Every year we offer a residency to an artist who creates work that illuminates the cathedral’s annual theme, amplifying the cathedral’s vision, mission and goals. We have an Artist in Residence program because we believe in the power of art to inspire people and we want to make art accessible to everyone.
Our 2017 Artist in Residence: Sarah Kay
Grace Cathedral’s Artist in Residence program welcomed its first poet in 2017. Sarah Kay, renowned for her spoken word poetry and a top-selling author and international performer, presented and enlightened audiences at a range of exciting cathedral events.
Sarah came to contemplate the “Year of the Gift.” Relive her performances with great images and videos on our guide to Sarah Kay’s residency at the Cathedral.
Sarah has shared her poetry in venues and classrooms around the world. She is perhaps best known for her talk at the 2011 TED conference that has been viewed over ten million times. Sarah holds a Master’s Degree in the Art of Teaching from Brown University, and an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from Grinnell College. Her first book, “B” was ranked #1 Poetry Book on Amazon. “No Matter the Wreckage,” is also an Amazon Bestseller in American Poetry. Other poems and articles have been published in CURA Magazine, The Writer Magazine, Thrush, Treehouse Magazine, Union Station Magazine, the Huffington Post, CNN.com and many more. She has performed for the Tribeca Film Festival, Lincoln Center Out of Doors and the United Nations.
She is the founder and co-director of Project VOICE, an organization dedicated to promoting empowerment, improving literacy and encouraging empathy and creative collaboration in classrooms and communities around the world through award-winning performances and innovative workshops. Sarah hails from New York City and has been performing her spoken word poetry since she was 14 years old.
Past Artists in Residence
In 2016, the “Year of Home,” artists Benjamin Bergery and Jim Campbell created two light installations are our 2016 Artists in Residence.
Jacob’s Dream: A Luminous Path, an installation of light and moving images currently hanging in the cathedral, was designed to evoke a pathway between earth and heaven, between the visible and invisible. They also premiered Miracle Fragments a two-night-only light and sound event evoking different Biblical miracles.
Bergery, a media artist and cinematographer, and Campbell, a light artist whose work is in the collections of both the New York and San Francisco Museums of Modern Art, have previously collaborated on critically-acclaimed projects.
In 2015, the Year of Technology, artists Elaine Buckholtz and Floor van de Velde of Nighthouse Studio were invited to be Grace Cathedral’s 2015 Artists in Residence.
Buckholtz and van de Velde explore the medium of light and sound as ephemeral phenomena with the potential to unmask hidden aspects of architectural forms and to activate space. As the Artists in Residence, they premiered their work, Fields of Prayer, an integrative, immersive light and sound installation. They presented several live performances, and several exterior presentations of the installation.
In 2014, the Year of Sustainability, Oakland-based eco-chef, food justice activist and author Bryant Terry educated the community about how a more just, healthier food system supports healthy communities. He also delighted us with vegetarian menus and presentations as part of our 50th anniversary celebrations. Learn more about Bryant Terry.
In 2013, the Year of Music, New York visual artist Anne Patterson produced multi-sensory evenings of visual art and music, collaborating with renowned cellist Joshua Roman and composer and conductor Paul Haas, and created a stunning, music-inspired aerial installation with 20 miles of ribbon, titled Graced with Light. View a film about Graced with Light by Three Bridges West, and learn more about Anne Patterson.
In 2012, the theme was Grace. Actor and playwright Anna Deavere Smith became the cathedral’s first Artist in Residence. The premiere of her work in progress, “On Grace,” with accompaniment by cellist Joshua Roman, was presented over two nights in sold out performances.