“Seeking the Face of the Beloved: The Ordinary Saints Project”

Plenary Address

“Seeking the Face of the Beloved: The Ordinary Saints Project”

Poet Malcolm Guite, painter Bruce Herman, and composer J.A.C. Redford have joined together in an artistic/theological exploration of “facing”—toward the unguarded gaze into the face of the Other (including those we love and also the face of the stranger) as a means of seeking the Face of God. Herman’s intimate portraits, Guite’s poetic responses to the paintings, and Redford’s musical setting of these other art forms has resulted in an inspiring model of true collaboration that welcomes the reader, the listener, and the viewer into an intimate communion of art and worship. The session will begin with a brief recap of the plenary session followed by discussion among the artists and seminar-style audience participation.

Bruce Herman

Bruce Herman is a painter and educator living and working in Gloucester, Massachusetts. Herman holds the Lothlórien Distinguished Chair in Fine Arts at Gordon College where he has taught and curated exhibitions since 1984

Herman lectures widely and has had work published in many books, journals, and popular magazines––most recently in Through Your Eyes. His artwork has been exhibited in many solo and group exhibitions in eleven major cities including Boston, New York, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles.

Herman’s art is present in many public and private collections including the Vatican Museum of Modern Religious Art in Rome; The Cincinnati Museum of Fine Arts; DeCordova Museum in Lincoln, Massachusetts; the Hammer Museum, Grunwald Print Collection, Los Angeles; the Cape Ann Museum, and in many university galleries throughout the United States and Canada.

Malcolm Guite

Malcolm Guite is an Anglican priest; Chaplain & Fellow of Girton College, Cambridge University; a poet; and the lead singer and founder of the rock band Mystery Train.

His books include nonfiction – Beholding the Glory and What Do Christians Believe? – and poetry – The Singing Bowl; Waiting on the Word: A Poem a Day for Advent, Christmas and Epiphany; and The Word in the Wilderness: A Poem a Day for Lent and Easter. He also contributed to The Cambridge Companion to C.S. Lewis.

Guite teaches Literature and Pastoral Theology for the Cambridge Federation of Theological Colleges. He is involved with a number of projects linking theology and the arts, and has published poetry, literary criticism and theology in various journals. As founder of the rock band, Mystery Train, he writes lyrics and performs on guitar and vocals. He has been a regular contributor to Oxbridge since 2005 as well as to Foundation conferences and retreats throughout the U.S.

J.A.C. Redford

J.A.C. Redford is a composer, arranger, orchestrator and conductor of concert, chamber and choral music, film, television and theater scores, and music for recordings.

Among those who have performed his work are: Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, Joshua Bell, Chicago Symphony, Israel Philharmonic, Kansas City Chorale, LA Chamber Singers, LA Master Chorale, Anne Akiko Meyers, New York Philharmonic, Phoenix Chorale, St. Martin’s Chamber Choir, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Utah Chamber Artists and Utah Symphony. The Alphabet of RevelationEternity Shut in a SpanEvening Wind, The Growing Season, Inside Passage, Let Beauty Be Our Memorial and Waltzing with Shadows are recordings devoted to his art music. Redford’s 500 episodes of television include multiple seasons of Coach and St Elsewhere, for which he was twice nominated for Emmy Awards.

He composed the scores for The Trip to BountifulNewsies and The Mighty Ducks II and III, conducted The Little Mermaid, and orchestrated the scores for AvatarWALL-E, Bridge of Spies, Finding Dory, Passengers and Skyfall, for which he also arranged and conducted Adele’s Oscar-winning title song.


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