 25th 1925 in Savannah, Georgia.  She was a devout Roman Catholic with a penchant for satire, dark humor and wild, religious imagination. Today, O’Connor is considered to be one of America’s greatest fiction writers and an apologist for the Catholic faith.

Her stories are far from what you might imagine coming from a Southern Christian writer in the 1950’s. They are full of shocking scenes of violence, depravity and shady, sometimes comic Christian characters such as a bible salesman who steals a prosthetic leg or a pseudo-prophet who steals mummified dwarfs.  Her character’s twisted views of reality warps the basic tenets of the faith they profess. Their situations often end in bloodshed.

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S6 E3: Slow Art with Makoto Fujimura

Makoto Fujimura is a leading contemporary artist, author and speaker whose process-driven, refractive “slow art” has been described by David Brooks of the New York Times as “a small rebellion against the quickening of time.”

In a culture driven by speed and instant gratification, the idea of slow art runs counter to our normal modes of living.

Mako’s approach to art challenges our relationship to time and invites us into a more reflective approach to life, creating and viewing art.

In this episode Stephen speaks with Mako as he worked in his Princeton New Jersey studio. The two discuss his process of art-making, culture care and the importance of slowing down not only in art but in our relationships and in life.

Music for this episode is provided by jazz artist, Alfred Sergel four with compositions from his latest release, Sleepless Journey.

Patrons access additional interview segments with Mako on the importance of mentoring emerging artists, beauty, a glimpse into his daily practices and advice for artists of faith working in the world of art.

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S6 E2: Wonder & Light with Lauren Midgley

Lauren Midgley is a conceptual fine art photographer based in Oklahoma. Her photography stretches beyond the historical use of the camera and invites the viewer into a world of surrealism and visual storytelling. In a world saturated with digital imagery, Lauren employs illustrative, advanced digital manipulation to paint virtual narratives that speak to the heart of our collective human experience. 

In this episode, Stephen and Lauren discuss her aims and motivations as an artist as well as the inception behind several specific portraits. To make it easier to you to follow along (with the visual nature of our discussion), we have posted the images mentioned in this episode on Instagram @makersandmystics.

This episode is sponsored by Ekstasis Magazine.

Music is provided by Paper Lights and C’est Lis.

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S6 E1: Chrysaline with Josh Garrels

In this opening episode, Stephen talks with singer-songwriter Josh Garrels about his latest release, Chrysaline. The two discuss the personally transformative experiences that informed the making of these songs and how collaboration and environment impacted Josh’s creative process. Josh shares openly about his experience of personal frustration that led him to place his music on the altar.

*Be sure to listen to the end as Josh addresses the latest trend of what feels like a mass exodus from the faith by so many people in our generation.

 “This may be one of the more timely and important conversations we have had on the podcast. I look forward to discussing this further with our creative collective over the next few weeks.” – Stephen

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S5 E15: The Soul vs. the Business of Creativity *Live

This LIVE Season Finale episode features the perspectives of diverse voices you’ve heard on the podcast; Amena Brown, Josh Garrels, Vesper Stamper, Cole NeSmith and CJ Casciotta. In today’s panel discussion, these five discuss the tension between the soul and the business of creativity.

In the realm of art-making, there can seem to be a tension between our desire to create authentic works, works which remain true to the artist’s creative vision, while at the same time creating works which are either commercially viable or which resonate with the communities where we have influence.

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S5 E14: Acting As Truth Telling with Jason Burkey

Jason Burkey is a professional actor who has appeared on television shows such as The Walking Dead, Nashville, Being Mary Jane, The Resident and a score of other well-known programs. His movie credits include a lead role in the 2012 surprise hit, October Baby as well as Lady and The Tramp, I Can Only Imagine, Bigger and The Art of Self-Defense.

Jason is also a founder of "Act For A Change," which is a local theatre non- profit that gathers Atlanta actors, writers and directors to perform one-act plays for local charities.

In this episode, Stephen talks with Jason about what motivates him as an actor and what it means to live truthfully in an imaginative setting.

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S5 E13: Love Through The Lens of Song with Charlie Peacock

CHARLIE PEACOCK is a Nashville-based, 4x Grammy Award-winning, composer, record producer and recording artist. His production credits include Chris Cornell, Ladysmith Black Mambazo and Americana successes such as The Lone Bellow, Holly Williams and The Civil Wars. 


Charlie is considered one of Nashville's most prolific cultural influencers and has dedicated himself to championing the independent music scene which he has served for over 40 years.

 

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S5 E12: Impermanence with Lanecia Rouse Tinsley

Lanecia Rouse Tinsley is an abstract artist based in Houston, TX.  Her portfolio also includes a range of work in photography, painting, teaching, writing, and speaking.

Lanecia creates out of a desire to make the invisible landscapes within and the human condition known; using texture, form + color to speak to life upon various surfaces in ways words cannot.


In addition to her art, Lanecia works with projectCURATE as Co-Spiritual Director and Consultant for the Arts; and is Co-founder/Co-Creative Director of ImagiNoir Group, an international alliance and think-tank of black activists, artists, writers, scholars and educators.

Lanecia is a graduate of Duke University Divinity School (MDiv) and a graduate of Wofford College with a BA in Sociology.

In this episode, Stephen talks with Lanecia about her creative process and about art as healing and as a means of expressing the full range of our human experience.

***Patrons on the podcast can enjoy an additional interview with Lanecia about her inspiration in James Baldwin as well as a downloadable PDF of Baldwin’s essay on The Creative Process.  

This episode is sponsored by: DITA 10 Duke Initiative in the Arts. Join Lanecia, Makers and Mystics podcast, Chris Wiman and many others at this event.

Music Provided by: Moda Spira

Support The Podcast! Become a member of our creative collective.

 

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S5 E9: Art & The Transcendence of God with Jeremy Begbie

Jeremy Begbie is Thomas A. Langford Distinguished Professor in Theology at Duke Divinity School. He is also Senior Member at Wolfson College, Cambridge, and an Affiliated Lecturer in the Faculty of Music at the University of Cambridge. He is Founding Director of Duke Initiatives in Theology and the Arts, one of the main aims of which is to foster theological-artistic links between Duke and Cambridge.

In this episode, Stephen joins Dr. Begbie at Duke Divinity School to talk with him about music, art and the transcendence of God.

This episode is sponsored by:

Art and Theology

Hope Writers

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Artist Profile Series 15: Corita Kent

Sister Corita Kent was an artist, printmaker, educator and an advocate for social justice. She broke through religious norms in the art world of her day by incorporating popular song lyrics, advertising images and slogans into her work. Her pop-art style is reminiscent of the works of graphic artist, Andy Warhol. When Corita viewed Andy’s artwork in the Los Angeles Ferus Gallery, in 1962 she soon began producing her own pop-culture inspired prints.

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S5 E6: The Language of Movement with Kelly Archer

Kelly Archer is the founder and artistic director of the Cadash Contemporary Dance Movement. The vision and mission of Chadash is to cultivate renewal, reparation, and restoration in a broken world. Combining dance with film, poetry, multi-media, visual art and spoken word performances, Cadash Dance tells stories in an effort to honestly acknowledge the world as it is, but then seeks to engage in the conversation about what the world can be.

In this episode, Stephen talks with Kelly about the language of movement and what it means to “stand in the ashes of the barn burned down and point to the moon. One half in suffering and one half in hope.”

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S5 E5: The Creative Environment with Graham Cooke

Graham Cooke is an internationally recognized author, public speaker and strategist. He is known for a radical faith and friendship with God.

Graham's books have helped organizations and individuals overcome negative, limited thinking and transition toward a higher level of corporate and spiritual life.

An integral part of Graham's work involves producing resources for helping the poor and for eradicating human trafficking through supporting the organization, NOT FOR SALE.

In this episode, Stephen talks with Graham about cultivating environments to serve his creative and spiritual disciplines.

*Patrons can enjoy additional interview segments on how to deal with rejection and establishing healthy rhythms.

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S5 E2: The Symbolic World with Jonathan Pageau

Jonathan Pageau is a professional artist, writer and public speaker. He delivers several lectures every year in Universities, conferences and other venues around North America. He speaks on art, but mostly on the symbolic structures that underlie our experience of the world.

Through his YouTube channel and podcast, The Symbolic World, he also furthers the conversation on symbolism, meaning and patterns in everything from movies, to icons, to social trends.

As an artist, Jonathan is one of the only professional icon carvers in North America, taking on institutional and personal art commissions from all over the world. You can view his works in his carving website.

Jonathan is the editor and a contributor for the Orthodox Arts Journal which looks at the revival and significance of liturgical art today. He also gives weeklong carving classes with Hexaemeron School of Liturgical Arts , which are credited by Pontifex University.

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S4 E15: Season Finale! The Missing Connection Between Faith & Art

This episode is an Official Highjack!! StoryBrand Guide, Luke Humbrecht turns the mic around and interviews our host, Stephen Roach. In this season finale episode Luke and Stephen discuss why the conversation of faith and art is important for our cultural moment and how you can be involved in the discussions. Stephen shares from history and personal stories on what compels him to host these conversations.

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S4 E5: A Theology of Art with David Taylor

David Taylor is a professor of theology and culture at Fuller University in Houston, Texas. His work centers on revitalizing the church through the creative arts. He has written and edited several books including his most recent, The Theater of God’s Glory: Calvin, Creation and the Liturgical Arts.

In 2016, David produced a short film on the psalms with Bono and Eugene Peterson. He has lectured widely on the arts in both academic and popular settings, in the United States and abroad.

In this episode, Stephen talks with David about his work with Bono and Eugene Peterson as well as his perspective on the relationship between artists and the church.

Sponsor: Red River Turning Company

Featured Music: Sister Sinjin

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David Taylor’s Blog

The Theater of God’s Glory (book)

Phaedra Taylor Artist Website

Bono and Eugene Peterson: The Psalms

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S4 E1: How To Fix A Broken Record with Amena Brown

Amena Brown is a poet, speaker, author and event host. Named one of Rejuvenate Magazine's Top 40 under 40 Changemakers, Amena is the author of five spoken word albums and two non-fiction books: Breaking Old Rhythms and her latest release How to Fix a Broken Record. 

In this season premiere episode, Stephen talks to Amena about success and failure, the effects of social media on artists and how vinyl records became one of her entry points to relationship with God. 

Patrons can listen to an additional interview with Amena Brown on money management here.

Amenabrown.com

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S 3 E9: On The Relationship Between Art & Faith with Stephen Roach

In October of 2017, Stephen Roach joined United Pursuit for their Reunion Retreat held on Johnny Cash's land in Nashville, Tennessee. As part of the event, Stephen shared two keynote talks on the interface between creativity and spirituality.

This episode features excerpts from Stephen's talk On The Relationship Between Faith and Art and encourages artists to pursue their creativity without tired, religious constrictions.

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S3 E7: Cosmos In The Chaos with Abstract Artist Ty Nathan Clark

Ty Nathan Clark is a well-known abstract artist living and working in Waco, Texas. He is a devoted activist, writer, cinematographer, and philanthropist. His work is informed by an in-depth study of civil rights movements, literature, philosophy, and theology.

Ty’s art has been described as “parabolic” in nature, telling stories in visual representations of the human condition. He uses a variety of mediums and textures to create what has been termed a “dismantled imagery, representing the incomplete bits and pieces of personality and memories that make up each human being.” 

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S3 E3: A Journey To The Heart with Ken Helser

Ken Helser is a visual artist, storyteller, musician and founder of the 52-acre retreat center, A Place For The Heart in Sophia, North Carolina. For the past 30 years, Ken has mentored students from across the world, teaching them to hear and journal the voice of God through writing. Currently, Ken partners with his son and daughter-in-law, Jonathan David and Melissa Helser at their 18 Inch Journey School.

In this episode, Ken talks with Stephen about the core motives of the heart and how to navigate the deeper concerns facing many artists today. Ken shares from his own journey through rejection, imitation and the discovery of how "the key to discipline is desire."

Featured Music by Cageless Birds  

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S3 E2: Urban Monks & Part-Time Hermits

Christine Valters Paintner is a spiritual director and Benedictine Oblate living in Galway, Ireland. She authored the book, "The Artist's Rule: Nurturing Your Creative Soul with Monastic Wisdom." The book is a 12-week journey exploring the interplay between contemplation and creativity. In this episode, Stephen talks with Christine about her thoughts on humility, radical generosity and what it means to be an urban monk and a part-time hermit.

Featured Music by Latifah Alattas of Moda Spira

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S2 E13: Naming The Animals

In this keynote talk, Stephen Roach proposes that creativity is our birthright and essential to fulfilling God's original design for humanity. Stephen encourages that we are in the midst of a creative awakening and calls the church to break free from religious oppression into the creative liberty of sons and daughters. 

 

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Season 2 Episode 12: On Process and Productivity with Matt Tommey

Matt Tommey is a woven sculpture artist living in Asheville, North Carolina. Matt has authored several books including "Unlocking The Heart of The Artist" and "Crafting Your Brand: 
Simple Strategies for Cultivating a Successful Creative Career". 
 In this episode, Matt and Stephen discuss Matt's process of utilizing natural materials for his sculptural works. The two talk through differentiations between process and product and how artists can move from concepts and ideas to a lifestyle of creative expression.  *This episode features music by Zach Winters from the album "To Have You Around"

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