Image @ 15
Fifteen years ago this April, the pilot issue of Image appeared. (So hey, we can go get our learner's permit now!) Long out of print, issue #1 featured literary contributions by fiction writer Larry Woiwode (Beyond the Bedroom Wall), Paul Mariani (Salvage Operations), and Andrew Hudgins (The Neverending), as well as an interview with writer Frederick Buechner and the art of realist painter Steve Hawley. As the first editorial statement, "Intruding Upon the Timeless," stated, Image set out to be a place where "genuine art and authentic religious experience are allowed to fertilize each other." To celebrate our fifteenth anniversary, issue #42 will feature a symposium entitled "Redeeming the Time," focusing on what the future holds for this intersection between art and faith. The symposium will cover a spectrum of art forms, including fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, visual art, theater, film, dance, and music. Each artist will reflect on the emerging ideas, attitudes and personalities in his or her field, and the place of people of faith within it. Due out this summer, #42 will punctuate where art and religion has come, where it has to go, and the place Image has been privileged to occupy in the midst of it all. To learn more about our 15th anniversary events, and some of the history behind Image, go to this page.
Unveiling by Suzanne M. Wolfe
Time to praise one of our own again! Our long-time Executive Editor, Suzanne M. Wolfe (who also doubles as long-suffering spouse of our Editor) has published her first novel, which Publishers Weekly calls "dark and lovely." When Rachel Piers, a brilliant young conservateuse at a Manhattan art gallery, is given the dream assignment of restoring a mysterious medieval painting in a church in Rome, she seizes the opportunity. Not only will she advance her career in one of the most inspiring and romantic cities in the world, but she can finally leave behind a bitter divorce and an even more painful childhood incident. But as Rachel meticulously restores the damaged artwork, and slowly discovers the true origins of the painting, she uncovers layers of her soul that she would rather be kept hidden. Written in lucid and descriptively sumptuous prose, Unveiling brings the ancient city of Rome vividly to life and reveals a courageous woman coming to terms with a tragic past. Of this novel, Annie Dillard has written: "With an imaginative vision akin to that of Dante, Unveiling probes the myriad layers of meaning in art, the human soul, and ultimately the great world itself. To read this novel is to be reminded that explorations at this depth are inevitably accompanied by uncertainty, suffering, and the piercing joy of revelation." We think you'll agree with Ms. Dillard!
To purchase Unveiling, click here.
Dick Staub Interviews Gregory Wolfe
Dick Staub-author, radio personality, student of culture (high and low)-has just released an interview with Image editor Gregory Wolfe on his website. The interview is available in written form and streaming audio. Christianity Today Online has also picked up the interview.
To go to the interview on Dick Staub's site, click here.
To see the Christianity Today Online excerpt, click here.
Self-Portrait as Jerry Quarry by Vito Aiuto
Vito Aiuto's new book, Self-Portrait as Jerry Quarry, proves that poetry can be funny, heartbreaking, and terrifying at the same time. Sometimes talky, sometimes convoluted, and sometimes downright eloquent, Aiuto's poetry roars with laughter, pain, and hard-earned faith. Like Jerry Quarry, the hard-hitting boxer the book is named after, Aiuto keeps you guessing. He introduces us to an old man sobbing over Old Testament prophets, marijuana so potent it's called "Matanuska Mindfuck," and Sonny Liston, a prizefighter turned hitman for the mob. One moment he's joking that "The road to hell isn't a road, it's a five day convention in Albuquerque, New Mexico," and the next he's knee-deep in blood, watching a stranger die. But Aiuto isn't just about the element of surprise. Each poem carries a metaphysical punch grounded in the dirty business of living. Whether he's joking about marijuana, watching a child die, or arranging pies with his wife, Aiuto continually wrestles with his own humanity. He takes on death, sickness and his own broken past and grapples with the difficulty of love, faith, and healing in a broken world. Occasionally, he even seems to win. In the midst of his intermittent rants and confessions, Aiuto catches glimpses of Jesus living in this world. Sometimes he is sleeping in dirty barn. Sometimes he walks, jilted, through the streets of New York, "one foot in the gutter, one on the curb," with a hand cupped to his ear. Both blasphemous and devotional, Self Portrait as Jerry Quarry reveals a hard-earned faith that is unashamed of sin or the awkward business of atonement. In the words of one of Aiuto's critics, get ready to be hit.
For more on the poet and to read some excerpts from Self-Portrait, click here.
The Cross & Stations of the Cross
For centuries Christians have labored in their bodies and imaginations to enter into the experience of Christ in the last moments before his death. Making a pilgrimage through the passion can mean anything from traversing the Via Dolorosa with the throngs to attending alone to Christ's suffering during rush hour. Here's another possibility for the modern believer's Lenten meditation-fittingly available via the snappy Christians in the Visual Arts website. CIVA regularly keeps up an online gallery highlighting the best of today's Christian artists. One of its current exhibitions, The Cross & Stations of the Cross, offers a sampling of variations on the series of fourteen images, originated by the Franciscans, that depict Jesus' trial, flogging, and crucifixion. Along with an assortment of other images of the crucifix, the tableaus of Christ's last moments are newly cast in five artists' renderings. They illustrate how good liturgical art, ever adaptive, can quicken the visual life of faith. From Melaine Twelves' Black Jesus in the Kalahari to Erling Hope's up-close tangle of lines and limbs, the unfamiliar shapes provoke an instinctive double-take, startling the spirit awake to the long-familiar. Easily accessed, the exhibit makes a lovely supplement to the season's mood of contemplation and penance.
Click here to visit the CIVA website online gallery. Be sure to check out the other exhibits in the gallery, as well as CIVA's extended traveling exhibit, Bread Upon the Waters.
Profile: Ric Hordinksi
Ric Hordinksi, Ohio native and former guitar player for Over the Rhine, has developed into an artistic mogul in his own right since going solo in 1997 with the release of Quiver. Recorded under the moniker Monk, Hordinski evidenced a side softer than his former band, complete with vocals and an emphasis on atmosphere. Blink, a compilation of live radio appearances, was released two years later and continued to solidify Hordinski's solo merits. "Hordinski shows himself to be the rarest kind of virtuoso," writes Paste Music's Reid Davis, "one who knows when not to play.it's about the space between the notes." Continuing to experiment with merging the boundaries of folk, ambient, and alternative, Hordinksi followed up a holiday-themed album, How Like a Winter (2001), with when i consider how my light is spent (2003). The beautifully packaged album uses a format similar to Daniel Lanois' latest release, Shine, with instrumentals placed between each song. Filled with layers of sound and unique guitar work, the project also boasts a fine cast of supporters such as David Wilcox and Phil Keaggy. From the album's haunting opening, "any second now," until the final sonically charged "come gentle night," Hordinski has crafted a work that plays to his atmospheric strengths.
O, a soon to be released six-song E.P., is available through Hordinski's website. As well as playing solo and with the likes of Wilcox, Keaggy, and Victoria Williams, Hordinksi is currently in demand as a producer. To visit Ric Hordinksi online, click here.