2018 Rubem Alves Award Announcement
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE jan.17, 2018
Yohana Agra Junker Souza Selected for 2018 Alves Theopoetics Award
Arlington, MA - January 17, 2018 - Yohana Junker, a visual artist and theology scholar, is the winner of the 2018 Rubem Alves Award for Theopoetics. The Award is given by ARC to acknowledge the contributions of an emerging artist, scholar, and/or activist whose work reflects a commitment to the role of imagination, art, and embodiment in faith and reflection on religion. Given in honor of the Brazilian theologian, author, and teacher, Rubem Alves, Junker is the second recipient of the award since it was established in 2016. She will speak and receive the Award at ARC's 2018 Theopoetics Conference in Newton, MA March 9 - 10, 2018.
Junker is a visual artist whose work has been shown in exhibitions in the American Midwest as well as in South America. She describes her abstract work as an invitation for viewers and pilgrims to reflect on their journeys by means of color, movement, and visual experience. She emphasizes the ways in which art can transform how we understand each other and God, believing that art can awaken a sense of wonder, awe, and an increased capacity for concern. Also a doctoral student in Art & Religion at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, Junker's current work "investigates the Land Art of the Southwest of the United States, taking a look at how cultural, artistic, and religious histories converge on a land that has been both construed as sacred by indigenous peoples as well as damaged by planetary change." A long-time student of Alves' work, Junker affirms that art not only "provides a place to bring people together to fashion experiences," but is also an opportunity "to forge strategic plans for change." Her attention to the ways in which spirituality, activism, and art can be brought together is also a theme of ARC's Theopoetics Conference, where she will receive the award.
ARC is a non-profit organization founded in 1962 whose work is to support and connect individuals and organizations that cultivate embodied and just ways of knowing and being through artistic and spiritual practices. ARC strives toward the vision of a just world where creativity and spirituality work together to promote the flourishing of all creation. The Alves Award was created to bring particular attention to an individual whose work reflects ARC's values and the commitments that Alves championed throughout his life.