strangers neighbors family friends
The Viewfinder Machine 1(6 of 7) KaramatOf Cracks and Crossings - view 2Red-OrangeCollaborative Seminar Painting

Welcome to Charis,
An International Traveling Art Exhibition

Charis (from the Greek for gift or grace) is an international traveling exhibit of work by 7 Asian and 7 North American artists that explores the implications of Christian faith and effective artistic practice in an increasingly visually-oriented world where the convergence of cultures is the norm rather than the exception. As the outgrowth of the artists’ participation in a two-week immersive seminar in Indonesia during the summer of 2008 the exhibit represents the ongoing dialogue of these artists on the challenges of cross-cultural communication and understanding, and the need for people of faith to address real-world issues of social justice, peace and reconciliation, and the effects of globalization wherever one lives.

Reconsidering the importance of our shared humanity in relation to the realities of genuine difference as we seek to live together in a shrinking and increasingly interdependent world, the exhibition presents the essential challenge of living with a spirit of grace (and all that entails) toward ones’ neighbor, whether that neighbor is next door or on the other side of the globe.

The exhibition is composed of about 40 works that include paintings, sculptures, assemblage, fiber constructions, installations and video projections. This highly interactive, experiential presentation includes collaborative endeavors that embody the very issues and ideals that the exhibit presents.

The exhibit will travel to a minimum of 8-10 venues across North America thorugh 2012 before heading to Asia.

A substantial color catalogue has been published in conjunction with the exhibit. The catalogue can be purchased through the Calvin College Store. See here to order online. For wholesale orders, contact Rachel Smith at

Contact Rachel Smith, Charis Project Director and Curator for more information or a prospectus of the exhibit at



CHARIS is curated by Rachel Hostetter Smith
with the assistance of Jo-Ann Van Reeuwyk and Joel Zwart

Cosponsored by the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities
and the Nagel Institute of Calvin College

With major support from:
Walter and Darlene Hansen
Calvin Center for Christian Scholarship
The Crowell Trust
John and Mary Loeks
The Joan L. and Robert C. Gilkison Family Foundation
Traveling with assistance from CIVA Christians in the Visual Arts

What's Happening:

Exhibition Schedule
CHARIS at the International Forum for Christian Higher Education on Critical Breakthrough
in Atlanta, Georgia
February 24-26, 2010
This conference of 1200 leaders in Christian Higher Education includes a session with CHARIS artists, a media presentation of the exhibit and onsite presentation of a portion of the artwork followed by a lunch reception at Columbia Theological Seminary in nearby Decatur to view the rest of the CHARIS exhibit.

CHARIS at Columbia Theological Seminary
in Decatur, Georgia
January 20-August 7, 2010

CHARIS is featured in the Spring 2010 Issue of Image and SEEN.

Comment on CHARIS and read what others are saying about CHARIS.
CHARIS featured in Mosaic Newsletter

The Charis exhibit was featured in the most recent issue of MOSAIC, a newsletter put out by StoneWorks to connect creative culture makers around the world. Click here to read the four page article (in .pdf format).