The Westminster Artist-in-Residence program proudly enters its fifth year this season. We have been excited to fill our church with percussion with Jeff Gram, poetry by Joe Davis, community art with Kat Parent, and scriptural embodiment with Sam Bardwell. These talented individuals exemplified our mission to not just share a variety of artistic expression with the church, but to be a part of our community, and each has shown up time and time again after their residencies in support of the arts and our congregation.
While most Artist-in-Residence programs have a marked beginning and end, at Westminster, we view the entirety of the residency as our first opportunity to meet an artist. The end of the residency marks not the end of the program, but the beginning of an ongoing partnership with each artist. Each Artist-in-Residence continues to be a pillar of inspiration holding up the foundation upon which we build our arts program. We celebrate not just what they once contributed, but continue to celebrate and honor how we grow and develop together.
2022-2023 Artist-in-Residence: Sam Bardwell
Westminster is thrilled to welcome Sam Bardwell as the Artist-in-Residence for the 2022-2023 program year. Sam is an actor and educator who has performed on stages and in sanctuaries across the Twin Cities and beyond. He does outreach with Shakespeare work in prisons and local schools and partners with churches to help enliven the reading of scripture in worship. Sam holds a Bachelor of Fine Art in acting from the Guthrie Theater and the University of Minnesota and a Master of Arts in New Testament from Luther Seminary, where he was Artist-in-Residence, and is a member of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers.
He lives in North Minneapolis with his wife, Martha, and two children, Naomi and Will. We look forward to getting to know Sam and to the ways he will inspire and challenge us during this Year of Imagination!
I was excited to bring people together to playfully create beauty and meaning through art. I’m passionate about making and facilitating art that reflects the experiences of a particular community, place and time–in this case, a congregation experiencing both loss and connection during a challenging pandemic year.
— Katherine Parent, artist and musician; Artist-in-Residence, 2021-2022
When I first accepted the invitation from Director of Worship and the Arts Amanda Weber, I had no idea the opportunity would blossom into unexpected friendships and unprecedented artistic explorations. I haven’t experienced too many faith communities that engage the arts in the dynamic ways Westminster does– it’s been incredibly inspiring and affirming for me as an artist. While many churches struggle to understand how the arts can be a part of spiritual growth and renewal, Westminster has consistently nurtured creativity as an integral part of the community’s DNA.
— Joe Davis, spoken word artist; Artist-in-Residence, 2020-2021