Collin Bradford | Department of Art
Finding Grace and Divinity in Difficult and Ugly Art


Collin Bradford received an MFA from The University of Illinois in 2008 and taught at Grand Valley State University before coming to BYU in 2016. He currently serves as the coordinator of the department’s BA program and he teaches both seminar and studio courses related to contemporary art practices, new genres, and interdisciplinary ways of making art.

His work with video, sound, photography, sculpture, and other media has been exhibited both nationally and internationally and in traditional art spaces as well as film and video festivals, including at the Urban Institute for Contemporary Art in Grand Rapids, MI, the Darklight Film Festival in Dublin, Ireland, New Insight at Art Chicago, the Cologne International Video Art Festival, and the Channels Video Art Festival in Melbourne, Australia.

Faith + Works Lecture Series | Collin Bradford

BYU Art professor Collin Bradford discusses how art has expanded his Mormonism and vice versa. He also talks about the intersection of his faith and his work as an artist.

BYU Art professor Collin Bradford came to BYU with plans to major in electrical engineering. While there were many things he was interested in studying, exploring and learning, he discovered that that art was the only discipline that encompassed it all for him.

BYU Art professor Collin Bradford describes his convocation speech as an undergraduate when he made the case that religious people can engage and learn from contemporary art. Now as a professor at BYU, he reflects how he might expand that speech to include the profound things that can be learned from engaging with difficult, challenging, and ugly art and why it is worth the effort.

Finding Grace and Divinity in Difficult and Ugly Art

November 2, 2017 Lecture

Bradford came to BYU with a desire to study engineering. However, during his Freshman year, he struggled to find motivation. Bradford served a mission in Spain and saw a “fog of depression” lift from his life.

After his mission, Bradford returned to BYU with an excitement to look into several majors. He came to the realization that, for him, art encompassed everything he enjoyed. However, Bradford discovered as an art major he received many questions about how art majors make a living and people feel compelled to say how much they dislike contemporary art.

Read more about his lecture here >>

To see other lectures from this series, visit the Faith + Works Lecture Series home page.