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2020 European Artists Network

Psalm 31: 8 NKJV says “Thou hast set my feet in a large room.” This psalm was written in a context of fear and danger and yet it is pregnant with themes of Christian liberty, grace, hope, and gladness.

What is this large room? It is a spacious place of creativity, love, and grace; a haven of protection and sanctification; a sanctuary of discipleship and commission.

In the Artists Network – in this room – participants will discuss a theology of image, music, mission, and Scripture applied to a life lived for Christ. We will study the value of music, visual art, and culture and the need to critically integrate the three as we creatively explore and express our callings as artists. This at once impacts other artists (believers and unbelievers), the church, and society.

The European Artists Network provides a setting where Christian artists gather to discern and discuss calling, vision, and collaboration. In this process, participants will build relationships and find encouragement.

J.R.R. Tolkien was once asked why he waited several years before publishing the finished manuscript of The Lord of the Rings. His answer was, “It would not have been finished, let alone published, if it were not for the simple encouragement of my good friend, C. S. Lewis.”

The European Artists Network is a place of relationship and encouragement to help artists do what God has created them to do.



Charles David Kelley is Latvian-American, a citizen of both countries. Born in Los Angeles, he has lived in Oregon since 1980. His professional training is in Bible, theology, and missiology. Before founding Bridge Builders International, an Oregon based mission that focuses on Latvia, in 1994, Charles served in pastoral ministry in California, Texas, and Oregon for 21 years. He is chairman of BBI’s Latvian affiliate, “Partners.” Charles is founder of the Imago Dei Artists Network which ministers to artists and musicians in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. He is a member of the Arts Centre Group in London and serves as the LausanneARTS Coordinator for Europe. Charles is an author, pianist, and painter. He lives in Latvia 4-5 months per year. He has been married to Nancy for 42 years and has four grown children and nine grandchildren.



Tim Basselin is Assistant Professor of Media Arts and Worship at one of the largest seminaries in the world: Dallas Theological Seminary. He teaches classes on the intersection of theology and culture, including classes on film, art, literature, and disability. He is also the director of the Media Arts apprenticeship program at DTS and enjoys collaborating with his students. He serves on the editorial board for Christian Scholar’s Review. He and his wife, Robin, have four children and enjoy travelling and camping.


Bill Drake is the Director of Catalytic Ministries a branch of Operation Mobilization International. His ministry actively engages local artistic believers in bringing the Gospel of Jesus Christ to many countries in Europe, Africa, and around the world. He has trained and equipped artists who desire to train for missions through “Incarnate” – a 90-day discipleship course offered biennially in Italy. He has recently begun work with Catalytic Ministries – a division of OM International – to bring the Gospel the least-reached peoples of the world through authentic presence and integrated witness. Bill and his wife Teri live in Atlanta, GA.  Bill holds a B.A. in Christian Education from Biola University, and a Master’s Degree in Worship Studies from the Institute for Worship Studies in Jacksonville, FL.  He has produced fourteen albums of original music, two books, and continues in an international speaking and worship ministry.


Delta David Gier has been called a dynamic voice on the music scene, recognized widely for his penetrating interpretations of the standard symphonic repertoire, passionate commitment to new music, and significant community engagement. Orchestras Mr. Gier has conducted include the New York Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony, the St. Louis Symphony, and the Minnesota Orchestra. In Europe, his engagements include the Bergen Philharmonic, the Polish National Radio Symphony, and the Bucharest Philharmonic, along with many other orchestras in Italy, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Turkey. He studied at the University of Michigan under the renowned conducting teacher Gustav Meier, along with studies at the Tanglewood Music Center and Aspen Music Festival. He was a Fulbright scholar in eastern Europe from 1988-90. He has chaired the music jury of the Pulitzer Prize and is a frequent panelist for the League of American orchestras. The Lakota Music Project was developed under Gier’s direction to address racial tensions between Native Americans and whites in the region the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra serves. Other engagement projects with the SDSO have included Arab, Chinese and Sudanese/Somali refugees.



Day 1

The Room
Charles David Kelley

Where do you create your art, practice your instrument, and write your poems? Perhaps it’s in your studio, a practice room, or a desk strategically situated by the northern light. God understands the value of being in the right place to do the right things. He leads his sheep into green pastures. His people sink into the muds of despair, so He sets their feet upon rocks. When his disciples faced the loss of their master, Jesus invited them to abide in Him…to live in Him. When the Psalmist was surrounded by enemies, God “put his feet in a large room;” a room with a door on which Jesus knocks. This presentation focuses on the importance of artists abiding in divine, multi-purpose rooms, inhabited by the Lord and equipped with the knowledge, tools, community, and guidance for living out one’s calling as both an artist and a follower of Jesus.


Word in Image, Image in Word
Tim Basselin

This talk will propose that words rely on images and images rely on words. They need one another to function properly, and church history shows the dangers of embracing one while rejecting the other. After noting some of this history, we will explore reasons our churches need to train people both in the understanding and use of words and in the understanding and use of images.

Day 2

Imagining Images Anew
Tim Basselin

As with words, the meanings of images are continuously shifting in our cultural moments. This talk will explore examples of how churches have engaged the arts in shifting cultural moments and will then workshop how we might imagine anew ways the arts can continue to make connections and create newness in our particular communities.


How to Listen to Music
Delta David Gier

Music is ubiquitous in our society but it matters less than ever before. How is this possible? As with so much in our contemporary lives, the answer has to do with attentiveness - and the tyranny of distraction. This session offers a lesson in how to listen carefully to music, illustrated with some of the great masterworks, with the goal of increasing our attentiveness.

Day 3

Music and Devotion
Delta David Gier

Building on the first hour, this session will explore the use of great sacred music in public worship and personal devotion. We will contextualize some of the great masterworks of the sacred repertoire and learn to prayerfully give our attention to what the Lord is saying through this medium.


Artists on Mission: Bringing Beauty from Ashes, Providing Refuge for the “Refugee”
Bill Drake

As image-bearers of our creative God, artists have the unique and powerful role of reflecting God’s beauty and will to the nations in compelling and riveting ways. Indigenous art is the universal language of human expression and devotion, and as such, is one of the primary methods that allow us relevant access to the heart of a culture. Join us as we take a joyful look at what our creative God is doing around the world through His creative followers!

Day 4

Arts in Culture: Providing Intentional Creative Space for Artists to Speak to Culture
Bill Drake

Culture is the "arena" in which God interacts with Human Beings.  The Cultural Mandate as given by our Lord demonstrates that human creative activity is an act of obedience in response to a command of God and not just a superfluous pursuit that stands apart from man’s purpose on earth.  Artists therefore need to be empowered to take up their huge and mandated role to engage with Culture given art’s legitimacy, worth and necessity in the world today.

Charles David Kelley

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