Finding faith through the craft of art and music

Morgan Smith, Faith Editor

“Art in general is a lot about the spirituality, what’s inside of you, and it just hopes to show your struggles through faith,” said Glen Simpson III.

“It can show your growth, but it can also show your decline too. It just really depends on the way someone uses it.”

Simpson is a senior with a double major in art and English. Like many people in his field, he sees art as a means of expressing faith.

Christian writers, artists and musicians all have to come to terms with how to use their craft to serve God.

When many people picture Christian artwork, they imagine crosses and pictures of Jesus.

Artist's Palette and Brushes
Courtesy Photo / Creative Commons

While there is nothing wrong with choosing to use art in a religious context, it is also possible to minister through mainstream art and media.

“Art’s very deep. It’s more than just art, it represents a person’s soul, basically,” Simpson said.

Abigail Merideth is double majoring in art and creative writing with the ambition to be a children’s book illustrator.

She said she remembers a time when she looked at her mother and asked if would be possible to be a Christian artist while working for non-Christian companies and illustrating for non-religious books.

“She said, ‘yes,’ and today I say yes too,” Merideth said.

“Art is an expression of faith because God is a creator, who made this entire world and uses reality to point back to Him.”

She said that she sees art as a tool of reflection, and also of praise.

“In art we are capturing pieces of this reality, in beauty or ugliness, whether we intend to or not, and we cannot help but point back to our creator, even if it’s by focusing on man’s own depravity,” Merideth said.

Sometimes the means by which people minister through art can be unexpected.
Vocal music education major, Jennifer Watson, said that she sees her art, music, as an ever present part of the world, and one with a strong influence over people.

“Music that we listen to really can affect our mood, or we have a mood and listen to music to help console ourselves in that mood, even if it’s not Christian,” Watson said.

“When I’m sad I like to listen to Pride and Prejudice, not because it makes me more sad, but because it’s just beautiful and it comforts me in that way. It’s not necessarily Christian, but it’s still gorgeous.”

treble-cleff
Courtesy Photo / Creative Commons

Watson said that she sees music as a way of learning more about God, especially since her instrument, her voice, was made by God.

“Trying to learn how it works and how to use it properly, there are so many ways that it relates to help in missions,” she said.

“For example, you have to have a solid foundation, your feet need to be balanced on the floor, you have to have energy but not tension, which is similar in the way that you have to be willing to be a vessel to be used by God to go and have the energy to move, but not so much tension and control over it yourself that you basically hurt yourself with so much tension.”

Even when art is not being directly put towards missions it can still be used as a show of God’s love, which is present in all of us.

“When I’m making a certain piece, like in ceramics, when I’m making something for somebody else, I think about all the good things about them and how much I love them and care for them,” Simpson said.

“I put that love into my art, and it helps it become more than just a bowl or a plate or a mug, it’s a sign of love or affection.”

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