Dr. Linda Stratford is founding Director of Asbury University’s Paris Semester program in Paris, France. She graduated Cum Laude from Vanderbilt University and spent her junior year abroad studying in Aix-en-Provence, France. She received her Ph.D. from the State University of New York Stony Brook, in History, with emphasis on Art and Society in France and practices as a historian of art and society in France drawing upon cross-disciplinary interest in history, art history, aesthetics and theology.
Her several publications on French art and society in the 1950’s include her Millstone Prize article “Cadillacs, Jet Planes and H-bombs: American Art in France Following the Liberation” in The Journal of the Western Society for French History. She is also a founding member of ASCHA (The Association of Scholars of Christianity in the History of Art) and co-editor of ReVisioning: Methodological Studies of Christianity in the History of Art (Cascade, 2014).
Dr. Steve Thrall is the former Director of Le Pave D’Orsay (gallery) in Paris, France. He has been working in creative urban ministry – including church planting, teaching, networking, and ministry through the arts – through International Teams in Paris for over twenty years.; He will be teaching ICS 330 Christianity and French Culture.
Richard Van Der Aa lives and works in Paris, France. He was born in Christchurch, New Zealand. After studying painting at the University of Canterbury he moved to Sydney, Australia. He completed a Master of Fine Arts at the College of Fine Arts (COFA), University of New South Wales (UNSW), Sydney. Beginning in 1998 Van der Aa served as Chair of the Visual Arts Department in a creative arts college in Sydney: The School of Creative Arts (SOCA).
In 2005 van der Aa moved to Paris, France. In 2009, he and his wife Anna established the ParisCONCRET association for reductive abstract art. His work has since been exhibited extensively in Australia and New Zealand, and in recent years, in the Netherlands, France, Germany, Poland, the UK and the USA. A recurring interest in his work is to locate painting at the point of tension which exists between object and image.
Elizabeth Castleman Damez, Studio Art Program Supervisor
Alexa Goins serves as the Paris Semester Program Assistant and On-site Support Staff. In addition to Paris Semester, Alexa works in public relations and journalism. She graduated from Asbury in 2016 with a degree in Journalism and minors in French and Public Relations. Alexa participated in Paris Semester as a student in 2015 and has since spent extended time living and working in France.