Christians in art: The outcast or the savior of a dark art world?
Sex, drugs, alcohol and all things risqué: these are all things typically associated with the world of arts and entertainment. From rumors of actors in sex cults to musical artists dying of drug overdoses, it is clear that there is a strong pressure to engage in self-serving actions and create content that reflects such a lifestyle.
“People throw rocks at TV and programs and say that it’s terrible,” said Mark Roberson, dean of the College of Architecture and Visual Arts and Design. “Well what do you expect when all the Christians left and withdrew their influence from it?”
While Roberson paints an upsetting picture, he goes on to explain how there may be a remedy for the twisted status of the current culture.
“Culture is not a monolithic thing,” Roberson said. “Culture is made up of a hundred million threads that comes together to make a picture and it is our job to keep adding better threads that over time could help transform the entire picture.”
So this leaves us with a good idea of how to theoretically flip the art world back into a God-glorifying realm. But how do artists practically deal with the challenges that such a predicament presents?
“Most people’s art is done in a very dark mood,” said Abigale Biggs, senior graphic design major. “It is very beautiful, but it has no purpose. It is self-centered. We are the image of God. We are creating stuff because he created us and made us to create and show the love of God to people.”
The reason for this is that Christian-based art is full of hope, as the artists are a renewed image of God. Humans as the image of God radiate hope. However, when the fall of humanity happened, the image was marred, so it takes a regenerate image of God to bring out the original holy creativity that radiates hope.
“The mouth betrays what is in the heart,” Biggs said. “What is in your heart is what comes out. If I’m not right with God and I’m not in a good spot, then a lot of my art will come out with a darker feel.”
However, there are exceptions to the dark art culture: many artists find that they can fight against the current of culture and share testimony, trouble and the ultimate glory of God.
“Art is an outpouring of emotion and feeling,” said Katherine Olsen, senior mechanical engineering major. “It is a drive to create something that hasn’t existed before. It can be the drive to capture something we see in nature that reflects God’s divine creativity. Every sunset, every day, is a new painting. As an act of gratitude, as an act that is me taking something I see as really beautiful and sharing it with the world.”
All in all, it comes down to the reality that we are made in the image of God and everything we do reflects him as our creator. However, because we live in a sinful world the choice is ours to make content that represents Christ and perfection or to make content that promotes sin and debauchery.