I am an artist and a writer, a maker of things and texts. From the outside my career path seems to tell a different tale. Beginning with a two-year stint teaching art at Notre Dame High School in East Detroit, I found lifelong paid employment in the non-profit sector. After teaching, I invested 30 years in ministry to university students and faculty with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and following that, nearly a decade leading Christians in the Visual Arts. Since 2018, I have served as the Associate Director of Upper House, a center for Christian study located in the heart of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Though not always at the fore, my artist’s life has remained central to my vision and labor in each of these settings.

Cameron Anderson

So, artist and writer, but also builder. It’s been my good fortune to build organizations. But for pay and pleasure I also painted houses inside and out, snapped a chalk line more than once, hung and mudded a lot of sheetrock, wired electrical circuits (with fear and trembling), designed and built cabinets, and turned a few wooden bowls. In service to these many projects, I drove Toyota, Dodge, and Nissan pickup trucks to the end of their practical usefulness.

Connector (friend) is a fourth descriptor. I prefer people over tasks; the pleasure of knowing others and being known by them. These days Indie Coffee is my hang-out of choice where, on a splurge, I might order proprietor J. J. Kilmer’s grasshopper waffle. Over coffee with friends, old or new conversation about grandchildren, art, hard decisions, travel, good books, caregiving, and the journey with (or without) God is welcome.

Connections to my family also run deep. I am the eldest of six children born to Kenneth and Marjorie Anderson. In 1975 I married C. K. Burnside and we embarked on a long adventure that came to include two children, one son-in-law, two grandchildren, and two buff-colored cocker spaniels. Since 1986, we have called the same house in Madison, Wisconsin “home.” I remodeled its kitchen three times.

Finally, connection to our faith community is vital. C. K. and I rejoined Geneva Campus Church in 2015 where the spiritual rhythm of the week is most poignant for me when receiving the Eucharist.

Reader also describes me. In this arena, my habits are admittedly undisciplined. On discovering a fiction author who writes in my register, I’ve been known to binge their oeuvre. It was Herman Hesse, Hemingway, and Steinbeck in high school. In grad school days Updike and Cheever. Later Susan Howatch, Annie Dillard, Walker Percy, Wendell Berry, and Jim Harrison. Stegner’s Crossing to Safety and Marilynne Robinson’s Gilead are enduring favorites.

Regarding poetry, Sandburg early on, then Luci Shaw and Mary Oliver, last year Brad Davis. Three non-fiction titles stand tall: Edmund de Wall, The White Road: Journey Into An Obsession; Alan Lightman, Searching for Stars on an Island in Maine; and Barry Lopez, Embrace Fearlessly the Burning World: Essays. In recent days I have been helped by memoirs, biographies, and autobiographies. In recent months: Charles Marsh, Strange Glory: A Life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer (2014); and James Karman, Robinson Jeffers: Poet and Prophet (2015).

Spiritual reading remains essential and at some future point warrants a blog of its own. Finally, there is C. S. Lewis who from apologetics to poetics and storytelling to criticism checks all the boxes.

Cameron J. Anderson CV (PDF)