Advent is a season when Christians prepare for the celebration of Jesus Christ’s birth. The twenty-eight days leading up to Christmas involve a variety of customs and liturgical practices depending on the denomination or local church but all of these aims for the same thing; as the darkness of winter comes upon us we remember that there was the ultimate light born into this world to be our salvation from death. Christ’s life is the ultimate coming of spring. Christmas, the ultimate festival of the ultimate light, is a reminder that even in the darkest and coldest times there is hope.
Some may ask, “what does contemporary art have to do with this season?” You may love the comfort of traditional celebrations, or you may find them familiar to the extent that you wish there were other ways to engage with the season. The hope of this calendar is not to supplant your faith tradition’s liturgy but rather to supplement it with more.
For decades Christian churches of every kind have abandoned the realm of contemporary art and we see that as a tragedy. Many of the artworks here don’t have a place in a sanctuary or cathedral but they can help revitalize our perception of the Advent season. Art can help us renew our traditions hopefully sharpening our focus on the truths of Christmas that came long before the traditions we are familiar with.
This calendar will provide a work of challenging visual art paired with challenging music. Accompanying the artworks will be a rumination and devotional written by either David Keep or Greg Lookerse. We hope that contemplating these pairings will benefit your season.