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Weisman Museum Thought Partners Conversation Series Examines the Intersection of Art and Religion

Weisman Museum - Thought Partners

Through Sunday, March 26, 2023, the Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art will present Thought Partners, an ongoing conversation series examining the intersection of art and religion. As the Weisman Museum celebrates its 30th year on the Malibu campus, Thought Partners seeks diverse answers to the question of how the museum can serve the University‚Äôs mission and how the mission can be shaped by the intellect and influence of art and artists. The series will feature public discussions with scholars, artists, philanthropists, and curators who bridge these spheres of inquiry in novel ways that can inform the future of the Weisman and its place on the Pepperdine campus. 

"The idea for Thought Partners percolated out of conversations I had with faculty, students, and staff last fall and spring as I was contemplating how better to connect the Weisman to the campus community," says Andrea Gyorody, director of the Weisman Museum at Pepperdine University. "It became clear that the museum would greatly benefit from exploring the many diverse intersections of art, faith, religion, and spirituality through programs that turn the museum into a site of robust discussion."

Scheduled programming includes a Seaver College studio art faculty roundtable on Wednesday, September 21, 2022, at Noon featuring Gretchen Batcheller, John Emison, and Kate Parsons, who will explore art and faith at Pepperdine. "This roundtable of studio art faculty will illuminate how faculty in our art and art history programs are already navigating the discourse and practice of art and faith alongside their students," Gyorody says .On Thursday, October 13, 2022, at Noon, curator Rotem Rozental, executive director of the Los Angeles Center of Photography and previously the chief curator and senior director of arts and creative programming at the American Jewish University, will discuss Judaism, creative identity, and contemporary art. Patrick A. Polk, curator of Caribbean and Latin American popular arts at the UCLA Fowler Museum and a lecturer in the UCLA Department of World Arts and Cultures/Dance, will discuss lived religion, sacred space, and shrine-building in Los Angeles on Thursday, November 2, 2022, at Noon. Additional programming will be announced throughout the academic year. 

"Society tends to fixate on moments of conflict between art and religious belief or identity, which obscures the vast common ground between these two areas of inquiry and conviction," shares Gyorody. "I'm eager for Thought Partners to highlight paths toward mutual understanding and collaboration, which will inform the Weisman's work moving forward, hopefully bringing us closer to our students and the larger community."

All programs are free and open to the public, and advance reservations are not required. Conversations will be held on the second floor of the Weisman Museum unless otherwise noted. For more information, visit the Weisman Museum website