IN NOVEMBER 2015 THE ITALIAN NATIONAL BISHOPS’ CONFERENCE (CONFERENZA EPISCOPALE ITALIANA) will convene in Florence, Italy. The theme will be SI FECE CARNE: HE BECAME FLESH, looking at Christ as the source of our humanity, focusing on the dignity of the human person. Florence, the cradle of the rediscovery of ancient Greek and Roman portrayals of the human person in the 15th and 16th centuries, will be the host city for this important event that occurs every five years.
Cardinal Giuseppe Betori, Archbishop of Florence and friend of the Community of Jesus, is an active promoter of contemporary sacred art, recognizing that the same Holy Spirit who worked through Florentine artists and builders to create Ghiberti’s Baptistery doors, Donatello’s statues, Brunelleschi’s famous dome, and Michelangelo’s painting and sculpture is at work in today’s artists. The location of the conference in Florence, the center of Renaissance art, provides a worthy context for considering new forms of liturgical art in ancient spaces. For this reason, the conference will include an exhibit of contemporary art in the crypt of the ancient Basilica of San Lorenzo. Several contemporary artists from different countries will be featured.
The new Mount Tabor Ecumenical Centre for Art and Spirituality will sponsor four portions of this international exhibit:
- Glass Sculptor: Gabriele Wilpers, Essen, Germany who designed the glass sculpture on the West Wall of the Church of the Transfiguration
- Painter: Susan Kanaga, Cape Cod, MA who designed a Creation cycle of stone sculpture for the Atrium of the Church of the Transfiguration.
- Processional Cross from the Church of the Transfiguration, designed by Artists from the Community of Jesus and Bronze Sculptor Robert Jordan from Orleans, MA.
- Maquettes of art from the Church of the Transfiguration (fresco, mosaic, glass, and stone and bronze sculpture) Dynamic examples of how ancient crafts can give fresh voice to art made for prayer and for liturgy today.