Does Evangelism Jeopardize Authentic Artistic Expression?

ChristianityToday.com | 6/21/2018 | Staff
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When I was young, my mother made a wreath that was composed of natural materials—pinecones, needles, thistles—gathered from places where we had taken family vacations. Setting aside distinctions between art and craft, it has always been evident to me that the wreath possessed certain artistic qualities: an expression of her creative abilities, an intentional work with aesthetic appeal. What became equally evident to me over time was that the wreath functioned in another way.

Quiet Spaces: This painting is an outworking of cultivating an atmosphere of order, calm, and beauty through spatial and chromatic exploration. The creative process is very meditative and involves cycles of printing, cutting, painting, and scraping. Encaustic is an ancient painting medium consisting of beeswax, damar resin, and pigment. Strips of encaustic monotype are embedded in layers of encaustic medium and more layers of encaustic paint are applied on top.

Wall - Parents - Living - Room - Decades

Hanging on the wall in my parents’ living room as it has for decades now, it acts as a witness to and a reminder of our shared time as a family. Whenever I see it, I feel my feet walking on trails in the early morning, I hear the sound of metal tent stakes being hammered into the ground, I taste roasted marshmallows, and I see the faces of family members, some now gone.

Cathedral: This painting is of the ruins of the cathedral in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Embedded in the painting are shards and crushed fragments of the church’s earthquake-shattered stained glass windows, collected by the artist and local children, intended as a tribute to grieving Haitians. The church in Haiti has a vibrant and zealous faith, a marked contrast from the destruction of this building and the spiritual ruins of many wealthy countries.

Works - Art - Memory - Wreath - Mother

Like other works of memorial art, the “memory wreath,” as my mother termed it, serves a...
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