Pamela Ambrose
Loyola University Museum of Art, Chicago
"The Spiritual in Art and the Public Response"

Gerald D. Bolas
former Director
Ackland Art Museum, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill
"Sacred Objects in the Secular Art Museum"

Charles Bouchard, O.P.
Vice President for Theological Education
Ascension Health, St. Louis
"Suffering and the Presence of God in Good Friday"

Kevin Burke, S.J.
Acting President
Jesuit School of Theology, Berkeley, CA
"Recapitulation: Georges Rouault's Miserere et Guerre Series and the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius"

The panel will be introduced and moderated by MOCRA's Director, Terrence E. Dempsey, S.J., who will also speak on "The Museum of Contemporary Religious Art: Reflecting on Fifteen Years of the Pursuit of the Spirit."

A panel discussion and time for audience questions will follow the individual presentations. A brief reception will follow at MOCRA.

More information
The conference is free and open to the public.

Xavier Hall Theatre is located in Xavier Hall, just across West Pine Mall from MOCRA. Please follow the special conference directions for arriving and parking at MOCRA, then look for the signs guiding you to Xavier Hall.

For additional information, please contact the museum at 314-977-7170 or by e-mail.

To learn more about the exhibition Good Friday, click here.

Join us for a free public conference held in conjunction with the MOCRA exhibition Good Friday:

Art and the Religious Imagination

     Sunday, March 29, 2009   1:30 - 4:00 p.m.
     Xavier Hall Theatre, Saint Louis University
3733 West Pine Mall, right across from MOCRA on the SLU campus)

    download a map and directions to special conference parking

MOCRA assembles a panel of distinguished museum directors and theologians to discuss the roles that secular and religious art museums can play in the presentation of art with spiritual and religious content. Panelists will also explore how spiritual and religious art has the potential to invite viewers into a deeper interior journey.

In a time when religion is a predominant topic in societies throughout the world—often generating more heat than light—MOCRA continues to foster dialogue that seeks deeper understanding of others’ traditions and greater appreciation of one’s own.

For over 35 years, the Fusz Memorial Chapel was used by Jesuits studying philosophy at Saint Louis University, but in 1990 the Jesuits relocated to smaller residences near the campus. In Spring 1991 Saint Louis University President Rev. Lawrence Biondi, S.J., gave permission to Rev. Terrence Dempsey, S.J., to adapt the chapel for use as a museum devoted to the presentation of contemporary religious Art. A thoughtful renovation made the chapel a suitable and noteworthy space for displaying art while honoring the original purpose and architecture of the building.

Since then, the museum has mounted 35 exhibitions involving more than 160 artists. MOCRA’s exhibitions have demonstrated the range of contemporary religious and spiritual artistic expression, presenting the work of artists who have attained recognition regionally, nationally, and internationally. Some work overtly pays homage to particular faith traditions while other works are more oblique but nonetheless spiritual. The media employed have varied from traditional painting, drawing, and prints to unusual materials such as blood, earth, mylar, and helium. Exhibitions at MOCRA have been enhanced by numerous conferences, lectures, and performances involving major theologians, visual artists, art historians, museum directors and curators, doctors, lawyers, philosophers, psychologists, choreographers, and musicians.

Please join us as we celebrate the first fifteen years of MOCRA, a foundational legacy
upon which we will build ever more expansive exhibitions and programming.

Museum of Contemporary Religious Art
Saint Louis University