Contrast In Action

Someone sent me this article the other day from Worldwide Challenge, a magazine from Campus Crusade for Christ. I tried to find it online, but didn’t have much luck, so I figured I would just write out some cool points about it. This isn’t Contrast itself in action, but I want to start sharing examples I find of people pursuing good Christian art.

The magazine talks about a thing called the Tribeca Arts Summer Project in NYC. The first paragraph is,

“In 2005, the Tribeca Arts Summer Project began as a way to encourage college artists to consider how they might use their gifts to conect with nonbelievers. Last summer, 26 students convereged in a New York City loft for the project. There, they painted and sculpted, designed and drew – all the while engaging in dialog with those they encountered in the Big Apple. Worldwide Challenge talked to Leigh Ann Dull, a 22-year staff member and co-director of Tribeca, about this unusual project.”

I can’t tell you how excited I am to see this!! GOD IS AT WORK IN THE ART WORLD!!!

The article continues with Leigh Ann explaining how she began incorporating her faith and art. 

I always wanted to be an artist and studied in in college. In my second year, God got hold of my heart and I began to understand the Spirit-filled life. Looking back many years later, I realized that I never fully grasped how to integrate my art and my faith… We began to use art to engage students in dialog. All my years of investing in college students were now growing into a desire to help emerging artists understand their calling as artists and believers.

Next WWC asks what it means to make that connection. She responds,

Many Christian artists think that they can only create something that leads people directly to Jesus or uses Jesus as the subject matter. We don’t ask accountants to crunch numbers that are salvific, so why do we ask it of artists? Instead, we ask the students to be excellent, be honest, and tell their story. 

Then she said something that made me squeal with delight  (oh yes, yes I did).

Art is not a hobby for them; it is part of who they are designed to be as image bearers of the great Creator.

Heck yeah.

She continues to talk about the sense of camaraderie and  the new view of how to live their faith that these students get.

Many feel for the first time an understanding of how their art can instantly open a door for dialog and opportunities to tell others about their faith journey. They see that by pursuing their art with excellence, honesty, and hope, it can allow them to connect with people in a real and vulnerable way. But this is not easy, it is hard work and takes incredible discipline and time. Artists create with a desire for their work to elicit a response and have an impact on a person. They’re like prophets in our culture and through their work can draw people to a greater desire and understanding of our Creator. Their art is a guidepost, but they are the gospel.

Leigh Ann, I couldn’t have said it better myself. She says at the end of the project, they do a gallery show and publicize it all over the city. This is Contrast in action. This is what God wants to do through art. 

~ by Josh Booth on February 4, 2009.

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