TheoArtistry: Call for ARTISTS to partner with St Andrews Research Students in Theology

Open Call for Artists!

TheoArtistry: Text & Image Scheme

From  21st May  to  21st December 2021


Deadline to apply: ***extended to  9th May, 2021

Visual artists are invited to participate in a new programme of creative collaborations hosted by the Institute for Theology, Imagination, and the Arts (ITIA) at the School of Divinity of the University of St Andrews beginning in May 2021.

The scheme: Successful applicants will be partnered with research students from the University of St Andrews to explore ideas around the theme ‘revelation’, as doctrine and experience. Artists will be invited to attend presentations by leading artists and art historians, and drawing on these conversations will create a theologically informed work of visual art that includes written text. They will then receive responses from scholars and practitioners, and the programme will culminate in December 2021 with masterclasses from internationally recognised artists (see Partner Artists below) and an exhibition of the artwork created.

The partnerships: The research students-artists partnership will be carried out remotely (through email and video call) with monthly meetings. The art produced will remain the artists’ property, with copies licensed to the collaborating student for personal use and the researchers for further investigations.

The community: We will create a networking online community among applicant artists to exchange ideas and inspirations, to access key resources provided by our panel of leading artists and to provide support during the programme.

The organisers: The programme is organised by the researchers of the Text & Image project and will build on the success of previous TheoArtistry collaborations.



Panel of Leading Artists: Claire FontaineGordon CheungRussell CrottyMichael Takeo MagruderSimon MorleyTom PhillipsKay Rosen and Mark Titchner

Curators: Anna McNay and Friedhelm Mennekes

Advisors: Beth Junor

Scholars: Bridget Heal, Natasha O’Hear and David Brown

Researchers: Nicole Ruta, Brendan Wolfe and Dhanraj Vishwanath

How to apply? To apply for the TheoArtistry: Text & Image Scheme, please send a CV, one representative artwork (preferably text-inclusive), and a short statement of what you hope to get out of the process by ***extended deadline*** 9th May, 2021 using this link.

Eligible applicants: The selection is based on demonstrated potential, not exclusively experience or training. There is no need to have produced text-inclusive artworks in the past. The scheme is open to artists of any age, gender, religious affiliation, and location.

Informal enquiries about the scheme can be made by email to Dr Nicole Ruta (

Important dates: 

Call opens: 9th April 2021
Deadline to apply: ***extended deadline***  9th May, 2021
Announcement of the selected applicants: 13th May 2021
Launching event: 21st May 2021
Culminating event: 15th December, 2021


Project rationale

Our aim is to investigate the cognitive implications of text-inclusive artworks, both from the viewers’ and the artist’s point of view. Starting from the tradition of integrating biblical quotations inside pictorial space typical of Reformation art, we are particularly, but not exclusively, interested in the relationship between the written word and visual imagery. Religious art offers the possibility to differentiate between two different axes of communication: the divine/viewer (or ‘what’) axis and the artist/viewer (or ‘how’) axis. We believe that this theoretical distinction will allow us to answer more general questions about art, such as: are text-inclusive images more likely to be perceived as a mean of communication compared to non-textual images? What is the relationship between the interpretation of a text and the production of images inspired by that same text?

TheoArtistry: Text & Image Scheme

We believe that the study of art must engage with artists and their artistic intentions. We want to create a space for artists and postgraduate researchers in theology to collaborate, exploring the relationship between spiritual and religious text and art. This will deepen the research students’ understanding of the creation of text-inclusive art, and enable the making of original images for scholarly analysis. Drawing on the previously successful University of St Andrews-led TheoArtistry scheme for poets (2018) and composers (2016/17) as well as student-led collaborations (2018/19), we will launch a call for artists and we will team them with postgraduate researchers in theology to explore areas of overlap between spiritual and religious text and art. The aim is to deepen our understanding of the process and the reasons that lead visual artists to include text in their compositions, in order better to understand art addressing religious and spiritual themes, and art more in general.

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