Last summer the inaugural The Canvas Conference was held in Portland, OR. A joint venture between Humble Beast and Western Seminary, the conference was started to address the intersection of Christianity and creativity, and to do so through a robust gospel-oriented and gospel-driven lens. As the conference organizers put it: “The Canvas Conference humbly exists to inform all acts of human creativity and beauty with biblical, gospel-centered theology for the worship of the triune God.”
We’re glad to say that last year’s conference was not just a one-off, but that a second annual Canvas Conference is planned for August 11th-12th, again in Portland, OR. Registration is here. A summary of this year’s theme is included below. Also, in the run up to Canvas, look for additional features related to the conference here on Transformed.
The theme for 2017’s upcoming Canvas Conference is “Inscape,”—which is defined as, “the unique essence or inner nature of a person, place, thing, or event, especially depicted in poetry or a work of art.” Teasing out how this terms relates to the conference, the organizers write:
Creativity is about turning ourselves inside out. We put our emotions on display for the world to see, know, and feel. We etch our hurt, joy, pain, love, lament, and grace into each page, capture it in every frame, press it into every key, and relive it with each chorus we sing.
And though our feelings often lead to beautiful, genuine art, our feelings do not always lead to the truth about the world, others, and ourselves. This is why we need a divine perspective. This is why creativity needs theology: not to abolish our feelings altogether, but to help us interpret and reimagine our emotional experience in light of God’s design. When we do, our emotions become worship and our creativity paints with the colors of eternal truth, goodness, and beauty that belong only to the Creator of this world and those who are his.
Speakers and performers for the 2017 conference have not yet been announced. But, for now, check out these video vignettes, produced in anticipation of the conference. Also, take a look at this highlight reel from the prior year’s conference.