Advent Series

Advent begins November 28, and this year I will be publishing short daily posts that pair a visual artwork with a piece of music, most accompanied by brief commentary. (I did a trial run last Advent.) The primary purpose is to invite spiritual contemplation on the season’s themes, allowing artists to be our guide. I’ve been planning out the series since August—and ended up procuring ideas to last for three Advents!—and I’m really looking forward to presenting it. The daily posts in this format will extend through the twelve days of Christmas as well.

Advent 2021

Contemporary singer-songwriters are heavily represented in the music selections, but there is also a Shaker hymn, an Appalachian spiritual, a Renaissance motet, a Byzantine troparion, a South African freedom song, sixties electronica, and a Victorian carol from Sussex. Many of these songs can be found on the Advent playlist I compiled. For the artworks, in addition to paintings there are a few installations, photographs, collages, a lithograph, a serigraph, a papercut, a quilt, and a mosaic.

The recurring theme throughout, sometimes inherent to the artwork and in other cases brought about by a particular reading of it, is looking forward with hope and readiness to the coming of Christ, to the Light who will dispel darkness and bring justice and peace. “A new world is coming, and it’s just around the bend,” sings Nina Simone. May we welcome it with eager longing.

If you’d like to receive each post in your inbox, subscribe to the blog by entering your email address where prompted in the sidebar. I will also link to the posts on Facebook and Twitter. (Update: If you’re on your computer and you don’t see a sidebar, it’s probably because you’re viewing this post from the homepage; click on the post’s URL, and you should see the Subscribe button at the right. If you’re viewing this on your phone, the Subscribe button is at the bottom of the page, below the comments. Because this website is not self-hosted, WordPress does not allow me to manually add email addresses to the subscription list, nor to create a dedicated subscription tab—sorry!)

Art credits: In the poster above, clockwise from top left, are Sun Tunnels by Nancy Holt, a detail of Night Travelers by Delita Martin, Christmas Tree by Shirazeh Houshiary, and a fresco from the Monastery of Saint John the Theologian in Chora on the island of Patmos.

13 thoughts on “Advent Series

  1. I am just tickled to read that you are ready for 3 seasons of Advent! Your enthusiastic joining of art and theology are such a blessing to those of us who do one of those better than the other. I deeply value your gift and your open-hearted sharing. Peace to you!

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  2. I really look forward to the Advent series, Victoria. Will I receive them automatically if I receive your blog posts regularly? I cannot find the sidebar prompt for signing up. Thank you!

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  3. So thankful for your blog! You compile such a diverse and wide ranging array of visual, audible, and written gems, coming from the many traditions of faith and showing the breadth of human artistic response to God the Great Creator, Savior, and Sanctifier. Always a blessing and always inspiring!

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