Pamela Alderman

Pamela Alderman, an artist without borders, demonstrates how art can engage participants within a safe space. Her two-part workshop includes a short presentation on how to reach a secular audience through art and a collaborative project called “Art Mysteries.” The hands-on activity, designed for artists and non-artists alike, challenges participants in team building as they problem-solve together. After coloring small wooden tiles, the group compiles the pieces like a puzzle. This fun team-building exercise celebrates collective community expression and demonstrates how art can be part of the healing solution.

Collage Workshop Leader

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James Anno

James. Anno earned his PhD in art history from Washington University in St. Louis, where he wrote a dissertation on the interrelationship of time and movement in Michelangelo’s art. From 2017 to 2019, James was the inaugural American Friends of Capodimonte post-doctoral curatorial fellow. At Capodimonte, James contributed to numerous exhibitions including Carta Bianca: Capodimonte Imaginaire, Depositi: Storie ancora da scrivere and Caravaggio Napoli. With interest in Italian Renaissance and Baroque art, James has published essays on Francesco Guarino, Artemisia Gentileschi, and he co-authored with Christopher Bakke the exhibition catalogue Flesh and Blood: Italian Masterpieces from the Capodimonte Museum, which enjoyed venues in Seattle and Fort Worth. Since 2019, James has served as Associate Curator of European Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, where he recently curated the exhibition Glory of Spain: Treasures from the Hispanic Society Museum & Library.

Breakout Presenter: Circa 1656: Parthenope, Plague and Mattia Preti’s Martyrdom of Saint Paul


Zac Bensen

Zac Benson is an international artist who has shown in Taiwan, Bulgaria, and throughout the United States.  He has also had public commissions in Australia, California, New York, and Washington, D.C..  His gallery work deals with the relationship between his personal faith and beliefs and his engagement with society while his public sculptures deal with the traditional relationship of scale and form.  He graduated with his B.F.A. in sculpture from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville in 2011 and an M.F.A. in Studio Art from The University of Maryland in 2017. Currently, he is an Assistant Professor of Studio Art at Anderson University where he teaches sculpture and ceramics.

Plenary Panel: The Sublime in Art


Katherine Brimberry

Katherine Brimberry co-founded Flatbed Press with Mark L. Smith in 1989 to be a publishing press for fine art prints and open studio for artist-printmakers. At Flatbed she served and still serves as the master-printer for publishing and art director.  In 2012, Brimberry became the sole owner and director of Flatbed.  As lead collaborating master printer, Brimberry has worked with nearly 100 different artists to create over 500 editions or projects over the past thirty years. During Flatbed’s early years, Brimberry was an esteemed instructor of printmaking at Austin Community College, St. Edward’s University and Texas State University.

Plenary Panel: The Sublime in Art

Explore Group Host: Printmaking at Flatbed Press


John Cobb

John Cobb studied with Charles Normann at the Texas School of Fine Arts and attended college at the University of Texas at Austin. In 1976 he entered the undergraduate program at Rhode Island School of Design. Rather than obtaining a degree Cobb took advantage of their overseas program and traveled in Romance Europe for a year, returning eventually to obtain a degree in art from St. Edward's University. His art is a life-long project---to form a Chapel reflecting a deeper psychological meaning to Texas Bible-Belt religious sentiments.

Plenary Panel: The Sublime in Art

Ikon Chapel Artist Talk

Local Austin Hospitality 


The conference is an opportunity to meet many wonderful and creative people from within the CIVA community. Get to know those people who helped make this year's conference possible. Bios are in alphabetical order and include local Austin hospitality, presenters, workshop leaders and Explore Group guides.


Kristen Cochran

Originally from Portland, OR, Ms. Cochran moved to Texas to complete her MFA in sculpture. She has been awarded residencies in New York, Austria, Wyoming and Texas. Kristen has taught extensively at local universities and museums including The University of Texas, Dallas, The Nasher Sculpture Center and The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. Recent exhibitions include After Carolee: Tender & Fierce at Artpace, San Antonio, fare well at The Nasher Sculpture Center, chroma soma at Barry Whistler Gallery (Dallas, TX), Fold In at Lawndale Arts Center (Houston, TX) and GOALS at the Stein Galleries (Wright State University, Dayton, OH). She will participate in the NARS Foundation Residency in Brooklyn, NY in 2021.

Plenary Panel: The Sublime in Art


Joe Cory

Joe Cory is a visual artist and an Associate Professor in the Department of Art and Design at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, where he also serves as a Faculty Fellow in Samford’s Center for the Worship and the Arts. Using fragmented imagery, he creates paintings, collages, and digital artworks to help him navigate the complex world in which we live. Cory is especially interested in using his work to serve as a reminder of God’s grace amidst a broken world. He exhibits his artwork across the United States and has received numerous grants and awards. He is a member of Shades Valley Community Church (EFCA) where he serves as an Elder. When he is not in the studio or classroom, Joe enjoys spending time with his family, reading, and watching sports.


Jennifer Craft

Jennifer is Associate Professor of Theology and Humanities at Point University in West Point, Georgia where she teaches courses in theology, philosophy, and the arts. She earned a PhD in Theology, Imagination and the Arts from University of St. Andrews and is the author of Placemaking and the Arts: Cultivating the Christian Life (IVP Academic 2018). She has also contributed to other publications such as Transpositions, SEEN Journal, Christianity Today, and The Visual Commentary on Scripture (forthcoming). Her latest research focuses on the prophetic imagination in contemporary art, along with the relationship between art and social justice.

Ted Eubanks

Ted Eubanks

Ted Lee Eubanks is the founder, CEO, and President of Fermata Inc., a leader in ecotourism, interpretation, sustainable development, and outdoor recreation planning. Photography is an integral part of his work, as well as a lifelong passion. Another passion of Ted's is nature, and the two come together in his lifetime involvement in nature photography.


Maria Fee

Maria Fee is an artist, theologian, and educator. Her visual art explores ideas of fragmentation, metizaje (cultural mixing), alienation, and hospitality. These notions also drive her theological research currently explored through the art of Theaster Gates and other social practice artists. As an adjunct professor at Fuller Seminary, she delves into theology and art topics through courses like Visual Arts and the Christian and Capstone Theology and Art. Maria has also contributed her expertise and energies to the Brehm Center’s Visual Faith initiative. She currently lives in Pasadena with her husband Brian Fee, who is also an artist.

Rev. Stephen Fields, S.J.


Stephen Fields, SJ is Professor of Philosophy of Religion and Systematic Theology at Georgetown University, Washington, DC. With degrees from Yale and Oxford, he has been the Bannan professor at Santa Clara and has held the Maclean Chair at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia and the Loyola Chair at Fordham University. His books and articles deal with a wide range of topics, such as metaphysics, aesthetics, nature and grace, modern interpreters of Aquinas, and Christian mysticism. Fr. Fields is an expert in philosophical theology and the history of Christian thought. He is the author of Being as Symbol: On the Origins and Development of Karl Rahner’s Metaphysics (2001), Analogies of Transcendence: An Essay on Nature, Grace and Modernity (2016), and numerous scholarly articles. His works often include reimagining the role of Christian art, revising the Thomist doctrine of God, and defending Christianity's unique claim in relation to other religions. He is former president of the Jesuit Philosophical Association.

Plenary: The Transcendent Art of Rouault and Grunewald in Light of Hans Urs von Balthasar

Robert Feuge


Robert's goal as an artist is to see the extraordinary in the ordinary and see the value in those things marginalized or discarded.  His foundation as an artist is grounded in childhood. He lived near a city dump that became his playground. Robert would rummage through those discarded things he found and create something new from seemingly disparate objects. He still embraces that childlike curiosity to ask "what else can this be and what is this thing trying to tell me?" Robert's goal is to see everything as an opportunity in teaching himself something new.

Art Workshop Leader

Local Austin Hospitality

Kim Garza


Kim Garza is an Associate Professor of Graphic Design at St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas. Besides creating engaging experiences for students, she leads campus programming on vocational exploration and career preparation. She works on creative projects as a user experience designer and an experimental filmmaker in collaboration with her singer-songwriter husband, and she is a mom of two boys. Kim has been an active CIVA member since 2001 and serves in leadership with Doing Good Well. She holds a B.A. from Anderson University and a Master of Graphic Design (M.G.D.) from North Carolina State University.

Presentation Moderator

Local Austin Hospitality


Delta David Gier has been called a dynamic voice on the American music scene, recognized widely for his penetrating interpretations of the standard symphonic repertoire, passionate commitment to new music, and significant community engagement. Orchestras Mr. Gier has conducted include the New York Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony, the St. Louis Symphony, and the Minnesota Orchestra.


Since 2004, Mr. Gier has been music director of the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra. During that period the orchestra has been lauded for its programming, including The Lakota Music Project, developed under Gier’s direction to address racial tensions between Native Americans and whites in the region the SDSO serves.

Plenary Panel: The Sublime in Art

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Shen, also known as :ShenShen210: "The Original West Coast Graffiti Girl”, has shown in museums, galleries and private collections spanning the globe. However, such amazing opportunities did not come without a price. Many adversities drove her deep into her sketchbook, and Shen now finds answers for life’s biggest questions from God, which she translates into solutions that are the worship experience that occurs as she paints. 

Mural Workshop Leader


David JP Hooker is an artist and professor of art at Wheaton College. He received an M.F.A. in Ceramics from Kent State University and a B.A. in English from Furman University. His works have been exhibited both nationally and internationally, and he has twice been part of the Dunhuang Ceramic Residency in Lanzhou, China. When David is not freaking out over deadlines, he enjoys spending time with his wife, Elaine, his children Abbey and Samuel, his dog, Meg, and his cat, Evee.

Plenary: In Praise of Ordinary, Everyday, Humdrum Transcendence

Donna Kemper

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Donna Kemper earned a double major in psychology and fine art from Grand Valley State.  Rather than earn an MFA, she found a portrait artist to apprentice with before she launched her art career.  She laid down that career to be a caregiver.  Now, she's transitioning back into art.

The Mercy of Lament Project Workshop

Ben King


Ben R. King is Professor Emeritus and former director and associate dean of the Greatbatch School of Music, Houghton College, an institution he first joined in 1980. From 1992 to 1996, he also served as professor and chair of the department of music at Sam Houston State University.

 A native of the Texas Panhandle, Ben holds the DMA in vocal performance and music literature from the Eastman School of Music and earned B.Mus. and M. Mus. degrees in vocal performance from Texas Tech University. He has appeared with Houston Grand Opera, New Orleans Opera, Gulf Coast Opera, and Western New York Opera, among others.

Edward Knippers


Edward Knippers holds an MFA from the University of Tennessee and has worked in the studios of Zao Wou-ki, S. W. Hayter, and Otto Eglau. He has also studied at the Sorbonne, Paris (language) and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. His work has been shown extensively thoughout the U. S. and abroad including the L A County Museum, Cheekwood, Nashville, the University of Oklahoma, Catholic University of America, Washington, DC., The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, Palazzo dei Setta, Orvieto, Italy and the Vatican Museum, Rome. Books and periodicals include: LIFE Magazine, the Washington Post, Dallas Morning News, Baltimore Sun, Fort Worth Star-Telegraph, New American Painting, Art Voices and two monographs: Violent Grace, A Retrospective (paintings) and The Art of Edward Knippers, Prints and Drawings. Most recently his work was included in Jesus Now, Art and Pop Culture.

Gallery Talk


Bobby Martin is an Artist / Educator / Facilitator who works out of 7 Springs Studio in Oklahoma. Martin’s artwork is exhibited and collected internationally in group and solo exhibitions, the most recent being a one-person exhibition entitled But You Don’t Look Indian… . His current project, Altars of Reconciliation, is a three-person show featuring Martin, Erin Shaw (Chickasaw-Choctaw) and Tony Tiger (Sac & Fox-Muscogee-Seminole) that focuses on the experiences of the artists as Native Americans and as Christians. An enrolled citizen of the Muscogee (Creek) tribe in Oklahoma, Martin holds a Professor of Visual Arts position at John Brown University in Siloam Springs, Arkansas.

Conversation: Cultural Transcendence

Nadia is the founder and the director of the Florence Classical Arts Academy and New Renaissance Foundation. She has received a degree in graphic design at Grekov Art College, Rostov-on-Don and earned her masters degree at  "Academy of Fine Arts", Florence, Italy ("Accademia di Belle Arti"). Nadia has held several exhibitions in Russia, Ukraine, and Europe and is an experienced teacher in graphic design, painting, drawing and composition.  Nadia has also worked as a graphic designer and the Art Courses Director for the University of Nations at the Kyiv (Ukraine) St. Petersburg and Rostov-on-Don (Russia) branches.​​

Plenary Panel: The Sublime in Art


Sylvia Orozco, co-Founder and Executive Director of Mexic-Arte Museum, has been with the organization since its incorporation in 1984. She received her B.F.A. in Fine Arts from The University of Texas at Austin in 1978 and completed course work for an M.F.A. in Fine Arts from the Autonomous University of Mexico in Mexico City in 1983. Among many other honors, in 2007, Sylvia received the prestigious Ohtli Award from the Instituto de los Mexicanos en el Exterior of the General Consulate of Mexico, and in 2009 was selected for the Austin Arts Hall of Fame. She also serves on the Board of Directors for the Mexican American Cultural Center and on City of Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell's Community Cabinet.


Erin Shaw is a painter of borderlands, the spaces between worlds. As a visual storyteller, the child of an Oklahoma farm, Shaw tills the rich soil of dichotomy through her masterful use of color, iconography, and story. A Chickasaw-Choctaw artist, she creates in a state of tension, where both solemnity and humor pervade and truths are revealed in unanticipated ways. The artist earned a BFA in studio art from Baylor University and MFA from the University of Oklahoma. She is Assistant Professor of Visual Arts at John Brown University, an international speaker, and a featured artist in Visual Voices: Contemporary Chickasaw Art, among other exhibits.

Conversation: Cultural Transcendence

Presentation Moderator

Bishop Joe S. Vásquez


Bishop Joe S. Vásquez studied at St. Mary Seminary and the University of St. Thomas, from where he obtained a Bachelor's degree in Theology. He then furthered his studies at the Pontifical North American College and Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome from 1980 to 1985. He was ordained a priest for the Diocese of San Angelo on June 30, 1984, by Archbishop Joseph A. Fiorenza. On November 30, 2001, Vásquez was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Galveston-Houston and Titular Bishop of Cova by Pope John Paul II. He received his episcopal consecration on January 23, 2002. On 26 January 2010 he was appointed as bishop of Austin by Pope Benedict XVI filling the vacancy left by Gregory Michael Aymond who was appointed archbishop of New Orleans. 

Prayer and Blessing of the Artists

Ray Williams

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Ray Williams, Director of Education and Academic Affairs at the Blanton Museum of Art.

Before Austin, Williams was appointed the first ever Director of Education at the Harvard Art Museums. Previously, Rhode Island School of Design Museum of Art, Peabody Essex Museum, the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, and the Ackland Art Museum. While at the Harvard and Sackler Museums, Williams stewarded a project initiative that brought English language learners and those applying for their United States Citizenship test into the museum. The project, titled Engaging New Americans: Explorations in Art, Self, and Our Democratic Heritage” was funded by the National Endowment for the Arts and served to connect American art with an immigrant experience, through gallery sessions, discussions and activities. Also at the Harvard and Sackler Museums, Williams developed programming that brought physicians and medical educators into the museum spaces for lessons in close looking, and empathy and communication skills; this work further carried over to the University of Texas at Austin Dell Medical School.

Explore Group Host: Blanton Museum of Art & Ellsworth Kelly

Denise Weyhrich & Cindi Zech Rhodes


We, as artists living among artists, often hear about our colleagues’ struggles. We realize that many have a hidden wealth of personal artworks coming from the depth of their souls - experiments that speak in a private voice. These artworks are not shown in galleries or commercial venues, but as pure expressions of pain, loss, wanderings, searchings and joy, and have great potential to create deep connections.
These private artworks are our passion. We have "to bring these artworks alive" as Madeleine L'Engle discusses in her book "Walking on Water." So, SEEDS has been busy transforming galleries and museums into sacred spaces all across the nation. We have curated exhibits working collectively with artists, and inspire them to pursue new directions of risk.

Portfolio Reviewers

Taylor Worley

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Taylor Worley serves as Associate Vice President of Spiritual Life and University Ministries as well as Associate Professor of Christian Thought at Trinity International University in Deerfield, Illinois. He completed a Ph.D. in the areas of contemporary art and theological aesthetics in the Institute for Theology, Imagination, and the Arts at the University of St. Andrews.