Sunday, August 05, 2007

The Lambs Are Roaring Again...

From a Washington Post article titled "Evangelicals Start Push in the Arts", the following:
There are no crosses in Makoto Fujimura's paintings. No images of Jesus gazing into the distance, or serene scenes of churches in a snow-cloaked wood.

Fujimura's abstract works speak to his evangelical Christian faith. But to find it takes some digging.

"I am a Christian," says Fujimura, 46, who founded the nonprofit International Arts Movement to help bridge the gap between the religious and art communities. "I am also an artist and creative, and what I do is driven by my faith experience.

"But I am also a human being living in the 21st century, struggling with a lot of brokenness _ my own, as well as the world's. I don't want to use the term 'Christian' to shield me away from the suffering or evil that I see, or to escape in some nice ghetto where everyone thinks the same."

By making a name for himself in the secular art world, Fujimura has become a role model for creatively wired evangelicals. They believe that their churches have forsaken the visual arts for too long _ and that a renaissance has begun.
(hat tip to Mick Silva)

I'll have to take issue with the "no crosses" comment by article author Eric Gorski. See the image there? It's called "Sacrifical Grace" by Fujimura, and its composition relies on overlapping crosses. See the larger image HERE. It was the cover of IMAGE Journal issue #22, which has a very cool Romulus Linney short story called "The Saint and the Magician."

I'll be posting in future (as I have in the past) to urge you all, all of you who value literature and the visual arts, to continue or start actively supporting art from those of the Body, those with talent and who labor to raise the level of artistic merit in what they offer to God and man.

In the meantime, you can subscribe (as I do) to journals (which always have tight budgets) such as IMAGE Journal or donate to organizations such as ACT ONE, which trains Christians of all denominations for careers in film and television. Or support an artist by buying some of their work (I've got a post saved since last week to post on this.) BTW, if you're not familiar with the spiritual in the visual arts, IMAGE Journal always features some artist (sometimes more than one), including photos of representative works. It's not just excellent poetry and short fiction and non-fiction, it's also about painters and sculptors. It's worth investing in this publication. And they sponsor the Glen Workshop, which is in session right now as I type this. I've longed to go to one since I first found out about them years ago.

And there's also Mars Hill Audio, which often has guests from the music and art world, as well as literary types and philosophers. A wonderful compilation worth subscribing to with the goal of equipping Christians to thoughtfully engage the culture.

I'd also like to recommend BOOKS AND CULTURE, a Christian review. I subscribed a while back, but I was allergic to the paper they used and had to cancel. (It used to be sort of newspapery, maybe still is.) A very good resource for book lovers and for Christians-who-think.

Visit also the IAM site. They also accept donations.


Heather said...

Mir, excellent suggestions. Thanks for the reminder for someone like me who loves to complain but sometimes forgets to put her money (what little she has) where her mouth is (but do you know where that money has been?)

Elliot said...

Amen! I recently rediscovered some of my Mars Hill Audio CDs and have been listening to them. I'm also a big fan of Books & Culture and Image, though I don't read the latter as much as I should. I did try to read my way through their 100 recommended books, though. At last count I'd read about a third of 'em.