About IAM   Programs   Community   Resources Contact Us
:: introduction
:: goals
:: IAM board
:: support IAM
:: programs
:: calendar of events
:: conferences

:: membership

:: virtual gallery

:: exhibits
:: community board

:: IAM store
:: articles

:: audio recordings

:: interviews
:: links

:: join IAM list
:: comments

The Goals of IAM

"Samuel Escobar, speaking at a recent C.S. Lewis Celebration (www.cslewis.org) in Oxford, stated, "the Incarnation is the greatest translation ever, and poetry is a little incarnation." International Arts Movement aims to celebrate both the "translation" of the incarnation (the gospel) and the "little incarnation" of poetry and the arts.

Just as Christ entered our world, translating heavenly existence to the earthly, the arts enter one human heart from another, sharing the experiential reality. IAM intends to help this translation process, and we believe that by learning from the living God, the author of translation, we may do the task more faithfully. When our faith in Christ is combined with our creation, we believe, the act forges a richer, and more diverse form of communication. Artists, throughout the centuries, have sought the transcendent to be tapped into by their creation. The language of the arts, it can be argued, is a language borne by faith.

In other words, all art forms attempt to translate what is unseen into what is seen. Speaking on the issue of content at the IAM conference, painter Joel Sheesley stated, "I...suggest that the definition of content in art is very much like that New Testament definition of faith, which calls faith, 'the substance of things hoped for.'" Art, especially as we engage with a redeemed vision, becomes an activity of faith, translating the "substance of things hoped for" with words, paint and other materials into both the content and form of art. Diversity is, then, created not out of deconstruction, or fragmentation, but out of unity. Faith prompts us to create with a renewed language, uniting, even, the splintered language of the age and thus redeeming the language of communication itself.

It is our desire that not just the artists, but the whole church be involved in this translation act. We have responded to the 9/11 catastrophe with TriBeCa Temporary space near ground zero, to create an "oasis of collaboration with local artists." That single day brought on such an urgency in our need for a language of art based upon redemption and healing (see "Fallen Towers and the Art of Tea" under Essays, www.makotofujimura.com). On November, 2002 in New York City, we hosted a conference run by IMAGE journal (www.imagejournal.org) called "The Return of Beauty." Our most recent 15th anniversary conference "Artists as Reconcilers" drew over 300 people at the historic Cooper Union Great Hall, with key note speeches by Dana Gioia, Dr. Miroslav Volf and others.  We will now be sponsoring and annual conference to both encourage the artists among us and to help all in the church understand the cultural milieu around us. As Ray Bakke wrote recently, "The frontier of the world mission is no longer geographically distant; it's culturally distant but geographically right next door." This "distance" of culture exists not only in ethnic cultures but also in created new cultures in this city. The gap that exists between the culture at large and the church must be bridged by the gospel of incarnation, the "greatest translation."

It is our prayer that IAM serve the churches of New York City by cultivating this vision of cultural renewal a vision for both renewal of our hearts and culture. Come join us in celebrating and reaching out to the culture at large, to seek the "shalom of the city"!

Mako Fujimura, IAM founder and director.


renewal of hearts
and culture
  :: Home :: IAM Store  :: Contact Us :: Copyright © 2005. All Rights Reserved