Published on March 1, 2019 by Ashley Smith  
The Beautiful

Samford’s School of the Arts welcomes The Beautiful March 4-28a diverse exhibition featuring multiple talented artists. The show was organized by CIVA (Christians in the Visual Arts), a non-profit organization founded in 1979, dedicated to exploring and nurturing the relationship between the visual arts and the Christian faith.

Stephen F. Austin State University Professor of Art Emeritus Mary McCleary and Michelle Westmark Wingard, professor of art and gallery director at Bethel University served as the exhibition’s jurors. Selected works aligned with the theme and provided a diverse approach to one’s encounter with beauty.

Samford is an institutional member of CIVA and many art and design faculty are individual members of the organization. Associate Professor of Art Joe Cory serves on CIVA’s Board of Directors. According to Cory who also has a piece of his work in the show, “Partnering with CIVA to host this exhibition is one of the many ways we can advance the conversation about art and faith in our society.” 

Cory shared, “The Beautiful  features over 30 artists working in diverse mediums and styles who examine the many ideas surrounding beauty in our contemporary culture. Each artist brings their own experience with this loaded term. The work on display challenges us to think about our relationship with the material world and relationship with its creator.”

This traveling exhibition includes a wide variety of styles, mediums and approaches to the theme of beauty. Each approach represents different ways of thinking about the term. Cory described the exhibit, “Some of these works are traditionally beautiful in an aesthetic sense and some instead choose to dig deeper into this term in order to make spiritual or philosophical connections to the theme. I hope students will find this diversity refreshing and it will inspire their work and ideas in new and unexpected ways.”

The show is part of the John and Marsha Floyd Art and Design Series. An opening reception took place on March 5 at 4:00 p.m. in the Art Gallery. The next exhibit will be the annual juried student show April 8-18.  The Samford Art Gallery is located in Swearingen Hall on the Samford campus. 




Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.