Art & Faith: Kelly Kruse
Join us for a rotating art gallery during the 2018-2019 academic year. Local Christian visual artists will display their works and give an artist talk in the library. These events are free and open to all in the university and the broader community.
October-November Artist: Kelly Kruse
Illumination: Wrestling with God through Visual Art, Poetry, and Music.
Kelly Kruse will discuss how illumination differs from illustration, and how this has informed her artistic practice. Kelly uses her work to explore the painful, beautiful experience of human longing and suffering. She developed a visual devotional practice as a response to her battle with depression, through which she wrestles with beauty, longing, and God.
Kelly describes her work as contemporary illumination. Like the medieval monks who perfected the art of illuminated manuscripts, she seeks to awake in the viewer a sense of spiritual contemplation. Her first exposure to the idea of illumination came when she studied Medieval and Renaissance music in Italy. Her background in classical music and opera puts her in a unique position to explore the intersection between scripture, poetry, musical works, and the visual arts. In addition to her artistic practice, she works as a music educator in the KC metro area.
Kelly’s exhibition, displayed in the Mabee Learning Commons rotating art gallery during the months of October and November, features selections from her first two bodies of work, My Iron Heart and All Flesh is Grass. For both collections, Kelly studied two great works of art from the past along with the artists who created them. She created My Iron Heart as she studied the life of John Donne and his nineteen Holy Sonnets, which were written when Donne was attempting to more deeply understand his faith as he converted from Catholicism to Anglicanism. In All Flesh is Grass, Kelly studied the musical form, content, and Biblical texts in Johannes Brahms's Ein Deutsches Requiem, the first theme of which Brahms wrote after his mentor and friend Robert Schumann jumped off of a bridge in a suicide attempt. Through their works, Brahms and Donne wrestle with life, death, humanity, theology, and the God who has dominion over it all. Kelly's paintings are visual artifacts of her journey into the life and work of both of these artists and are a reminder that great art speaks across generations.