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Sunday, November 4, 2018
The Drake Hotel & St. John Cantius Church

On Nov. 4th, the Catholic Art Guild hosted its second annual conference with leading artists, architects & theologians, to rediscover the power of Beauty in the modern world

The conference, entitled "Formed in Beauty",  will feature Alexander Stoddart, Sculptor in Ordinary for Her Majesty the Queen in Scotland, Ethan Anthony, principal architect for Cram & Ferguson,  Dr. Peter Kwasniewski, Thomistic theologian, liturgical scholar, and choral composer, and Juliette Aristides, Classical Realist Artist, Author & Founder of Aristides Atelier.

The conference will open with an Orchestral Latin Mass in the baroque splendor of Chicago’s historic St. John Cantius Church, a community well known for bringing beauty into Christian worship. in the baroque splendor of Chicago’s historic St. John Cantius Church. Conference presentations and discussions will take place at The Drake Hotel, followed by an elegant banquet and culminating in a stimulating panel discussion.

Speakers & Presentation Videos

Alexander Stoddart
Sculptor in Ordinary to Her Majesty the Queen in Scotland

Presents: ‘Christianity, Art and Philosophical Pessimism’

Bio: Alexander "Sandy" Stoddart FRSE (born 1959) is a Scottish sculptor, who, since 2008, has been the Queen's Sculptor in Ordinary in Scotland. He works primarily on figurative sculpture in clay within the neoclassical tradition. Stoddart is best known for his civic monuments, including 10 feet (3.0 m) bronze statues of David Hume and Adam Smith, philosophers during the Scottish Enlightenment, on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, and others of James Clerk Maxwell, William Henry Playfair and John Witherspoon. Stoddart says of his own motivation, "My great ambition is to do sculpture for Scotland", primarily through large civic monuments to figures from the country's past. Full bio

Ethan Anthony
Principal Architect, Cram & Ferguson
"The Symphony of Creation"
Synopsis: Throughout its history humanity has sought prescriptions for achieving beauty in building and the arts. Vitruvius, Pugin, St Charles Borromeo, Pope John VI and the US conference of Catholic Bishops have all weighed in on proper design of churches and the art to decorate them. The Bishop, Pastor, Building committee all add to the discussion and the ecclesiastical architect must, within the guidelines, and directing an army of crafts and arts makers, create a great space for the Catholic Liturgy often on a limited budget and respecting far more rigid and specific building codes.

How do we direct this symphony of creativity? How as architects of a new round of American Catholic churches do we tread a path through the many difficulties and restrictions to craft a building which is beautiful and holy and filled with the Spirit of the church? How can the architect be a resource for the Parish and the Pastor?

Ethan Anthony has been Principal Architect and President at Cram and Ferguson Architects since he joined the firm in 1991. Anthony brought to the firm his early introduction to religious architecture through the Jesuits at Xavier High School in Concord, MA and his own reading on religious symbolism and architecture. Recent notable works include Shrine of Our Lady of Good Voyage, Boston MA, and St. Kateri Tekakwitha Parish, Ridgway IL. An avid researcher of the firm predecessor’s work, Anthony authored “The Architecture of Ralph Adams Cram and His Office”, published in 2007. Mr. Anthony earned his Bachelor of Architecture at the University of Oregon and is President of the Central MA AIA.


Since joining Cram and Ferguson, Anthony has turned his attention and the firm’s entirely to its original strength, the design and construction of traditional religious architecture and the design of religious interiors. Anthony began this work in earnest with the study first of the firm archives representing 120 years of leadership of religious architecture and then with six years of intensive study of religious monuments across Europe, a study he continues to this day with annual trips to Europe.

In 2017, Ethan Anthony received three awards through Central MA AIA for unbuilt and built religious institutions. In 2015, Anthony received the Award for Design Excellence through the AIA for the Casady School Chapel. In 1993, Anthony was given the IFRAA Honor Award for Unbuilt Architecture and in 2004 he received the Golden Trowel Award from the Texas Masonry Institute for Our Lady of Walsingham.

During the last three decades, Anthony has designed numerous new traditional churches and interiors and has gained a national reputation for his work in liturgical architecture. His liturgical work can now be found in fifteen states.

Juliette Aristides,
Artist, Author, Educator & Founder of Atelier Aristides
Presents: "Beauty as a Portal to Meaning"


Synopsis: Beauty as a portal to meaning, (The importance of beauty, obstacles to beauty and ways that beauty can be cultivated.) 


The most memorable moments of our lives often involve a profound encounter with beauty. It is  the secret to the creation of art and a channel to the sublime. Beauty can be found anywhere, just as the universe was seen by William Black in a grain of sand, if only we have the eyes to see it. Yet for many of us these moments of inspiration and connection are few and far between. There are many obstacles, distractions and sorrows that can prevent us from seeing the beauty in our lives. Join me for a discussion to examine the role of beauty and how, through careful observations, we can reclaim the beauty of life  and art which is ours to enjoy.  

Juliette Aristides   is  a  Seattle  based  painter  who  seeks  to  understand  and  convey the  human  spirit  through  art.   Actively  dedicated  to  rebuilding  a  traditional  arts  education  in  the  United  States,  Aristides  is  the  founder  and  instructor  of  the  Aristides  Atelier  at  the  Gage  Academy  of  Fine  Art  in  Seattle,  WA.  She  teaches  workshops  both  nationally  and  internationally.  Author  of  The  Classical  Drawing  Atelier,  The  Classical  Painting  Atelier,  Lessons  in  Classical  Drawing,  and  Lessons  in  Classical  Painting  with Watson-Guptill,  NY,  she is also a frequent contributor  to  various  arts  publications.  Aristides  exhibits  in  one  person  and  group  shows  nationally  and  her  work  has  been  featured  in  Gulf  Connoisseur  Magazine,  Artists  and  Illustrators  UK,  Artist’s  Magazine,  American  Arts  Quarterly,  Fine  Art  Connoisseur,  American  Art  Collector  and  American  Artist.  Aristides had her first solo  museum exhibition, Observations, August  2013  in  Reading,  PA and the upcoming show: Atelier: Painting and Process at the Maryhill Museum,Goldendale WA featuring the work of Aristides and her students.


For more information go to her website at:

Dr. Peter Kwasniewski
Composer, Author, & Thomistic Theologian
"On Living Tradition: The Basic Good of Catholic Culture and the Spiritual Discipline of Fine Art."

Synopsis: Today’s revival of traditional approaches in the fine arts and particularly in Catholicism has been greeted by many with skepticism and disapproval. “Surely, it is not possible to ‘go back’ to an earlier age, whose
ideals are simply different from ours? Have we not made significant progress?” But the history of the arts and of reform/renewal movements tells a different tale: all great artists begin by apprenticing themselves to a tradition and copying its masterpieces, and similarly, all great movements of reform in Church history
look back for inspiration to what worked in the past in order to fix what is broken in the present. The noble cultural ideals of Western civilization—largely imparted to it by the Catholic Church—are
possessed of a perennial vitality and creative fecundity against which the self-consciously “modern,” with its unattractive faddishness, cannot successfully compete.

Dr. Peter Kwasniewski: Thomistic theologian, liturgical scholar, and choral composer, is a graduate of Thomas Aquinas College in California and The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. He has taught for the International Theological Institute in Austria, the Franciscan University of
Steubenville’s Austria Program, and Wyoming Catholic College, which he helped establish in 2006. He writes regularly for four blogs—The New Liturgical Movement, OnePeterFive, Rorate Caeli, and LifeSite
News—and is author of seven books, the last three concerning traditional Catholicism: Resurgent in the Midst of Crisis (Angelico, 2014), Noble Beauty, Transcendent Holiness: Why the Modern Age Needs the Mass of Ages (Angelico, 2017), and Postmodern Pilgrims to the Haven of Tradition (Angelico, 2018).

Panel Discussion

Conference Photos

St. John Cantius & The Drake Hotel

All photos courtesy of Ruth Durkin and Rose Laneau

All photos courtesy of Ruth Durkin and Rose Laneau

Press Coverage of the Conference & Guild

October 26, 2018

EWTN News Nightly Interviews Catholic Art Guild President Kathleen Carr

November 21, 2018's coverage of the Catholic Art Guild conference.

October 16, 2018

Dr. Christopher Morrissey 's article on Juliette Aristides for BC Catholic

November 13, 2018

Sacred Art Scene Covers the Catholic Art Guild Conference

November 30, 2017

"These Catholics believe that beauty will bring souls to the Church" an article by John Burger for Aletia

November 30, 2017

New Litugical Movement Promotes "Formed in Beauty" Conference

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