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Trinity Talks’ latest theme:  ‘Art as a Medium for Change’

Makoto Fujimura

Trinity Church Wall Street’s Trinity Talks series is featuring this fall a series of three discussions with leading artists, titled “Art as a Medium for Change.”

The artists will discuss how visual art can offer new insights and revelations, challenge the expected narrative and transform our way of perceiving and understanding. The artists invite us to see our relationships, culture, and environment in a new way—calling us to respond and take part in creating a more just future.

The events are free. Registrants may also attend via live stream.

On Oct. 23, Makoto Fujimura will be discussing “Beauty & Art.” Fujimura is a leading contemporary artist who creates process-driven, refractive “slow art.” Fujimura is an arts advocate, speaker, and theologian recognized worldwide. He will join the Rev. Phillip Jackson for a conversation about how the act of creativity helps us heal, be in relationship with one another, and build a more just world. 

His process-driven, refractive “slow art” has been described by David Brooks of the New York Times as “a small rebellion against the quickening of time.” Robert Kushner in the mid-’90s wrote about Fujimura’s art in Art in America: “The idea of forging a new kind of art, about hope, healing, redemption, refuge, while maintaining visual sophistication and intellectual integrity is a growing movement, one which finds Makoto Fujimura’s work at the vanguard.” Fujimura has authored four books, and his new book, “Art+Faith: A Theology of Making ,” has been called by poet Christian Wiman “a tonic for our atomized time.”

Maya Lin

On Nov. 6, Maya Lin will be talking about “Reconnecting to the Natural World.” Lin is known for her large-scale environmental artworks, architectural works, and memorial designs. She is an environmental activist who raises awareness about environmental degradation and the biodiversity crisis and creates art that encourages viewers to rethink their immediate surroundings. Lin will join the Rev. Michael Bird for a conversation about our relationship to nature, the current climate crisis and envisioning new ways to see a different outcome for us and our planet. 

Lin’s unique installations, architecture, and memorials, such as the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, become a part of the land and merge physical and psychological environments to create a new way of seeing the world. She has been awarded the National Medal of Arts, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and the Presidential Design Award for her widely acclaimed memorials. The 1996 documentary about her, “Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision,” won the Academy Award for Best Documentary. 

Latoya Ruby Frazier Photo/Robbie Fimmano

On Feb. 12, LaToya Ruby Frazier will join e the Rev. Kelly Brown Douglas to discuss the transformative power of art: “Using Photography for Social Change.”

Frazier’s work depicts the stark reality of today’s America: post-industrial cities riven by poverty, racism, healthcare inequality, and environmental toxicity. By featuring voices and perspectives traditionally erased from the American narrative, Frazier captures our cultural blind spots and teaches us how art is a powerful tool for making change.

Frazier’s artistic practice spans a range of media, including photography, video, performance, installation art and books, and centers on the nexus of social justice, cultural change, and commentary on the American experience.

In various interconnected bodies of work, Frazier, a MacArthur grant recipient, uses collaborative storytelling with the people who appear in her artwork to address topics of industrialism, Rust Belt revitalization, environmental justice, access to healthcare, access to clean water, Workers’ Rights, Human Rights, family, and communal history. This builds on her commitment to the legacy of 1930s social documentary work and 1960s and ’70s conceptual photography that addresses urgent social and political issues of everyday life. 

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