MOCRA celebrates 25 years of a unique museum with an exhibition of work by 25 artists.
Sept. 16, 2018 – Feb. 17, 2019
An opening reception will be held 2 to 4 p.m. on Sept. 16, 2018.
The reception is free and open to the public.
An audacious premise
The Museum of Contemporary Religious Art began with an audacious assertion: many of today’s visual artists engage with the religious and spiritual dimensions in their work—even if they sometimes go about it in ways quite different from prior generations.
Despite skepticism from members of both the art world and communities of faith, and practical challenges like an unexpected asbestos abatement project, MOCRA opened in a renovated seminary chapel on the campus of Saint Louis University on Feb. 14, 1993. Since then, through the course of more than 60 exhibitions, accompanied by wide-ranging programs (including a podcast), MOCRA has established itself as a critically hailed voice in the world of contemporary art, a celebrated feature of the St. Louis cultural landscape, and a committed participant in the work of interfaith dialogue and understanding.
A Portrait of a Museum, in 25 Artists
A single exhibition cannot hope to do justice to the many talented artists and outstanding artworks that have made up MOCRA’s exhibitions over two-and-a-half decades. Instead, this exhibition aims to sketch a portrait of MOCRA, from its origins to the present moment, in the work of 25 artists:
Discovery through Dialogue
For both newcomers and long-time visitors, MOCRA: 25 will reveal many facets of the museum.
- Discover how the support and guidance of several key artists and curators, given at MOCRA’s early stages, established a solid foundation for the young museum.
- Explore MOCRA’s curatorial understanding of how the religious and spiritual dimensions are expressed in contemporary art, embodied in the wide range of artists, themes, media, and visual vocabularies included in MOCRA: 25.
- Experience the ways visual art can be a vehicle for interfaith encounter, enriching personal understandings of spirituality while opening viewers to new ideas and perspectives.
One constant theme runs through MOCRA’s 25 years: dialogue. Dialogues between artists and religion and spirituality, and between viewers and artworks—from these encounters emerge new perspectives that deepen our awareness and challenge us to live more fully and more compassionately.
We invite you to come join in the conversation.