LeAnne Martin
Christians in the Arts

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.

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