Art and Faith
I’m currently thinking about Art and Faith because of a class I will soon be teaching at Wesley Theological Seminary, and new work I will create as an Artist in Residence while living on the campus of a seminary. My faith and its mystery are a part of everything in my life, from my interactions with my community, my teaching, and my art and writing. I can’t leave my art out of the mystery that I feel, or this mystery out of my art. But how does one apply a realm with such a nebulous nature to art? Is it possible to produce art that reflects this mystery? I want to explore those ideas and concepts, and I seek to find solutions and practical applications for my students and me. I appreciate your thoughts on this and whether any of you struggle with similar questions.
Where does art come from? Should art have a purpose? What place does “fun” play in the art process?
I have spent hours creating just for the fun of it. While I credit that this encouraged and developed my creative gifts, creating just for fun has its limits, although the pleasurable side of creating art is important. It’s raw inspiration flowing out into whatever medium I’m working with at that particular moment. I believe those periods of raw creation are what lead into the creation of something more significant.
I will first encourage my students, who I assume will have little background in art, to create from raw inspiration. Sometimes it will be good. Sometimes it will be raw, and sometimes there will be something there which can be honed and sharpened into something better. Later I will teach that there is serious thought, practice, and purpose to the creative process.