For Dr. Brady Bryce, visual arts play a vital role in the manifestation of faith – and at Summit.
“Faith is not just about what we say or do in church. Faith is lived in the real world,” said Bryce. “Visual and creative arts remind us of that. They help give expression to what is in our hearts.”
Bryce, director of ministry events, said Summit 2011 would showcase a featured concert, a performance from theatre students and the ever-popular iron pour. Other visual arts opportunities include a class, a matinee screening of a film and several coffee houses in the evening.
“In the past, people think of a conference as just a place where you hear people speak,” Bryce said. “In the last 4-5 years we’ve tried to make it a multisensory experience. That makes the arts a very important part of faith. People using their hands to help people across the globe is just as important as talking about it.”
Bryce is particularly excited by this year’s featured musical performance from Mindy Smith. Smith’s music is not labeled as Christian music, but Bryce said her music still stirs up faith. Smith will perform at 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday in Moody Coliseum.
“Mindy Smith isn’t a Christian artist – not under the Christian label. But she was adopted into the home of a minster in New York and her music speaks to faith indirectly,” said Bryce. “That is often times more effective than overtly Christian music.”
Bryce also has high expectations for two events Sunday evening. Students, faculty and staff from the Department of Theatre will interpret passages of scripture through dance.
In Chapel on the Hill, a Taizé-style worship event will focus on communion, singing, scripture and silence. Bryce said the French tradition of Taizé could be powerful. Both events are scheduled to begin at 8:30 p.m. on Sunday.
“Taizé is a more contemplative type worship. The worship comes from France and the lyrics are short and repeated over and over again,” he said. “It’s very meditative. It’ll be a mix of scripture and people singing these songs.”
Summit’s main visual attraction may be the iron pour. Geoff Broderick, associate professor of art and design, said the event drew hundreds of spectators last year, as art students formed candlesticks from 2600-degree molten metal.
Broderick said proceeds from the sale of this year’s candlesticks would go to Eternal Threads to help educate women in Afghanistan.
“The people that are at Summit come and watch us and see that ACU students are learning and they are involved in charitable work,” Broderick said.
He said the sculpting of molten metal not only helps a good cause but fulfills academic requirements for some students. For Broderick, the iron pour is a must see for Summit attendees. The iron pour is scheduled for 8 p.m. Sunday in the grassy area west of the Teague Special Events Center.
“Seeing molten metal in the evening is impressive. Most people have never seen that,” Broderick said. “It’s almost always impressive. It’s rare that the average person has ever seen something like this happen.”
However, even on top of all the visual arts offered at Summit, this year’s Summit T-shirt even has a flair for the artistic. Leanne Kawahigashi, a sophomore graphic design major from Fort Worth, won last year’s Summit art contest. Her winning design will be featured on the Summit T-shirt.
“There is a white circle in the design surrounded by gray circles. Nothing seems quite as pure as one white circle. It almost looks like a light! This represents Jesus,” Kawahigashi said. “It’s always weird to see something I made on the computer in print. Especially on clothing that people outside of the ACU student body can purchase.”