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Canvas is a creative conference that seeks to build bridges between the artist and the theologian by inviting God to take center stage in every human endeavor.

Our vision is to help inform all acts of human creativity and beauty with biblical, gospel-centered theology for the worship of the triune God.

 

The Reason

By design, the Canvas Conference stands at the intersection of theology and creativity. Our hope and heart in this venture is gospel-oriented and gospel-driven. We want to help build strong theological foundations for the artist and, likewise, to push Christians to pursue creative orthodoxy in their theological craft. We have found that without theology, creativity wanders from its original significance and purpose; while without creativity, theology often becomes cold, distant, and futile.   

In response, The Canvas Conference seeks to build bridges between the artist and the theologian by inviting God to take center stage in every human endeavor. We want to watch the Lord as he puts theology and creativity in their proper place. We want to show that creativity begins and ends with the God of Christian Scripture. It is our Creator who created us in his image to create. Thus, we should do so for his glory, for our good, and for the benefit of all. To do this rightly, we need to hear God speak. So we gather together at Canvas to listen to the Lord and be changed by his thoughts on art, the creative act, what he thinks about us, what he has made us to be, and how he can transform our broken attempts at beauty into means of divine grace.

 

Our Hope

Through our time together, we want to grow deeper in our relationship with the Lord and to understand our place in his kingdom with greater clarity. We want to show how each of us can reveal God’s image and how he transforms us into the perfect image of his Son, Jesus Christ.

We want every act of our creativity—from writing to painting, from music to parenting—to be enhanced by the reality of the gospel, the hope it affords, and the future it offers. In short, we want to worship. We want to worship with you. And we want to worship God in a way that changes everything about us and everything we create.

 
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This Year’s Theme

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Broken promises define us. They are the lining of our contemporary lives.

Technology promised community and yet we are the loneliest generation. Experts, with their self-help books and psychological insights, promised healing and change—and yet we remain a broken generation. The world promised us everything, and yet all we have to show for it is a generation drowning in anxiety.

So many of us have learned our lesson.

We’ve stopped looking for answers; now, we just look for someone who can help us understand ourselves and make the world feel our disillusionment. We’ve turned our backs on the expert, the philosopher, and the academic, and have come knocking on the artist’s door. Artists are this world’s new authority, because they are the ones who promise to represent all our uneasy existence with their well-placed words, who promise that their paints and harmonies can save us from all our problems and enemies.  

Art and creativity were never meant to hold our world together—because, no one, not even the best artist, can hold the world together.

Art and creativity were made to do something better. Something more. Something otherworldly. Art and creativity point us beyond ourselves. Above our world. Outside this anxious age. When done right, art and creativity show us where broken promises are remade into kept promises—and kept promises are kept forever.

Art and creativity exist to show that there is more to this world than what’s in your head and before your eyes. Art and creativity, when put in their proper place, can help us see above the line of despair that diminishes our world—that we might look upon the one who brings hope to the broken.

Join us for Canvas 2019 as we try to help Christians, artists, and creatives know where to look when the world asks them for everything—everything that they cannot possibly give. Help us as we seek to understand how we got where we are, where we can go from here, and how art and creativity can play a beautiful part in reaching beyond our lonely, anxious, and disillusioned world in order to bring the heavens below.