Regional Church Histories & Stained Glass: Contemplating the Complexities of the Church Through Collaborative Praxis

Regional Church Histories & Stained Glass: Contemplating the Complexities of the Church Through Collaborative Praxis
November 30-December 3, 2022

Satellite Project Space
121 Dundas St
Wednesday-Friday 2-7pm, Saturday 12-5pm

Closing Reception: December 3, 3-5pm

Featuring works from
ARTHUM 2200E: Documenting, Digitizing, Maintaining Art, and Community Activism 
through the Stained Glass of Christopher Wallis

In exploring local sites, we have become attuned to the tensions underpinning church and cultural histories and the ways in which religious iconography has been strategically mobilized as a tool that both includes and excludes diverse subjectivities. Our research in books, religious institutions, and archives has been supplemented by oral and visual modes of communication. Through this, we contemplate how religious pedagogy functioned in the context of residential schools, how churches have taken action to depoliticize themselves, in part, through the telling of their histories to create a distinction between the church of the past and the church of the present, and how community beneficial social programming provides supports for Indigenous peoples and numerous other vulnerable peoples. We consider the unexpected disconnects among programs that offer food, shelter, consolation, and reprieve from human suffering to broader sociocultural and historical contexts that have facilitated imbalances in power that have fostered environments undermining diversity, and inclusivity. We cast a critical lens on acts from of the past to today’s services that seek a new, more informed future. Presenting these questions allows us to unravel the complexities of how the church functions both as a site of support and struggle, while also recognizing the heterogeneity of that exists in Christian religious practices and communities.

Through collaborative artmaking, Regional Church Histories & Stained Glass encourages dialogue about religious education and national and local histories by engaging with ideas about architectural and cultural heritage, art making, and art preservation. We do so, specifically through the medium of stained glass. Considering the influence of stained glass’s symbolic value to art, trauma, and community allows us to shed light on the multifaceted complexities of a past that exhorts further inquiring and greater illumination.