God is launching us forward. January 1, 2019 we incorporated as a nonprofit and we look forward to serving Our Lord with our artistic gifts as we grow as a collective. 2019 looks very promising. We are now offering programing to include art exhibition, artist talks and panel discussion, and community outreach. April we share our programing in Kansas City with Four Chapter Church & Gallery. In May, June and July our programming will be in Denver at Fellowship Denver Church where we will have our first nonprofit Gala event and fundraising. Please pray with us about our future and highly consider becoming one of our first patrons. We already appreciate you. More to follow soon on our events. Thank you for checking in.
So much has been happening with the Christos Collective.
In May, we finished our collaborative project “Fruit of the Spirit.” The collection of nine pieces was displayed at Zion Lutheran Church in Loveland for two months in the summer and now it is on display at the Bridge Gallery at Denver Seminary. If you live near Littleton, be sure to check this show out before the end of the Seminary’s fall semester.
We were also pretty happy to be able to take a bit of time for our first fall retreat this year. We enjoyed a light dusting of snow on glimmering aspens in Breckenridge, Colorado, as we talked about our future projects and the future of the group as a whole.
Coming up in 2019, more shows, more projects, more adventures, and (we hope) our new status as a non-profit entity. Stay tuned, and make sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and monthly e-newsletter.
We are excited for the debut exhibition of our show, “Current,” at the Artwork Network gallery on Santa Fe Avenue in Denver. The exhibition addresses a broad range of social issues in our local, national, and worldwide communities. People are not always satisfied with the general current of things but in our own ways we strive to scatter light, appreciate beauty, encourage worthiness and promote peace. In the midst of the strong muddy flow, the members of Christos Collective peer through a unique lens in attempts to seek a hopeful path to a redemptive future.
A portion of our sales from this show will be donated to the local Project Worthmore, a local organization “working to restore worth to our refugee neighbors through the heart of our community.”
We are also preparing to share our “Reclaim” show and “Choice, Chance, Trust” show at the Four Chapter Gallery in Kansas City area this summer. In the meantime we continue forward, discussing ideas for the theme of our next projects.
This is the year to "make more art." The collective artists are working on a new theme about "Choice, Chance, Trust" initiated by the biblical reference to the Urim and Thummim.
18:18 is the working title of Christos Collective's upcoming exhibition. At its core, three words sum up the ethos of the theme: choice, chance, trust. The working title, 18:18, is a reference to Proverbs 18:18, and the journey of the exhibition concept has been, in itself, an exercise in trust. The genesis for this theme began with a discussion around what the dimensions of our next pieces ought to be. Seeking meaningful dimensions, our group was led to the dimensions of the ephod worn by the High Priest in Exodus 28. An exploration of the ephod and its related paraphernalia brought up the Urim and Thummin—the stones the High Priest wore in a pouch next to his heart, used for settling disputes. Digging further into this led one of our members to the Proverb, which states, "The lot puts an end to quarrels and decides between powerful contenders." The reference, 18:18, consequently, provided ideal dimensions for art pieces.
Interpreting Proverbs 18:18, however, has proved to be a difficult, but meaningful task. What is really at the core of this idea? Is it as simple as leaving decisions up to chance? Or, in that act, are we relying on the sovereignty of God to guide us? Ultimately, it boils down to the paradox between freewill and what seems to be chance, and how trust enters that conflict. Each artist has searched out the relationship of choice, chance and trust that is found in Proverbs 18:18, and have visually interpreted these concepts in their pieces, each 18x18 in size.
RECLAIM: an exploration of orientation, disorientation and reorientationWhat happens to wasted lives, discarded values, and forgotten histories? If reclamation is the central narrative of history, as Christians claim, how does time move from its initial orientation to the all too common, too human, disorientation, and then into a radically new reorientation of all things? RECLAIM raids this question by charting particular points along the way toward reorientation. Not every piece resolves the question, but taken collectively, the exhibition examines reality with symbols of faith and the story of wholeness.
12/31 - 2/13/2016
Opening Reception: December 31; 6pm-9pm
Artist Talks: January 23; 2:30pm
In the view of contemporary culture Christians don’t make good, or relevant, art. Christos Collective, a group of Colorado artists established in 2013, shatters this misconception, bringing not only advanced artistic skill but also conceptual, culturally significant depth to their work. These artists approach art authentically, showing humanity, brokenness, struggle, joy, love, and, ultimately, what it means to have an identity in Christ. God was never a conventional artist, and neither are Christos members; therefore, if you come expecting standard crucifixes and icons, you’ll be sorely disappointed.
Reclaim examines different aspects of the word via diverse media, but all works cohesively claim Christ’s reclamation of our lives and world. Some artists delve into personal journeys while others address the Christian community, calling for action, calling for changes in perception. Additionally, a few members rework traditional icons, utilizing new forms of visual language, thus making biblical stories and themes more accessible to a contemporary audience. However, some also make connections to the reclaiming process taking place in the natural world. Christos artists are comfortable in paradox, and they work beautifully toward developing audience understanding of what it means when we say “on earth as it is in heaven”.
According to Carl Raschke, Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Denver and internationally known author as well as arts promoter,“Reclaim reactivates in a new and powerful way the original impulses of modern art, the revelation of the spiritual—in this case the mystery of the Christ event itself—as a whole new way of seeing.”
Sandra Jean Ceas
Tara Lynnsmith McConnell
Harriet Maggi Olds
Exhibition Program and Publication
The Bridge Gallery will host an open house on October 27, which will include dialogue with the artists, refreshments, and a short lecture.
- Date: Tuesday, October 27, 2015
- Time: 7:00pm - 8:30pm
- Location: Harold and Virginia Simpson Leadership Center
Denver Seminary Campus
6399 S. Santa Fe Dr., Littleton, Colorado, 80120
- Ongoing Exhibition will run from August 24 - December 8, 2015 with an official opening on Thursday, September 17, 2015 from 6:00pm - 8:00pm
Drive in Denver. May 28 – June 14, 2015. First Friday June 5, 6-9 pm, Artist Talks June 12, 7-8 pm.
"Presence is more than just being there." -Malcom Forbes
Searching, questing, and sometimes, questioning, "Presence," is a show that glows golden from within, exploring what it means to exist, and probing levels of human engagement. Both presence and absence are explored in the artwork, inviting the viewer to deeper contemplation of their own sense of attentiveness and identity. "Presence" brings together work in a variety of media from the Denver-based art cohort, Christos Collective.Christos artists challenge traditional art genres such as icon and portrait painting, where forms are absent, disjointed, and hybridized. The result is a range of compelling depictions of intense, focused thought, alongside pieces that portray the idea that one can be physically in attendance without being mentally present. Some pieces explore a state of transition, where, like an old photograph, the visible form of the subject is fading from view.The absence of presence is also explored in the form of distraction or confusion where the image itself is barely discernible. For example, photographers take photos of reflections of reflections, causing viewers to ponder the paradox of presence and absences along with their mysterious, yet welcoming, feeling of uncertainty. Additionally, these pieces raise the unanswered question as to whether presence should necessarily be synonymous with visual clarity. In other instances, the viewer is invited to engage physically with the work in order to perceive the work more completely, highlighting the viewer's active participation.At times, the show brings recognizable figurations or expression of the human spirit into focus, and at others, one feels as though one is reaching for something, but hasn't found it yet. "Presence" explores the invitation to "be," even if one is still in a state of becoming.
Christos Collective is an international artists and scholars community that empowers contemporary Christian visual art to promote a greater understanding and appreciation of a Christian worldview.
By Lois Grove
In December 2014 Larry and Donna Elliott, former Church of the Brethren mission workers in Nigeria, attended a concert at the Lincoln Center in Fort Collins, Colo. While strolling through the art gallery before the concert, a big piece of artwork caught their eye--many tiny gingham dresses--and they saw the caption, “Bring Back Our Girls.” They discovered this piece was telling a story that was near and dear to them: the abduction of the schoolgirls from Chibok, Nigeria.
They called me and my husband, Bill. We were visiting in Fort Collins at the time, and we then went to view the picture. It was very emotionally engaging as we thought of all the initiatives our denomination had gone through--prayer and fasting, visits by Rebecca Dali, shipment of books to restock the Nigerian libraries, sending lists of the girls’ names to churches, and also each congregation upholding one girl in prayer--and a seed was planted. Somehow we had to secure this artwork for the wider church. Donna and I took pictures of the piece--and then found out later that pictures were not allowed at the gallery, so those stayed on our cameras....
Until! I was attending a pastor’s retreat in Western Plains District, visiting with persons who had served the church in Nigeria. I showed them the picture on my phone and before long it was decided to project it on the big screen. Following a time of reflection, silence, and a Spirit-filled prayer by Carolyn Schrock, the “Spirit” said the picture needed to be purchased and given a home in the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill.
This was an impulsive, but not inexpensive decision. Several of those in attendance immediately offered to help with the purchase. A subsequent call to general secretary Stan Noffsinger to see if the denomination was even interested affirmed that the “Spirit” had nudged us in the right direction.
The Elliotts and Groves were privileged to visit with the artist, Sandra Ceas, of Littleton, Colo., and find out her motivation for creating the picture. She has master’s degrees in fine arts and religious studies, and finds herself drawn to social justice issues. She teaches online courses, and in the course of online searches she discovered the story of the Chibok girls. She is delighted her work has found a “home” where it will resonate with those who view it.
-- Lois and Bill Grove are former mission workers in Nigeria, and have been active in leadership in Northern Plains District. Earlier this week they drove from their home in Iowa to Elgin, Ill., to personally deliver Sandra Ceas’ piece of art to the denominational offices. They invite anyone who is interested in helping with the cost of this inspirational artwork to donate by sending a check to the Church of the Brethren General Offices, 1451 Dundee Ave., Elgin, IL 60120. Find out more about the artist atwww.sandrajeanceas.com .
The current exhibition investigates the human role in the naturalenvironment, with a specific emphasis on our interdependent relationship with water. Art will celebrate the vitality of water and/or compel audiences to consider their responsibility for the care and stewardship of this precious resource.
Prominent scientists often refer to the earth as "the creation" based on a realization that a "spiritual and cultural transformation" is needed to respond effectively. There is growing interested among evangelical Christians to address global environmental problems with the power of biblical truth, a movement often called "Creation Care." There is a growing consensus among many evangelicals, business and political leaders, and the general public that steps must be taken to address these issues.
Only one percent of all water on earth is available for human consumption. This amount, vital for life, should be enough for all. It falls from the clouds on to the land, nourishes life, returns through rivers to the salty seas, and evaporates as fresh water back into the clouds. However, water is not available for all people. There is inequality in water use in the world. Many lessons could be drawn from how indigenous people avoid misuse of water.