Art Symposium offers free events for all majors
Students have a rare opportunity this week to hear from world-renowned speakers and artists by attending Biola’s seventh annual Art Symposium, which begins Thursday, March 1, and will continue through Sunday, March 4. A four-day event featuring a variety of visual and performing artists and speakers, the symposium will focus on sacred space in the context of the arts today. Roberta Ahmanson, Biola’s visionary-in-residence, fills an enormous role in the Art Symposium.
Free attendance for events
The theme for this year is “Art and Sacred Space: Spatial Encounters with God.” Dance, choir, worship and chanted prayers are included in the schedule. All events for the entire weekend are free, although some require a reservation.
“It’s available for free, which is sort of mind-boggling,” said senior Candace Arce-Lindsay, a studio art major.
The usual cost of attending an event like this could reach $300, so Biola students should take advantage of the opportunity to attend, Arce-Lindsay said.
Events geared toward all majors
The symposium offers something for non-art majors as well, as oftentimes artists are inspired by an aspect of another discipline. Arce-Lindsay attended the 2011 symposium, and remembers seeing a sculpture utilizing the work of computer programmers. She also says that non-art majors do not need to worry about trying to understand “art lingo” because the various sessions and events are purposely designed to appeal to a wide audience.
“I wish more majors would attend,” Arce-Lindsay said.
The symposium is a “strong aid in creating a more tight-knit community between different academic disciplines,” according to Arce-Lindsay.
Attending past symposiums was one of the most influential factors in changing her major from English to art, Arce-Lindsay said. Her scope was widened by the events, and she saw the interconnectedness of art and other majors.
“Christians have much to gain from a deeper engagement with the arts, both inside and outside the context of sacred space,” said Jonathan Anderson, an assistant professor in the art department, who teaches Art and Bible, a class that discusses the roles of Christian artists in society today.
Wide variety of speakers and perspectives
The scale of the symposium is different than in past years, according to Anderson.
“We have a world-class lineup of speakers this year who are coming from all over the U.S. and Europe,” Anderson said.
The range of perspectives and the depth of these experienced participants excites Anderson, who stressed the fact that the symposium offers specialists from various disciplines.
A student in the class, junior art major Jessica Kohout, encouraged students to attend the symposium.
“I've participated in the Art Symposium in the past. It's a great event, full of excitement and learning. I would really encourage students to attend, even if you know nothing about art,” Kohout said. “It's been really fun to see Biola students' reaction to this year as the Year of the Arts, and I hope that they have discovered a newfound interest in art.”
Students, members of the surrounding community and guests from other states and countries come specifically to attend the symposium, engaging in discussion about vocations in art and the relationship between art and faith.
The results compel students to consider art in various contexts, including the theological, something Arce-Lindsay believes contributes to the symposium’s wide appeal to both students and guests.