Story Magazine

Spring/Summer, 2013

Artistic Mission

by Jennifer Pulscher, M.A. Junior

Emilie Bouvier, Luther Seminary's current artist-in-residence, has a passion for photography. With her work, she seeks to capture quiet moments and show the profound nature of light and simplicity.
"I am fascinated by the way photography is all about how light comes into the darkness to create an imprint, an image," said Bouvier, a Master of Arts junior. Much of her art is influenced by her theological studies, but also by the people, places and communities that shape her life.
"It is all too easy to think of art within the church as illustrating theology rather than the art breaking open theological ideas," she says. "My faith and theology shape the themes I explore through art but it also inspires me to do community art, in faith context." Though photography tends to be a singular endeavor, Bouvier makes an effort to bring her art into the community. For her, communal art is about encountering meaningful moments of faith through the safe space of collaboration and creativity.
Her recent exhibit, located in the cafeteria of the Olson Campus Center, was based on the idea of family. By photographing and talking with a number of different kinds of families, Bouvier lifted up the storied nature of family. She hoped to shine a light on how politicized the term has become with respect to definitions.
After her studies in congregational mission and leadership at Luther, Bouvier plans to incorporate visual art in ministry with respect to worship, education and community outreach.
"Through spirit-filled collaborative art," she said, "I hope to empower others in their faith journey, in their relationship with the neighbor and to foster a sense of community."