Wednesday, October 13, 2021

“Return to Beauty”: Catholic Art Institute Conference in Chicago, October 24

On Sunday, October 24th, the Catholic Art Institute, a Chicago-based community of artists, will host a major conference bringing together leading artists and scholars to rediscover the power of Beauty in the modern world.
The conference, entitled “Return to Beauty,” will feature Sohrab Ahmari, columnist for many publications including the New York Post and The Catholic Herald, and author of several books including The New Philistines and The Unbroken Thread: Discovering the Wisdom of Tradition in an Age of Chaos. His presentation will be titled “Liminality, Communitas, and Beauty” in reference to cultural anthropologist Victor Turner’s defense of the Tridentine Mass.
Also presenting is renowned art historian, author, and Vatican tour guide Elizabeth Lev, whose recent books include the acclaimed How Catholic Art Saved the Faith. Her presentation, “Returning to Wonder – Lessons from the Giants of Italian Art,” will discuss why Christians initially became involved with art, and how they employed human creativity to underscore key Christian beliefs.
Filmmaker and podcaster Cameron O’Hearn, whose visionary work Mass of the Ages has garnered over a half-million views on YouTube, will also present. His talk, “Beauty Will Save the World”, will discuss how art changed the course of his life, and how artists can change the world by reminding us of our purpose.
This ground-breaking event opens with a Solemn High Mass featuring Renaissance choral music in the baroque splendor of Chicago’s historic St John Cantius Church, a parish well known for bringing beauty into Christian worship.
Conference presentations will take place at the The Drake Hotel, accompanied by a sumptuous lunch buffet, a four-course dinner banquet, culminating in a panel discussion with the speakers, moderated by art critic for The Federalist, William Newton.
“Beauty has been denigrated in today’s culture as a result of the prevalent utilitarian ideology. This unfortunately relegates those with artistic gifts to the periphery or worse, and tells them their gifts are useless,” says organizer and CAI President Kathleen Carr, who is also an award- winning fine artist. “This conference will shine a light on the necessity of Beauty in the modern world and offer an opportunity for fellowship, networking and a path to restoration.”
Everyone is welcome to attend: for tickets and details, please visit
Inquires or requests for interviews can be directed to

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