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In My Lifetime: An African American Perspective

February 1 - 28, 2018

In observation of Black History Month, Religion in the Arts and Contemporary Culture is pleased to partner with the Kelly Miller Smith Institute on Black Church Studies to present an exhibition of paintings and mixed-media works from Nashville artist Omari Booker.  Gallery hours to be announced here shortly.

 In My Lifetime

“Lock my body, can’t trap my mind.” -Jay-Z   

Mental and spiritual liberation in the face of physical limitations are themes woven into all of my work.  
Social justice, family, and the cerebration of culture through music are threads that come together to make the body of work that you see today.
            I am a Nashville native.  I attended Montgomery Bell Academy and went on to play basketball at Belmont University.  After a break from school I graduated from Tennessee State University with a B.S. in Graphic Design.  My passion was studio art and that became my focus.  Influenced by my mentor, instructor, and friend Samuel Dunson, as well as James Threalkill, Michael McBride, and a tremendous Nashville Art community I have continued to create work daily.  
The pieces displayed explore my experiences and were created between 2014 and 2017.   Omari Booker


"Ritual's Musicality: Music as Innate to Bodies at Worship" by Dr. Bruce T. Morrill, S.J.

Bruce January 18, 2018 - Noon to 1PM - Room G-20 (Divinity ground floor)

Whereas people widely recognize from experience that music enlivens Christian liturgy and other types of corporate worship, explaining and exploiting scientifically and theologically why that is the case has proven a difficult—but increasingly rewarding—challenge. This lecture will review key findings on the bodily effects (as opposed to simply attending to the texts and language) of ritual song, as well as silence, as these prove constitutive of the shared human action of divine worship.

Ritual's Musicality



Invictus: 20 works Celebrating African Americans' Pursuit of Freedom and Will to Survive

Read ‘Invictus’ art exhibition inspired by Vanderbilt student’s African American studies


Hunted Slaves

February 2 - February 24, 2017

Weekly Gallery Hours: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from Noon to 2PM - Room G-20 (ground floor Divinity)

        and by appointment (

Opening Reception: Thursday, February 2, 2017; 3-7PM - Room G-20 (ground floor Divinity)

Closing Reception: February 22, 2017; Noon - 2PM - Black Cultural Center (Vanderbilt campus)




In The News


Images from the VDS Fall Semester's Coffee House

Religion in the Arts and Contemporary Culture | October 8, 2015

coffee house    coffee house   coffee house

coffee house   coffee house


Gallery Talk with Samuel L. Dunson, Jr. : Creating "Meet The Fergusons"


Religion in the Arts and Contemporary Culture | Sep. 23, 2015



‘Meet the Fergusons’ spotlights work of Nashville artist

Vanderbilt News | Author: Ann Marie Deer Owens | Sep. 9, 2015

meet the fergusons  meet the fergusons

meet the fergusons   meet the fergusons

meet the fergusons     meet the fergusons