Today’s guest post is by Bryson Owen, Director of Operations.
My favorite artist is Martin Puryear. At seventy-seven years old, he continues to make sculpture that crosses cultures and engages contemporary conversation through rich, quietly massive aesthetic experiences. Though there are many honors to his name and he is objectively significant to American art in the 20th and 21st centuries, this is not why he is my favorite.
Mr. Puryear remains my favorite because my first encounter with his work about fifteen years ago marks a significant pivot in my life; a season of great wrestling with God. I was a college student studying sculpture and tangled up with God about my identity. I am an artist. I am a follower of Jesus. These two truisms constantly isolated me from either my faith community or the art community. How do I move forward as an artist-disciple? Remember that scene in one of the gospels where Jesus sees the artist under the olive tree and says “Follow me and I’ll make you a sculptor, not of clay, but of men!”? Me neither.
At Christ Church we believe artists and their art have a natural and meaningful place in the Church, uniquely called and gifted for good works. The purpose of the arts ministry at Christ Church is to shepherd the artists of Christ Church into maturity in their artistic vocation and as followers of Christ, to lead the people of Christ Church into purposeful engagement with the arts and to contribute to the flourishing of our city and the greater culture through thoughtful artistic engagement.
I invite you to visit our website to find more about the arts ministry. Here are a couple of ways to engage right now!
ART/FORM – A monthly gathering where we are sharing ART, regularly presenting and receiving constructive feedback, and being FORMED, through readings, special guests, and discussion. Join us at the next gathering Friday, August 9th to discuss the book Culture Care by Makoto Fujimura.
East Austin Studio Tour – A free, annual, self-guided art event spanning two weekends in November providing opportunities for the public to meet the artists of Austin. If you are a visual artist at Christ Church who would like to apply to be part of the group exhibition we will host, please contact Katie Fox for more information. Application deadline is July 20.
I hope you have a favorite artist – maybe a writer, a photographer, a painter or actor. Maybe a close friend, a well-known figure or your child or grandchild who simply delights in making things. Notice how they reflect God’s creative character into the world and thank Him for his gift of beauty to us.