August 17, 2011
Call for Entries: Imaging The Sacred Art of Chant


"Only that day dawns to which we are awake." - Henry David Thoreau

"Space has a spiritual equivalent and heals what is divided and
burdensome in us." - Gretel Erhlich

"At the beginning of God's creating of the heavens and the earth, when
the dark was wild and waste, darkness over the face of the ocean, rushing-spirit of God hovering over the face of the waters - God said: Let there
be light!; and there was light. God saw the light: that it was good. God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light: Day! And
the darkness he called: Night! There was setting, there was dawning:
one day." - Genesis 1:1-5 (from The Five Books of Moses, by Everett Fox)


God speaks the light into being. Day! Night! As a musician, I put great stock in the tools of the trade; listening, practicing, singing or playing alone or with others. Many of my artist friends have told me that they listen to music, specifically chant, while they work. I can't imagine such a thing, because although God might be able to create the earth while the wind is sweeping over the face of the waters, I need quiet in order to hear a new chant into being. However, I see the possibilities, in the chants I sing repeatedly year after year, when I look through the lens of my camera and glimpse what I think the composition wants to be, where the parts might come together to create consonance, or dissonance, or when I really see the colors of a particular vista at a certain time of day.

In his book "Music and Imagination," Aaron Copland says,
"This never ending flow of music forces us to use our imaginations, for music is in a continual state of becoming." So are we in a continual state of becoming, and I use chanting to help me to become the most loving and compassionate person I am capable of becoming.

The pianist Glenn Gould put it a little differently:
"The purpose of art is not the release of a momentary ejection of adrenaline, but is, rather, the lifelong construction of a state of wonder and serenity." When I look at the masters of Chinese brush painting and see the skill with which one line can be rendered, in addition to the brevity (which I admire), I see healing, spirit, wonder, and serenity — I think of it as a melody, like the ones I'm sure have been with us since the first setting and dawning.

Chanting is to me what I imagine a well-executed brush stroke must be for a painter: a line we return to our entire life, always the same yet never the same, by turns supple, solid, rendered in haste or patience, best when we pay enough attention to honor the energy of the material, alive when we don't over think it. It's as if we find our voice and become who we are meant to be line-by-line, tune-by-tune. This process of becoming and knowing ourselves may take us over familiar ground, but then we are never the same person we were when first we began.

I invite you to select a piece of music, in whole or in part, and with line or camera or collage, bring us a construction of "wonder and serenity" or passion or peace. And to begin this construction, I offer a chant called "Om Namah Shivaya" (I honor the divine within). To hear this chant, click on the "Imaging the Sacred Art of Chant" banner above.

Ana Hernandez, Musician
Curator, Imaging the Sacred Art of Chant

"Om Namah Shivaya" included here is sung by Ana Hernandez and
Ruth Cunningham: "HARC"

Deadline for entries is: OCTOBER 24, 2011

This exhibition is open to artists who are members of The Artists Registry @ ECVA.

You may submit up to three (3) images for consideration by the Curator of this exhibition. These images must be in either GIF or JPEG file format and sized so that they are at least 600 pixels (8.33 inches) on the SHORTEST side, when displayed at a resolution of 72 pixels-per-inch (ppi).

Send your image attached to an e-mail. In the e-mail, provide your NAME as you wish it to appear in the exhibition along with the TITLE of the image and the ART MEDIA as you wish it to appear. You may also include a statement which relates your image to this Call, using no more than 150 words (which may be edited for length).

The subject line of the e-mail should contain "Imaging the Sacred Art of Chant” along with YOUR NAME. The subject line should look similar to this:

Subject: Imaging the Sacred Art of Chant, YOUR NAME

Do not use previous ECVA entry forms. All submissions must be received no later than October 24, 2011.

Please note: Images submitted for this Call must NOT have been shown in a previous ECVA Exhibition. By submitting entries for this exhibition, you agree that we may use the images on the ECVA web site, in printed and on-line promotional material produced by ECVA; in the ECVA Newsletter; and on the Art Blog at Episcopal Cafe.

Entries must be sent to If you have questions, please send them to

NOTE: you can always find the current Call from a link on the ECVA home page.
(Simply look in the right-hand column, and click on "Call For Entries." )


The Episcopal Church and Visual Arts, Inc.
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