LeAnne Martin
Christians in the Arts

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Looking Ahead

I hope your Christmas was merry and bright but tender and peaceful too. I hope you had special moments with your loved ones and intimate ones with the Savior. I found myself thanking God many times for the story we hold so dea: a baby, all flesh and blood and bone, a fragile thing, powerful King come to save the world. His life for ours everlasting—the ultimate love story. Because of that precious gift, we can become new creatures, new creations. God’s mercies are new every morning, whether that morning is January 1st or June 1st.

This morning, I’m looking ahead to the start of the new year. I’ve got some exciting things planned for my blog in 2007. In the coming weeks, I’ll be featuring an actor and artistic director, a singer, a poet, a visual artist, and others. I’ll be writing about my own experiences with the arts as well as adding more links and posting more art-related quotes. I also plan to launch a website and upgrade my blog later in the year.

I appreciate so much the feedback I’ve been getting since my first post in September. If you have any comments or suggestions, please feel free to post them here or email me at lbenfield@mindspring.com. And thanks so much for coming by. May your new year be one filled to the brim and overflowing with beauty, goodness, and truth.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The Arts of Christmas

The devotion of a young maid, the courage of her groom-to-be, the birth of the precious little One--in a manger of all places. It’s a story that’s both well worn and brand new with every telling. The arts help us tell the story, celebrate that miraculous event. They add to the sense of wonder and joy I’ve experienced at Christmastime ever since I was little. Here are a few of my favorite works in no particular order:

Music: almost all the carols (except for “O Tannenbaum”!) and especially those on the old Harry Simeon Chorale record my parents played every year while we decorated the tree; seeing Robert Shaw conduct the Robert Shaw Chorale and Orchestra in A Festival of Carols before he died; Handel’s Messiah, although I can’t hit the high notes anymore

Theater: candlelight Christmas Eve services; Narnia, a musical version of The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe presented by our church the last two Decembers; “A Christmas Memory” and “A Thanksgiving Visitor,” short stories by Truman Capote, as performed by Tom Key, actor and Artistic Director of Theatrical Outfit in Atlanta (www.theatricaloutfit.org).

Literature: the biblical accounts of Jesus’ birth; The Advent Book by Jack and Kathy Stockman

Film/Movies: the scene in A Charlie Brown Christmas when Linus recites Luke 2 (I can still hear him do it)

Visual arts: our Christmas trees covered in folk art and other handmade ornaments as well as balls of every color and size; my Nativity set made of pottery from Africa; my daughter’s handmade gifts to me

As you celebrate the birth of Christ, too, may this Christmas be filled with wonder and joy for you and yours.

"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men." Luke 2:14

Sunday, December 17, 2006

From My Christmas Collection

I seem to have caught my annual holiday cold (it’s always either at Thanksgiving or Christmas) so I thought today would be a good day to share a few favorite quotations about Christmas. May we all fully enjoy and delight in this season of beauty, mystery, and wonder.

“When we celebrate Christmas we are celebrating that amazing time when the Word that shouted all the galaxies into being, limited all power, and for love of us came to us in the powerless body of a human baby.” Madeleine L’Engle

“It is good to be children sometimes, and never better than at Christmas, when its mighty Founder was a child Himself.” Charles Dickens

“What can I give him,
Poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd,
I would bring a lamb,
If I were a Wise Man,
I would do my part—
Yet what can I give Him?
Give my heart.”
Christina Rossetti

“The Christmas message is that there is hope for a ruined humanity—hope of pardon, hope of peace with God, hope of glory—because at the Father’s will Jesus Christ became poor, and was born in a stable so that thirty years later He might hang on a cross.” J. I. Packer

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” Luke 2:14

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Mart Martin, Part 2: Wonder-filled Life

Today I conclude my interview with Mart Martin, an arts enthusiast and also my husband.

LeAnne: On Monday, we talked about your love for folk art and classical music. Now tell me why you love theater.

Theater illuminates life, and the beauty in theater can be in the story itself, the storytellers, or both. Les Miserables is an example of a play that does both so well that it has drawn me into the theater five times. Millions and millions of people around the world have heard its message of compassion and courage, and those closing words, “To love another person is to see the face of God.” At the other end of the spectrum, Madeline’s [our daughter’s] school play, Three Nanny Goats Gruff, performed by six-year-olds with unabashed joy and enthusiasm, was a beautiful thing to see, too.

I enjoy being on the stage as much as in the audience, and there are characters I’ve played -- for example, a mentally disabled man in The Boys Next Door and Mr. Tumnus in a musical version of Narnia – that were heartbreakingly beautiful to do.

LM: When we met, was it important to you that I love the arts as well?

The fact is, I don't think we would have met if we had not had that mutual love. The first time people tried to fix us up, at least in a group situation, was at the theater. Later you expressed an interest in folk art, and I invited you over to see my collection (my “etchings”!). The arts are such a large part of my life that it was very important that the person God wanted me to spend the rest of my life with enjoy sharing them as well. It makes “oneness” even more possible. The great surprise (though it shouldn’t be) is the degree to which you did -- so much so that we were married in a theater on the set of a play -- but that’s another column.

LM: Yes--for another day. How have you filled your life with the arts?

First, we’re surrounded by art in our home, most of it that we’ve bought at arts festivals or commissioned from artist friends especially for a particular space in our home. I listen to a lot of classical and folk music in the car to and from work. I also try to make most of my contributions to the church and community somehow arts-related. I’m on the board of Theatrical Outfit (www.theatricaloutfit.org) of which Tom Key, who created Cotton Patch Gospel, is the executive artistic director. I support our worship arts ministry at our church in various ways. And we attend a lot of arts events as well. It’s a wonder-filled life.

Indeed it is.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Mart Martin: A Glimpse into Heaven

Today, it’s my great pleasure to interview an arts enthusiast who also happens to be my husband, Mart Martin. One major thing that drew us to each other--beyond our love for the Lord--was our mutual love for the arts. The first time I walked into his home, I was floored by his collection of folk art. While we were dating, we attended arts festivals as well as the theater, the symphony, and museums, and we still do. We married in 2005, and since then, we've built a life together that reflects our passion for the arts.

LeAnne: Have you always loved the arts?

I loved to draw as early as I can remember. In fact, I wanted to be an artist when I grew up. I participated in chorus and plays at school and church from elementary through high school. And being raised just a few blocks away from a university with an exceptional fine arts program -- Southern Miss -- I was exposed at an early age to live theater and the symphony. All of those interests have carried over into adulthood.

There's much to love about the arts, but I think it's that common thread of beauty that attracts me most. Beauty is one of those rare things that comes close to perfection. And it offers us a glimpse into Heaven. The idea that there are colors we haven't yet seen and notes we haven't even heard just blows my mind. The fact that we can get a taste of that through the arts is fascinating and extremely satisfying to me.

LM: Why do you collect folk art?

With fine art, the beauty is usually found in the work itself. With folk art, the beauty is most often found in the artist. True folk artists tend to come from rural backgrounds and often have a deep faith, and all are self-taught. They are painting from their souls. There is a purity of message and simplicity of style that is truly unique. I've heard people looking at folk art mutter "My five-year-old could do that," and that's true, they probably could. But didn't Christ encourage us to be like little children? I find that childlike innocence in the type of folk art that I collect very appealing.

LM: What do you love about classical music?

Classical music encourages you to use your imagination. Here the words aren't telling the story, the music is. Mahler is one of my favorite composers, and in his Resurrection symphony you can imagine someone -- maybe it's Christ, maybe it's yourself -- being laid to rest, and then with this glorious crescendo, coming back to life and standing in front of the gates to Heaven as they majestically open. Or think how Aaron Copland helps us experience spring in the Appalachians. An interesting note is that he never even experienced it himself -- he just imagined what it might be like. Imagination is a gift, and classical music gives us another way to enjoy it.

More from Mart Martin on Thursday.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Carol Bomer, Part 2: True Transcendence

Today’s post concludes my Q&A with painter Carol Bomer (www.carolbomer.com).

LM: As an artist who is a Christian, how do you get your work out to the world?

Pray and work! Pray, pray, pray. God is the one who accomplishes all things for me (Psalm 138:8). And work, work, work. Getting exposure requires work: producing a body of art, producing a website, getting galleries, doing shows and competitions, staying relevant to your culture by reading and going to shows, etc. So much to do—so little time.

LM: How would you encourage other artists in various fields who are Christians?

I would say the same things I just said. Also, do not be afraid. You are in a battle for minds and hearts in a culture that is crying for meaning. And study hard to become excellent in your craft.

LM: In March, you were one of three artists invited to teach at China’s Luxan Fine Arts Academy, a university with over 3,000 art students. What was that like?

The amazing thing is that they let me show my biblically-based paintings. My images are about the gospel! They are about Christ as the Seed, Christ as the One who came into darkness like a fulcrum from heaven rending the veil, and Christ as the Living Word. My Global City Babel Series has as its theme Christ as the Living Word. Babel is in the heart of every man. The people of our culture are longing for transcendence, but transcendence or seeking to reach God on their own terms, not God’s terms. It is Christian artists who have the opportunity to show true transcendence that points to the transcendent One, Christ.

I also showed the students a Rembrandt etching and told them, “Like the great Dutch artist Rembrandt, I want my work to point to the Word of God, who is Christ.”

It was an amazing opportunity.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Carol Bomer: All About Him

Painter Carol Bomer (www.carolbomer.com), born in Alberta, Canada, and now living in Asheville, NC, started out as a teacher before she began painting professionally. She has shown her work nationally and internationally and recently taught art at Luxan Academy of Fine Art in Shenyang, China. Her work has been called "a silent form of poetry" (Asheville Citizen Times). Her studio is called SOLI DEO GLORIA STUDIO.

LeAnne: How did you get your start as a painter?

This question is really the greater part of my testimony. I always loved art. My grandmother, my mother, and two aunts painted. However, my ancestors were pioneers to Alberta, Canada, in1911, so painting was not an option. My mother was a teacher in a small community in northern Alberta where my dad was a farmer. The community school did not have an art program, so the first official course I took was by correspondence in 10th grade.

I wanted to attend the university in Edmonton, the capital city of Alberta, but my parents wanted me to have a Christian education (this was the radical 60s). So I enrolled at Dordt College in Iowa, where there was no art program but an excellent liberal arts Christian education. I was taught to think critically about culture, and in my second year my faith in Christ became my own and not the faith my parents. This time of my life was crucial to my future in the arts. I had grown up with the Christian faith but did not grasp that God’s Word could be applied to all of life and God’s sovereignty reigns over all.

But this college specialized in education and I did not want to be a teacher. I wanted to be an artist! So the summer after my second year, I enrolled in the art program at University of Alberta. However, two weeks before class, God intervened. I reread a paper I had written called The Purpose of Christian Education. I was praying and arguing with God that art was more than thinking biblically about life and art! But I was convicted. I prayed that if God would allow me to be an artist someday, I would return to Dordt College. In less than two weeks, I enrolled in Secondary Education with a Major in English and a Minor in History. In my senior year, I was able to take several art courses at a neighboring college. And most important, I met my life’s partner, Norm Bomer, a Philosophy/English Major and founding editor of God’s World News.

We both taught school for six years until my husband had to quit for health reasons. Then we moved to Kansas without a job. He tried to recuperate while I began to paint. With a new baby on the way, I began my career as a professional artist. Yet we never missed a house payment! My art career hit the road running, so to speak. I immediately had to paint to make a living. I painted landscapes and commissions in watercolor. I did bank shows and sidewalk shows and took classes at the local community college. I was also involved with city art associations.

By the time we moved to North Carolina where my husband began his job as editor of GWNews in 1981, my career in art was somewhat established, so beginning in Asheville was not that difficult. I began entering shows and winning awards in the North Carolina Watercolor Society.

However, until ’84, my artwork was about landscape and still life. Then the Lord intervened again. He brought difficulties and spiritual growth. I devoured the Scriptures. And to quote St. Augustine, “Lord, Thou didst strike my heart with Thy Word, and I loved Thee!” I prayed that God would use my artwork for His glory. I wanted my work to be about Christ and to be biblically based.

LM: You've done many shows and exhibitions, and yet your work is very much biblically-based. How has it been received? Do people ask questions about your work?

It has been well received by secular audiences. Recently, I was awarded First Place at a show juried by Ray Pierotti from Atlanta at the Reese Museum in Johnson City, TN. And one of my Global City Babel pieces was also juried into a show called Appalachian Corridors, an 11-state show, by Eleanor Heartney, a New York art critic. Often it is the message or the hidden meaning of a piece that brings awards, but excellence of craft and awareness of our Postmodern culture are very important issues to consider. We live in a time of relativism, so to introduce the absolute authority of the Word of God is anathema. But who is in control?

The Christian artist who tells the truth about creation and its brokenness but points to redemption through Christ will always be relevant. Christ holds all things together (Col. 1: 15ff) and all men are enlightened by the Light even thought they do not know Him (John 1:9-10). “There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man. He was in the world and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him.”

Lately I have been incorporating words and the Word of God into my mixed media work. For years, I have incorporated Scripture as titles, but now I am allowing glimpses of Scripture to appear in my work. God’s Word is powerful. I can allow God’s Spirit to capture hearts and imaginations. (It is all about Him anyway). In my recent series Global City Babel many asked about the biblical account of the Tower of Babel and what it meant. I have many opportunities to share God’s word and the everlasting story though my work. I was even allowed to do this in China’s Luxan Fine Art Academy this March.

For more of my interview with Carol Bomer, check out Thursday's post.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Marlene Dickinson, Part 2: "Masters of Our Craft"

Today, I'm finishing my interview with dancer Marlene Dickinson.

LeAnne: On Monday, you were saying that the Church has allowed itself to lose ground in the arts for a number of reasons, and you discussed the first one: that the Church has withdrawn from the arts so therefore, very few voices for Christ are in the arts. What are some other reasons that the Church has lost ground?

Marlene: Other than musicians, we have largely failed to encourage artist-believers to seek the technical training and education required to produce a mature artistic expression. It is only through this process that artists can develop the skill to make a viable contribution to the Church and to the world. We limit ourselves immeasurably when we require ourselves and our children to be mentored and trained primarily by other Christians in Christian institutions. How many Christian institutions can you name with even an undergraduate dance program?

We, of all people, must be masters of our craft, gleaning from any and all resources the Lord has provided. Of course we are discerning about the teaching we expose our children to, but I am speaking of adults here as well. Learning to separate craft from content is part of being “in but not of the world.” This is infinitely trickier and not nearly as safe as operating within the walls of the Church. Study at the best schools, learn from the top teachers, attend the most inspiring performances. Then, treasure the treasure, trash the trash. Unwavering artistic growth is one of my life goals.

Another reason is the captive audience can be a curse. Those of us only producing work for presentation in the context of the worship setting have inadvertently exempted ourselves from the primary standard of good theater, namely: Can it draw and hold an audience? Artists working solely in the Church are not burdened by this most basic mechanism of self-evaluation. Of course our purposes are ultimately higher, but I am still speaking in the context of artistic integrity. Just as our music expression has gained credibility, I would like to think that our dance and theater offerings, with regard to quality, could be viable outside the walls of the Church building. This remains one of my personal goals.

LM: Have you found that Christians don’t understand why you are involved in the arts?

MD: Not really, though some seem mystified that a Christian would choose to work outside the Church.

LM: How would you encourage other “artist-believers” working outside the church?

MD: I would pray the same prayers for them that I do for myself:

1. “Lord, help me to give.”
Give myself fully to You, give of myself to others without expectation of return, give by fanning the flame of artistic instinct in others, give by serving silently. I often ask myself if I am living more like Christ today than I was yesterday. It is in giving that He is increased and we are decreased.

2. “Lord, help me to grow.”
Make me a life-long student. I want to mine everything You have placed inside. Growth is the evidence of life. I want to read, listen to lectures, observe those around me, take classes, take risks, go to performances, keep an idea journal, cultivate relationships with people who challenge me.

Regarding this last one, you can find some fine Christian people working professionally in dance and theater at:

www.danceaddeum.com (I highly recommend their summer dance intensive.)
www.cita.org and

3. “Lord…”
What!? Only two points? Now you know why I’m a dancer and not a preacher.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Marlene Dickinson: Our Universal Language

Marlene Dickinson, choreographer and dancer, has worked in theater most of her life. She has choreographed over 25 musicals and revues and has developed several original dance works for the conferences of Dr. Lori Salierno of Celebrate Life International. Marlene has toured Asia, Europe, and Hawaii with Operation Appreciation, a military outreach, and has entertained on numerous cruise ships throughout the Caribbean. For ten years she was Director of Theater Arts at Church at the Crossing in Indianapolis where she also worked at Indiana Repertory Theater and Beef and Boards.

In addition to countless workshops and Master Classes, she has continued to study dance throughout her adult life at Butler University’s Jordan Dance Academy and at The Georgia Ballet, among others. Marlene has served on the Board of Christians in Theater Arts. She holds a B.F.A. in Theater from Northern Kentucky University where she attended on full theater scholarship. Marlene and her husband Curtis have two children, Lily and Tommy.

LeAnne: What is your background in dance?

Except for a few weeks surrounding pregnancy, I cannot remember NOT taking dance. My childhood teachers were all about creative communication, so I grew up thinking of dance not as spectacle but as language. Ballet, modern, jazz, lyrical, tap, etc., were like dialects of this wonderful universal language of movement.

For me, dance in performance has to be about something, and the more specific, the better. This seems like a no-brainer to theater artists, but it is actually fairly foreign to the way we train young dancers to think. Look no further than your local dance school recital [for proof].

So, my background is mostly about dance functioning in or as drama. Other functions of dance are perfectly legitimate, of course, but only interest me as they might serve my work to this end.

LM: How do you decide what projects to work on?

I use a number of criteria in evaluating an opportunity, the primary being Audience Worthiness. My notion of “Performances Worth Asking People to Show Up For” grows ever more limited as I age and as art becomes increasingly more accessible through electronic media. I have to be sure that what I offer in live performance is worth leaving your house to go see. (This is to say nothing of the cost of a ticket; I am only speaking of time and energy here.) For me, live performance has to be an experience that cannot be brought to you on DVD, CD, or iPod, nor can it be found in a cinema, book, or museum. It must be experienced live, in community, where both artist and audience are known. The distinctive of live performance is that it can, on some level, nurture this insatiable desire for intimate exchange which is so basic to our nature.

LM: How has your faith affected your passion for dance?

Sadly, I spent the first twenty years of my life completely oblivious to the fact that faith and dance had any relationship whatsoever. Church was Sunday and Wednesday, dance was Tuesday and Saturday, and never the two would meet. Fortunately, dance was not forbidden in my faith culture, as it was for many Christians in generations past. But for me, dance and faith were not adversaries, they were complete strangers.

Sometime around 1982 I began to discover what has been known since the dawn of time: Movement has the power to move us. It is for this reason I name my pick- up performance companies “Moving People.” Dance is our universal, primal language. It transcends all barriers of time, culture, and communication.

Now, we know that all powers can be used for good or evil. I choose good. As dancers, we literally offer our bodies as living sacrifices and our work as fragrant offerings to God. It is His work to transform. So, I see dancers as translators of truth and dances as spaces for God to move—not that He needs us to do so. I am thankful for a host of studios and professionals across the country that are now connecting the dots for young dancers, teaching and mentoring them in these principles.

LM: Have you faced challenges from the world because of your faith?

The dictionary defines challenge as a call to account. So, that would be “yes,” as an artist-believer I have been called to account by the world in many ways. The most prominent has to do with artistic integrity. As believers, our heart’s desire is to honor the Lord in both the content and execution of our work. I am encouraged that our generation is witnessing growth in both areas, but we have a long way to go. I think the Church has allowed itself to lose ground in the arts for a number of reasons.

For example, aside from the music industry, we have neglected, even bad-mouthed the arts communities for so many years, withdrawing our presence and discouraging our children from taking a rightful and necessary seat at the table of artistic influence. Now we are indignant that our worldview is either misrepresented or missing altogether.

Can you imagine if we advised our children, “Whatever you do, avoid going into business, son. It’s full of self-serving, greedy scoundrels who sleep around. And some of the product is questionable at best. You won’t meet many Christians there, and you’ll probably fall into the same lifestyle.” No. We are salt and light, working as unto the Lord in all we do.

So today we find ourselves in a spiritual battle to regain our voice, led by a handful of courageous and unrelenting visionaries. We have a lot of lost ground to cover since we have been M.I.A., especially in dance and theater, for far too long.

More from Marlene Dickinson on Thursday.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Expressing Thanks on Thanksgiving

For this week of Thanksgiving, I thought I’d share a quote with you from Edith Schaeffer’s book, Common Sense Christian Living. Have a wonderful, safe, and art-filled Thanksgiving.

“Appreciation can be expressed to God with spoken words in prayer, alone in one’s ‘closet,’ or sitting on a stone in a field, or walking in the woods or on a city street. Appreciation can be written to God in your handwriting for His eyes alone, written in a private notebook or on the back of an envelope. Praise and thanksgiving can be in the form of a painting if that is a person’s best medium of expression, or in song, or with a musical instrument. It doesn’t always have to be verbal…nor heard by anyone else.

“Prose, poetry, or musical instruments can be used by you alone to praise God, with only the sound of the rain adding in anything to whatever sound you are making your communication. A dancer can dance with a heart full of adoration and appreciation being expressed directly to the Lord, as that person dances alone up and down a curving staircase, alone in the house, alone in a room, on the grass or field in the moonlight, with a string trio as the music comes from a record player…and no eyes watching except the Lord’s.”

Next Monday I’ll be featuring professional dancer Maureen Dickinson.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Bruce Herman, Part 2: "Made to Be Makers"

Today, I’m continuing my Q&A with painter Bruce Herman (www.brucehermanonline.com). Currently Professor of Art at Gordon College, Bruce lectures widely and has had work published in many books, journals, and popular magazines. He completed both undergraduate and graduate fine arts degrees at Boston University School for the Arts. He studied under Philip Guston, James Weeks, David Aronson, and Reed Kay. Bruce’s artwork has been exhibited in over 55 exhibitions in eleven major cities including Boston, New York, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles, and has been shown in five different countries, including England, Italy, Russia, Canada, and Israel. His work is housed in many public and private collections including the Vatican Museum of Modern Religious Art in Rome; the DeCordova Museum in Lincoln, Massachusetts; and the Armand Hammer Museum at the University of California in Los Angeles.

LeAnne: What challenges have you faced from the world because of your faith?

I don’t think my challenges are unique. In many ways I think it is simply the problem of communicating well and truly. Of course, as some wise Christian once said, if you’re not being persecuted, you may not be communicating your Christianity clearly—and as another said, the Gospel is innately offensive—we as Christians ought not to be. In one sense, to be an artist and a Christian might doubly marginalize you, but I have always felt a bit of an outsider being an artist in a culture of athletes, not aesthetes. Why should any Christian be surprised by being rejected? Like most artists, poets, and composers, I could probably wallpaper my home with the rejection letters I’ve received. That shouldn’t stop us from sending “love letters” to the world. It didn’t stop Jesus, and we’re supposed to follow him, right?

Contemporary art culture is confused and confusing for most non-experts. The popularity in middle America of Thomas Kinkade’s mass-produced kitsch is a testimony to how out of touch high-art culture is from the general populace. I am, for better or worse, a high-art sort of painter but I have a heart for those who don’t “get it” when they see contemporary images. My heroes are artists like Rembrandt, Robert Frost, Johann Sebastian Bach, Shakespeare—all those masters whose work can be appreciated by egg-heads as well as by lunkheads. A third-grader can read Frost, and the same poem can deeply move a literary scholar holed-up in his library.

LM: Have you found that the church in general doesn't understand your calling to be an artist?

Like the famous St. Francis prayer, I seek not so much to be understood as to understand. By what I’ve already said, you can guess that I sympathize with rank and file Christians who don’t “get it” with art and artists. Yes, I’ve encountered a fair amount of misunderstanding and even rejection by fellow Christians for my art. The way I see it, that gives me a second job in my work as a communicator: make it accessible to the whole range of persons who Christ loves. My dream would be to make paintings like my hero Rembrandt, paintings that art connoisseurs and commoners alike can respond to, be moved by.

LM: What would you say to encourage your students and other artists trying to blend their faith and their art?

Blend faith and art? I think it’s really impossible to disentangle them. For me, art and faith are almost identical or at least coterminous because they both flow from the Creator and flow back to the Creator. We are made to be makers like our Maker. There is no divide between knowing God and seeking to imitate God. That’s what children do—play act at being like Mommy and Daddy. My art is simply my attempt to act like Daddy.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Bruce Herman: A Broken Beauty

This week, I’m featuring a painter I met this summer at the C. S. Lewis Summer Institute (www.cslewis.org) at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts. Bruce Herman (www.brucehermanonline.com), currently Professor of Art at Gordon College in Wenham, Massachusetts, lectures widely and has had work published in many books, journals, and popular magazines. He completed both undergraduate and graduate fine arts degrees at Boston University School for the Arts. He studied under Philip Guston, James Weeks, David Aronson, and Reed Kay. Bruce’s artwork has been exhibited in over 55 exhibitions in eleven major cities including Boston, New York, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles, and has been shown in five different countries, including England, Italy, Russia, Canada, and Israel. His work is housed in many public and private collections including the Vatican Museum of Modern Religious Art in Rome; the DeCordova Museum in Lincoln, Massachusetts; and the Armand Hammer Museum at the University of California in Los Angeles.

LeAnne: When did you know you wanted to be an artist?

I had intimations that I was made for making art at an early age — my guess is that I had a fairly definitely sense of this at around six years old. My very earliest memories are all strongly visual, and my parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and teachers all commented regularly that I was an artist and had a “vivid” or “wild” imagination. Of course, they may have simply been kind and really meant that I was crazy. I also remember many times during childhood, and since becoming an adult, that beauty has been able to move me to tears, to ecstatic feelings, to a sense of the numinous. I’ve always felt that I wanted to share those feelings — to communicate these things to others — particularly the intuitions about God... and about beauty being at the core of God’s self-disclosure to me.

LM: Tell me about A Broken Beauty.

A Broken Beauty (www.abrokenbeauty.com) is a book and an exhibition I initiated that brought together fourteen other artists, four art historians, and a number of museum curators in a collaborative undertaking centered on the connections to be discovered between the human body, brokenness as a spiritual and physical reality, and beauty. The initial impulse to do this was the desire to see if any other artists were thinking about these connections. My own Christian faith centers on the Eucharist — Christ’s broken body as a locus of true beauty, despite the apparent “ugliness” and horror of that brokenness. The book that resulted from the project was published by Eerdmans (http://www.eerdmans.com/shop/product.asp?p_key=0802828183) and contains a number of fine interpretive and analytic essays on both the historical precedents for this project and about the art and artists of A Broken Beauty.

More from Bruce Herman on Thursday.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Ken Gire, Part 2: "Look This Way"

Today's post is the second part of my interview with Ken Gire (www.reflectiveliving.org), author of Windows of the Soul, The Divine Embrace, and more.

LM: You’ve also written about the movie Les Miserables.

KG: Yes. In Les Miserables, Valjean, mayor of the town of Montreuil-sur-Mer, stands up for Fantine against Javier, a police officer who lives his life by the law. It’s like John 8, when Jesus stood up for the adulterous woman against the religious leaders of the day.

Later, Valjean tenderly serves lunch to Fantine outside. Fantine can’t believe he’s doing this. She feels awe that he would even spend time with her. This scene reminds me of Revelation 3:20, where Jesus says, "Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me."

It’s a shared meal. Jesus is nourished by that as are we. In some way Jesus needs our love. That makes us uncomfortable. If we don’t show up, there can be no celebration, no honeymoon.

LM: This intimacy with Christ is a recurring theme in your work. In fact, the subtitle of The Divine Embrace is “an invitation to a more intimate relationship with Christ, one exhilarating, ennobling, uncertain step at a time.”

KG: Christ longs for us to be more intimate with Him. He calls us to partner with Him in His work. He draws us close before He sends us out to minister for Him.

He is not indiscriminately intimate with people. As we become more intimate with Him, He discloses Himself to us more, like in John 14:21: “Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.”

God will use anything He can that will reveal Jesus to us, anything that will glorify Him and make us His own. The Holy Spirit is a vital presence in our lives, turning our attention to the things of Jesus. It’s as though He takes our heads and says, ‘Look this way’.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Ken Gire: "Reflections of Jesus"

Last week, I wrote about one of my favorite books, Windows of the Soul by Ken Gire (www.reflectiveliving.com). A few years ago, I interviewed Ken at a CBA trade show about his latest book. I had never met him before and I confess that I may have gushed a little. I did manage to stop just short of saying, “I’m your biggest fan!” Although he was a little taken aback by my enthusiasm, he responded with grace, and we went on to have a wonderful conversation.

In several of his books including Windows of the Soul, Divine Embrace, and Reflections on the Movies, Ken has written about movies and their ability to touch us. Here’s a portion of our interview.

LeAnne: Why are movies such a powerful medium?

Ken: A lot of people have been alienated by the church and for good reasons sometimes—alienated by legalism, hypocrisy, arrogance, lack of compassion. They think, if this is the best Christianity has to offer, I’m not sure it’s the best place to be.

Movies tell stories you can’t tell in church, particularly if they don’t have a happy ending: the pain of abuse, abandonment, divorce, and what that looks like. If you tell the story and are honest, people distance themselves from you. Movies are where those stories can be told with honesty and vulnerability.

Movies are an unapologetically emotional medium [when] many churches are more cerebral. They focus mainly on the sermon. There’s a pastor who is not sharing about his life, who is more doctrinally oriented. People long to have their hearts touched. Most people criticize the pastor because he doesn’t speak to them where they live.

Movies go beyond the surface. They take us places we would never go and let us see what that life is like. Movies help us understand that place or that person more. Hopefully they illicit greater compassion in us.

LeAnne: Which movies have broadened your understanding and compassion?

Ken: Sometimes it’s entire movies, sometimes it’s a character, or a scene, or even a line of dialogue.

In some movies, we see examples of Jesus incarnate. We see something of Him, just as we see in real people, like Mother Teresa. In Fried Green Tomatoes, we see something of Jesus in the way Idgy Threadgood treats Smokey Lonesome, the homeless person at the Whistle Stop Café. She puts her arm around him. She does what Jesus would do.

We see Jesus in Braveheart’s William Wallace, both in his death and the reason why he dies--for the freedom of His people. We see something of what he went through as a reflection of what Christ went through on the cross.

I think the Jesus within us responds to the reflection of Jesus in movies. We think, I want to be like that or fight like that or sacrifice like that.

I'll be featuring more from my interview with Ken Gire soon.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Joseph Pearce, Part 2: "Art and Propaganda"

Today's post is part two of my feature of Joseph Pearce, a professor, writer, and editor I met this summer at the C. S. Lewis Summer Institute (www.cslewis.org) at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts. In addition to being the author of numerous acclaimed biographies of major Catholic literary figures, Joseph is a Writer-in-Residence and Professor of Literature at Ave Maria University (www.naples.avemaria.edu) in Florida. He is also Editor-in-Chief of Ave Maria University Communications and Sapientia Press, as well as Co-Editor of The Saint Austin Review (or StAR) (www.staustinreview.com), an international review of Christian culture, literature, and ideas published in England (St Austin Press) and the United States (Sapientia Press). Joseph regularly speaks at a wide variety of religious, cultural, and literary events.

LeAnne: On Monday, you discussed the arts and culture. What would you say to artists who are struggling in our culture to blend their Christian faith and their art?

I would say that they need to keep the nature of creativity, as I’ve described, at the center of their creative focus. Creativity is a gift from God and, it should be offered up to Him as a gift in return. If the Christian artist does this he will no longer have to worry about “blending” his faith with his art; his art will be a natural and supernatural expression of his faith. His faith will become magically or miraculously incarnate in his art! Christ will become flesh in his work. As such, a Christian artist should never abuse the gift by trying to use the gift to create Christian propaganda. Art is not propaganda, and propaganda is not art. If we trust the Giver of the gift of creativity, He will pour Himself out, in grace, through the creative process. We should not try to make Christ talk, we should let Him talk.

In addition to books and journal and newspaper articles, you write poetry. Which poets have influenced you the most and why?

That’s a good question – and a difficult one! There have been so many. Among the most important are Dante, Hopkins, Sassoon, Belloc, Eliot, Francis Thompson, R.S. Thomas, George Herbert and St John of the Cross. Other literary influences who have been very important, though perhaps not strictly in the poetic sense, are John Henry Newman, J.R.R. Tolkien, G.K. Chesterton and last, but emphatically not least, Shakespeare.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Joseph Pearce: "Fruits of God's Image"

This week, I’m featuring Joseph Pearce, a professor, writer, and editor I met this summer at the C. S. Lewis Summer Institute (www.cslewis.org) at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts. In addition to being the author of numerous acclaimed biographies of major Catholic literary figures, Joseph is a Writer in Residence and Professor of Literature at Ava Maria University (www.naples.avemaria.edu) in Florida. He is also Editor-in-Chief of Ave Maria University Communications and Sapientia Press, as well as Co-Editor of the The St Austin Review (or StAR) (www.staustinreview.com), an international review of Christian culture, literature, and ideas published in England (St Austin Press) and the United States (Sapientia Press). Joseph regularly speaks at a wide variety of religious, cultural, and literary events.

LeAnne: You are a scholar on CS Lewis as well as other Christian literary figures. How did Lewis and others feel about the arts?

Joseph: C.S. Lewis’s conversion to Christianity was largely the result of what might be termed a philosophy of culture or creativity. Under the influence of his good friend J.R.R. Tolkien, Lewis came to see that man, being made in the image of God, was the product of God’s Creativity and that man’s own creativity was an important part of the imageness of God in him. As such, the arts, as manifestations of the imagination, were the fruits, through grace, of God’s image in us. For Lewis, as for Tolkien, therefore, Christ was both the center and meaning of culture.

This Christocentric view of the meaning of art was also held by G. K. Chesterton. His chapter, “The Ethics of Elfland”, in his hugely influential book, Orthodoxy, expresses this philosophy of culture very eloquently and it was a significant influence on both Lewis and Tolkien.

Although this subject is vast and would merit a whole book, there is one other writer who perhaps deserves a special mention in connection with the Christocentric nature of Art. Dorothy L. Sayers, in her book, The Mind of the Maker, writes with great profundity of the Trinitarian and Incarnational dimension of all creativity. Sayers was also hugely influenced, as a young girl, by Chesterton, particularly by Orthodoxy.

Speaking of culture, the current issue of The St Austin Review, which you co-edit, addresses the theme of culture. Can we define culture?

Many people have tried to define culture and the title of the theme of the latest issue of the St Austin Review, “Towards a Definition of Culture”, was taken from a book of this title (Notes Towards a Definition of Culture) by T.S. Eliot. Essentially, as I’ve said, all culture, as the fruit of creativity, is a manifestation of God’s creative image in us. As such, He is the ultimate source of all culture. Art and culture is literally a Gift. It is a gift of God to the creatures He created in His own Creative Image. It is, therefore, true, up to a point, to see the artist as god-like. As a creator, or more correctly a sub-creator (one who makes things from other things that already exist, as distinct from God who makes things from nothing by bringing them into existence) he is displaying, to a heightened degree, the imageness of God within himself, i.e. the god-like. The danger, however, is that the artist loses a sense of gratitude and humility and believes himself to be a god, not merely god-like. This is a sin, and is the reason why so much modern art is a perverted distortion and disfiguring of the gift of creativity.

More from Joseph Pearce on Thursday.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

From My Collection

I love a good turn of phrase, a sentence or two that's laden with meaning that somehow strikes a chord in me. I collect quotations about art, beauty, writing, creativity, etc., like other people collect coins or stamps. But the best part about gathering them is sharing them with friends who appreciate them too. Today I’m going to share a few from my collection with you.

“There is no vehicle which displays the Glory of God and the Wonder of God as clearly as the arts. Art is the reflection of God’s creativity, an evidence that we are made in His Image.” Martin Luther

“All art is an attempt to manifest the face of God in life.” Cecil Collins

“Thy will be done in art as it is in heaven.” Willa Cather

"Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life." Pablo Picasso

“That the arts can be corrupt does not mean that Christians should abandon them. On the contrary, the corruption of the arts means that Christians dare not abandon them any longer.” Gene Edward Veith

If you have favorite quotes about the arts, beauty, or related topics, please pass them along.

Coming Soon: Q&As with painters, poets, dancers and more

Monday, October 23, 2006

"Windows of the Soul by Ken Gire"

Years ago, when I first started freelance writing, I wrote ad copy for a ministry that sold books through mail order. One of the books on my list was Windows of the Soul by Ken Gire. Both the subtitle Experiencing God in New Ways and the black dust jacket with the sun rising in a window pulled me in, and the one-page introduction hooked me. Since then Gire, a speaker and award-winning author who has written over twenty books including The North Face of God, Divine Embrace, The Work of His Hands, the “Moments with the Savior” series, and the "Reflective Life" series, has become one of my favorite contemporary writers.

In Windows of the Soul, he writes, “We reach for God in many ways. Through our sculptures and our scriptures. Through our pictures and our prayers. Through our writing and our worship. And through them He reaches for us…Our search for God and His search for us meet at windows in our everyday experience. These are the windows of the soul.” Because we long for intimacy with God and He with us, God uses many aspects of life to meet us on an intimate level, aspects such as vocation, stories, art, movies, poetry, memory, dreams, scripture, tears, and nature.

As I read, I felt as though I had somehow expanded inside. While Gire shared stories about windows where God met him and other people, I began remembering times and places where God had met me. I had had experiences of intimacy with Him but had never articulated them—or perhaps even recognized them for what they were. Gire helped me identify them and sharpened my sense of awareness of God reaching out to me so that from then on, I was looking for windows of the soul.

Art for me is one of those windows. I believe God can use art to reach out to us, to show us more of Himself, and to draw us closer to Him. Maybe art is one of your windows too? If so, email me and tell me about it. I’d love to hear from you.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Worship and Art

In my first post, I wrote about a powerful experience I had worshipping God while viewing a painting by Monet in London. Today I'm focusing on others who also have been moved to worship God through art.

Freelance designer and former art director for Discipleship Journal Anne Elhajoui says, “Whenever I see great art, great design, great music or dance, I think about God. It makes me worship and praise him.”

For Dena Dyer, who’s a writer, actor and singer, it’s the Les Miserables soundtrack and show that make her worship. “I can’t listen to the soundtrack or see the Broadway show without weeping with gratitude at the grace of God. The story and music are exquisite, and the themes of forgiveness, mercy and loving others as Christ loved us always move me.”

Doug Roeglin, an art director at a private college, says, “The first time I saw a Louis Tiffany window/wall, my knees turned to jelly and the hairs on my neck stood on end. I couldn’t help but worship God for the color and form he made that would inspire such glorious, magnificent beauty.”

An art exhibit at MIT led to a profound worship experience that Laurie Fuller, graphic designer and painter, still remembers clearly 18 years later. “Although the students used the science of math as the source of their artwork, the beauty of the structures reminded me of the balance found in God’s creation. I was overwhelmed with the complexity and beauty of God’s designs in the world around me and by his greatness and began to worship him.”

God can use anything to touch our hearts—regardless of whether the art or the artist is explicitly Christian—so that we respond to him in worship. When we realize this, we will be more open and attentive to the music we hear, the paintings we see, the poetry we read, the performances we watch. We will sense his presence in the notes of a symphony, the pages of a book and, perhaps, the brush strokes of a man named Monet whose gift, great though it was, is only a dim impression of the creative genius and power of the one who gave it to him.

Have you ever had a similar worship experience through the arts? If so, please email me and tell me about it. I may use your story on my blog in the future.

Portions of this post first appeared in an article I wrote for The Lookout magazine, October 2002.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Bryan Coley, Part 2: "Lives are Broken"

Due to technical difficulties, I was unable to post on Thursday. After several unsuccessful attempts to get into the system, I threw my hands up in frustration and left town for Florida. Actually, it was a planned trip with my husband and if I hadn't given up on posting when I did, we might have missed our flight. We had a great time, and I do apologize for the inconvenience.

So, in today's post, I'll finish up my interview with Bryan Coley of Art Within. For more info on Art Within, check out the website at www.artwithin.org.

LeAnne: Why is having Christians in the arts so important?

Bryan: At Art Within, we believe that in today’s society, art and entertainment have the greatest impact on people’s beliefs and values, but there is a significant lack of an influential faith-based voice. People don’t trust the church, the government, or education. They’re finding their equipment to live in the arts and media. They’re patterning their lives after image.

Christians have to be part of that dialogue. Our culture has gone through a strong cycle of post-modern cynicism, dysfunctionality raised to an art form, relative truth, of seeing this life as all there is. Those things strike against the core of a Christian worldview, yet our voice is not in the cultural debate. There aren’t voices saying, “There is Hope, Truth, ultimate justice, there are things that can save your marriage, that you can learn from to get out of debt”—things we take for granted as Christians.

What drives a Christian artist?
What drives me is that people are dying around me, lives are broken. It’s my neighbor’s child who plays with my son [for example]. What is his life going to look like? There’s got to be room for truth and hope to come to his life, to his parents’ life, because if they knew how to parent through the power of Christ, it would transform him. When I pray with my son about him, I say, he doesn’t know the truth of God. That’s what we need to share with him.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Bryan Coley: "A Dust Bowl"

Today I'm talking with Bryan Coley, Artistic Director of Art Within, an arts and media company that seeks to advance the individual and collective voice of faith in the arts and entertainment industry. Art Within develops, produces and distributes scripts for stage and screen that are relevant to today’s culture and explore Hope and Truth from a Christian perspective. For more information, visit www.artwithin.org.

LeAnne: Why should Christians be involved in our culture?

Bryan: Since I’m a storyteller, I’ll give you a parable. A farmer was tired of sowing seeds. He hated when he had to dig up the ground and till the soil. So he decided, “I’m just going to harvest. That’s what I’m good at. It’s easy.” The ground became hard; the plants died. Eventually the land became a dust bowl. The farmer packed his bags and said, “I guess it wasn’t God’s will for me to farm this land. I’ll just move on to something else.”

To me, that captures what Christianity has done with the culture. We’ve seen how hard it is to engage the culture. Sowing seeds is hard. It takes a long time to see the benefits. It’s so much easier to harvest. By that I mean creating our own subculture. It’s easier to do Christian music than to be musicians out engaging and planting seeds in the culture. It’s harder for us to be in our neighborhood, to be active salt and light than to be in our small groups. Because of that, we’re seeing the land get harder. The culture is becoming a dust bowl because of our lack of planting seeds. The natural Christian reaction is to brush our hands off and say, “I guess it wasn’t God’s will for us to be part of this culture. It’s their own fault.” Instead we should be weeping over this land. That’s why we’re needed in the culture—for our children’s sake, for generations to come who will have to live in a land that’s fruitless.

You have said, “If we're going to bring ourselves into the cultural debate, we can't treat [nonChristians] as enemies." Explain what you mean.

Our conversation with the culture must start from a place of commonality, because “there but by the grace of God...” I’m not saying that we don’t have something huge that sets us apart or that our conversation with the culture shouldn’t end with the transformational power of Jesus Christ. However, it is amazing grace that saved a wretch like me. How uncaring for me, who was formerly lost and blind, to refer to those who are still lost and blind as “them” and alienate myself from them—what piety and hypocrisy.

Thursday's post will be more of my conversation with Bryan.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Nigel Goodwin, Part 3: "A Desert"

I've been talking with Nigel Goodwin, Executive Director of Genesis Arts Trust (www.genesisartstrust.org.uk) about Christians in the cultural debate.

LeAnne: How can the church support Christians in the arts?

Nigel: Everybody has gifts in the church. If someone writes a poem, some music, encourage it. They may not be a Mozart, but they have something to express. Encourage [the gifts] in the church, in our schools, in our homes, and ultimately those gifts will go out into the marketplace. Who are tomorrow’s filmmakers? Poets? Writers? Should we be getting programs together to find money to support these people?

When I started 30-odd years ago, there were little or no Christian voices. It was a desert. Today there are more. There aren’t enough, but there are more. I believe it’s long-term strategy, long-term planning. I don’t think it’s quick or instant. There is no one answer, but the answers are all there in the scriptures.

In Monday's post, I'll be talking to another of those voices in the desert: Bryan Coley of Art Within, an arts and media company that seeks to advance the individual and collective voice of faith in the arts and entertainment industry.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Nigel Goodwin, Part 2: "Something Different"

I've been talking with Nigel Goodwin, Executive Director of Genesis Arts Trust, about using the arts to reach our culture for Christ.

LeAnne: How can Christians in the arts impact in our culture?

Nigel: We will bring the light into our culture. Light is substance, darkness is not. You don’t need a lot of light. If you strike a match in a room, you’ll see something. God isn’t asking for a headlamp. God doesn’t ask us to bully the culture because it’s got us wrong. He asks us to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. He asks us to be gentle, creative, winsome in the culture.

The arts gifts are given by the Giver of every good gift. A gift has to be received, unwrapped—worked at—and given back. It is for the Giver’s glory, to show Him to the world, and for our good: as we give it back, it blesses us and blesses the watching world who see the Body of Christ as distinctly different.

We need to learn in the church to make people hungry for Christ. The prince of the power of the air does not have to be the prince of the power of the airwaves. If we retreat, someone else will be there. You can spend a lot of time in the cultural wars arguing about what you don’t like rather than spending time creating an alternative so people can make their choices. Give them something different. Invest in writers, in quality writing. Why is so much church-based art bad art? Why doesn’t it have the excellence and professionalism we see in the world? Does God make cheap? Is a rose ever cheap? Is an oak tree cheap? No. God made quality.

I'll be concluding my interview with Nigel on Thursday.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Nigel Goodwin: "Engagement, Not Disengagement"

In my next few posts, I'm going to be talking to two experts about using the arts to reach our culture for Christ. My first guest is Nigel Goodwin, Executive Director of Genesis Arts Trust. Nigel is a graduate of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art who worked in theatre, film, TV, and radio for over 10 years. He trained under Francis Schaeffer at L’Abri. Through Genesis Arts Trust, Nigel encourages and supports Christians in the arts, both celebrities and “unknowns”, all over the world.

LeAnne: What is the church’s role in our culture today?
Nigel: Except for a few notable exceptions, sadly it’s been a role of withdrawal. That goes back to the end of the 19th century, beginning of the 20th, when the culture was beginning to lose its Judeo-Christian roots and become more secular. Instead of the church being salt and light and engaging, there was a huge withdrawal, a disengaging. We built our own colleges and universities—our own subcultural system, rather than counter-cultural.

I think Christ calls us to a counter-culture. If He had withdrawn at any point from the world, the world would be worse than it is. But the Holy Spirit still broods over the world. God has never given up on the world that He so loves. True, we are called to be in it and not of the world, but we are called first to be in it—in it with a different frame of reference, a different way of thinking, of understanding, of seeing.

We need to take our Christianity out of the comfort zones of the church and into the marketplace. We ought to be in engagement, not disengagement.

To read more from Nigel, check out my post next Monday.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Christians in the Arts--Welcome!

As I stood in front of the painting, I realized that no photograph or reproduction could have prepared me for the beauty before me now. At the National Gallery in London, I gazed at a French Impressionist painting I had loved since my college art appreciation class but now I was actually seeing the original. It was Claude Monet’s "The Water Lily Pond,” one of a series of paintings of his pond in Giverny, France, done in the late 1800s. My eyes could not get enough of the early summer-greens of lily pads floating beneath the arched bridge.

The artist’s gift, given to him by the Creator, touched and moved me. Other visitors milled about, I’m sure, but for those few moments, it was just me, the painting, and the Lord. Thank You, God, I prayed. Thank You for the gift You gave the artist that made such beauty possible. And thank You for Your creation, which inspired it.

When I finally walked away, I knew I would not be the same. Through that painting, I had perhaps the most memorable worship experience of my life.

Excerpt from an article I wrote called “Worship: The Work of Art" that first appeared in The Lookout magazine, September 2002.

Have you ever been profoundly moved by art like I was, whether it was a painting, a symphony, the ballet, the theater? Do you love to experience art or to create it? Are you an artist who is a Christian or a Christian who loves the arts? Either way, you are in the right place. On this blog, I will be presenting Q&As with Christians who are artists, art enthusiasts and experts. I will also write about the arts from my own perspective. Occasionally I'll include quotations, helpful resources, practical information, etc. Soon I'll be adding links I like that you might enjoy as well. I plan to post twice a week on Mondays and Thursdays.

On Thursday, I’ll be starting a series of Q&As with two artists involved in the cultural debate: Nigel Goodwin of Genesis Arts Trust (www.genesisartstrust.org.uk) and Bryan Coley of Art Within (www.artwithin.org). They'll be talking about how Christians in the arts can impact the culture, the church's role in our culture, and more. I think you'll find their comments inspiring and insightful.

Home | About | Articles | Speaking | Links | Contact | FAQ
Blogs: Christians in the Arts | Beauty and the Beholder

Copyright 2007 LeAnne Martin. Site designed by ChurchGraphics.org