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Exhibition Showcases Role of Christianity in Twentieth Century British Art

Contact: Jenna Bartlo, Media Relations Coordinator, Biola University, 562-777-4061, jenna.l.bartlo@biola.edu

LA MIRADA, Calif., Feb. 15, 2012 /Christian Newswire/ -- Exploring the role of Christianity through visual arts, the exhibition "Twentieth Century British Art from the Ahmanson Collection" will be displayed for the first time in Southern California. The paintings, drawings, prints and sculptures exemplify the artists' awareness of spiritual life amidst daily life and grief. The opening reception is Sat., Feb. 18, 2012 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. The show will run through March 10.

"The artists in the Ahmanson collection portrayed the holy and visualized the sacred in order to grace both the cathedral and the private refuge," said Barry Krammes, Director, Biola University Art Gallery. "These images helped create sacred spaces where the reality of God's presence was manifest."

Engaging Biola University's Year of the Arts theme "Sanctuary & Sacred Space" the show, curated by Lyrica Taylor, explores the roles of Christianity in visual art throughout the twentieth-century in Great Britain. The pieces were chosen to focus on deepening an understanding of the vital role the visual arts and beauty played in shaping human experience and awareness of the sacred in this landmark century.

"As you will see, central to the vision of these artists is a kind of spareness, a bleakness born of the suffering of two world wars," said Ahmanson, philanthropist and arts patron. "Their colors are muted, their vision restrained. Yet, they turn to biblical images to understand their grief. So, for the first time in Southern California, visitors will get a glimpse of that vision."

The exhibition includes major paintings, drawings, prints, and sculpture by some of the most important and beloved twentieth-century British artists, including Stanley Spencer, Eric Gill, Jacob Epstein, Barbara Hepworth, Edward Burra, and Graham Sutherland.

"Biola University is honored to host Twentieth Century British Art from the Ahmanson Collection," said Krammes. "It would be impossible to realize an exhibition of this caliber without the generous support of people like Howard and Roberta Ahmanson."

Docent tours are available Tuesdays and Thursdays at 12 p.m. and 12:30 p.m. To request a private group tour for ten or more, call (562) 903-4807.

CONTACT: Press tours available upon request. For interviews with Barry Krammes and Lyrica Taylor, contact Jenna Bartlo, Media Relations Coordinator, at jenna.l.bartlo@biola.edu or 562.777.4061.

About Year of the Arts Visionary-in-Residence
The Visionary-in-Residence initiative annually brings to Biola's campus a Christian thinker who has made significant contributions in the arts and humanities. Roberta Green Ahmanson has been chosen as Biola's 2011-2012 Visionary- in-Residence. She is a writer and philanthropist whose public activities are focused on deepening awareness and understanding of the role of religion in public life, the importance of knowing history to understand the present, and the vital role the arts play in shaping human experience. Mrs. Ahmanson has chosen Sacred Space as the theme she would like the Biola community to explore together with her this academic year.

About Biola University
Biola University, named one of 17 "up and coming" national universities by U.S. News & World Report, is a private Christian university located in Southern California. For more than 100 years, Biola has remained committed to its mission of biblically centered education, integrating biblical principles with every academic program. With a current record-high enrollment of 6,250 students, the university's six schools offer 145 academic programs, ranging from the B.A. to the Ph.D. For more information, visit