In this art gallery, conversations about religion and spirituality are welcome

LOS ANGELES (RNS) — For Linnéa Spransy, who grew up in a Christian commune in Oregon with a rock musician father, faith and artwork have all the time been intertwined.

“Non secular life-style, and expression and artwork had been all the identical factor,” Spransy advised Faith Information Service.

Spransy is likely one of the administrators of Bridge Tasks, a brand new Southern California gallery that seeks to hyperlink artwork with religious and spiritual traditions.

The gallery’s inaugural exhibition, “10 Columns” by artist Phillip Ok. Smith III, options glowing mirrored panels that convert the in any other case darkish room right into a simulated dawn and sundown. The panels shift colours, from heat yellow and orange tones to shiny blue and crimson hues.

The exhibit opened in October in Bridge Challenge’s 7,000-square-foot gallery, which sits between a Mobil gasoline station and a Public Storage facility on Santa Monica Boulevard. Guests to the gallery have described their experiences within the house on Instagram, calling the set up “enthralling” and saying it made them really feel “reflective” and “meditative.”

“Is one witnessing a dawn or a sundown, a cultural awakening or a catastrophic meltdown?” wrote Julia Ingalls in The Architect’s Newspaper.

Bridge Tasks administrators Spransy and Cara Megan Lewis, who’re each artists, mentioned they needed to create an area the place folks can discuss religious and spiritual views.

The 2 have identified one another for a couple of decade and each have roots in Kansas, the place Lewis had a gallery house.

Lewis, whose background is in industrial galleries, mentioned she’s seen how artists have felt the necessity to “suppress their religion traditions or non secular convictions within the context of the modern artwork world.”

“Only a worry of rejection and misunderstanding,” she mentioned.

Lewis, who grew up within the Methodist church, mentioned she was raised with a faith-driven and social justice mindset that has influenced her personal artwork. She was a part of an interactive paintings, dubbed “34,000 Pillows,” that drew consideration to a congressional rule that required the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to keep up 34,000 beds in its amenities.

Signage for Bridge Tasks on Santa Monica Boulevard in Hollywood. RNS picture by Alejandra Molina

Bridge Tasks was funded by Roberta Ahmanson, who alongside together with her husband, Howard Ahmanson, was in 2005 named as one in every of Time journal’s “25 Most Influential Evangelicals in America.” Spransy mentioned Roberta Ahmanson started gathering her work when Spransy was nonetheless in Kansas Metropolis.

The Ahmansons have a observe report of funding cultural endeavors, spanning again to the late Howard Ahmanson Sr., whose household title is on the Ahmanson Theatre in LA.

By means of the non-public philanthropy Fieldstead and Co., Ahmanson and her husband have sponsored plenty of artwork exhibitions in america and Nice Britain together with journalism concerning the arts and faith. Fieldstead and Co. additionally funded help of California’s Proposition eight, a same-sex marriage ban that handed however that was later dominated unconstitutional by a federal choose. 

Roberta Ahmanson, a former newspaper reporter and editor who coated faith in Southern California, mentioned that to be able to perceive human beings, you have to perceive their beliefs.

“You want to have the ability to discuss it within the artwork world as a result of it is there,” Ahmanson added. “It was only a topic you couldn’t discuss.”

With the “10 Columns” exhibition, which continues by Feb. 16, Bridge Tasks has hosted programming that pertains to “the subject material of sunshine from numerous sources.”


In November, anthropologist Ronald Faulseit lectured concerning the position pure gentle performed in influencing historical temples, ritual and faith in Mesoamerica. Earlier this month, artist Lita Albuquerque spoke about her work and the intersections of sunshine, panorama and scientific cosmologies.

Spransy is happy to see folks being open to this sort of programming.

“I used to be actually inspired and focused on how many individuals responded effectively after we talked about inviting archaeologists to come back discuss Mesoamerican temple structure and the truth that gentle orientation was so essential to plenty of historical cultures,” she mentioned.

Spransy mentioned that in her skilled life, she’s been advised that faith and artwork must be “strained out from each other.”

She hopes the brand new gallery proves in any other case. 
“I nonetheless consider it doesn’t must be that manner, and it shouldn’t,” she mentioned.

(Editor’s be aware: Fieldstead and Co. has supported previous RNS arts protection by a grant to the Faith Information Basis.)

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