Our Kreft Arts Program theme for the 2018-2019 year is “Permanence and Change.” The desire to capture a moment in time has a long history in the arts, perhaps growing out of the very human longing for stability and steadiness in our personal and social relationships. One thinks of the figures on poet John Keats’s Grecian Urn, captured in the moment of highest emotional intensity. But to be human is to change, as Keats (and even the most committed traditionalist) would admit. Sometimes, too these qualities are depicted in the contrast of the spiritual—one's relationship with God—and the material—one's relationship to the body or to the phenomena of the physical world. The theme can range from the decay of atoms to the constancy of love. And can we find a way to recognize and reconcile these the two elements of human existence and desire? The subject lends itself to explorations in disciplines ranging from literature to theology to the visual arts to the natural sciences and beyond.

Mark S. Looker, Ph.D.
Director, the Kreft Art Program
Professor of English