Faith and the Visual Arts
Arts & Faith St. Louis and the Saint Louis Art Museum (SLAM) Partnership
In 2017, Arts & Faith St. Louis began a focus on Faith and the Visual Arts. A partnership with the Saint Louis Art Museum was initiated to create programming using the Museum’s collection as a guide to interfaith understanding. Programs include:
A pair of gallery talks titled "Images of Compassion" presented in early April 2019 by Father Terrence Dempsey, S.J., then the Executive Director of MOCRA. These free, hour-long informal discussions offer insights into the Museum’s permanent collection and featured exhibitions. Talks take place in the galleries and are led by curators, museum educators, professors, artists, and other experts.
Interfaith Tours, initiated in 2017, continued in 2018-19 for drop-in visitors and scheduled groups. These tours demonstrate common elements of global faith traditions in art produced throughout the ages. Interfaith Partnership of Greater St. Louis has played an invaluable role in developing these tours and working with the docents. The A&F/SLAM collaboration experienced another success in October 2019 when SLAM docents and staff presented the Interfaith Tour program at the National Docent Symposium in Washington, D.C. with the hope that this approach can be a model for other communities to create partnerships with community organizations. A similar presentation was offered at the Docent Council of Metropolitan St. Louis Symposium last March for a wide range of St. Louis community museums and organizations.
Due to the success of these tours, current plans include expanding the Interfaith Tours when in-person tours and events resume at the St. Louis Art Museum.