Art Philosophy Statement

Visual arts are a means to visually communicate ideas, concepts, and emotions; they are a way to express beauty and a powerful media for telling stories.  God gives people gifts in art, commanding and inspiring them to use their artistic gifts to glorify God and instruct his people (Exodus 31:1-11).  God is beautiful (Psalm 27:4).  The physical creation is filled with beauty (Ecclesiastes 3:11).  God gives us word-pictures in Scripture of heaven that portray a place of unparalleled beauty and glory (Revelation 21:9-27).  Visual arts can be a means for the Christian to glorify God as his image bearer, communicating and expressing the beauty and design of God's creative activity, and telling the story of God's redeeming love for man.

We seek to teach art in a way that points to God and his attributes revealed in creation, such as knowledge, wisdom, truthfulness, goodness, perfection, and beauty.  Our goal is to help students to learn and grow in their ability to see and appreciate aesthetic excellence.  These standards are objective, defined by what God calls true, good and beautiful (Philippians 4:8).  We teach our students to read the visual language and to discern truth in a culture saturated with persuasive and enticing images.  Art, then, does not become the object of worship, but an appropriate means to worship the Living God.

A biblical art curriculum helps the Christian student learn skills that enable him to observe, appreciate and enjoy the extravagant visual beauty in God's creation, the wisdom of God in its design, and his common grace in giving people artistic abilities.  We teach related skills of observation, evaluation, synthesis, analytical thinking and problem solving; our students actively participate in learning as they discuss artists, imitate masterpieces, and make their own artwork in painting, drawing, sculpture and design.  Students also have an experience of the satisfaction and pleasure that God has in his creation (Genesis 1:31), as they imitate God in making and creating things of beauty and representing truth. 

A Christian study of art and its history benefits the church and society.  Art history is a study of the visual representations of world-views and the ideas of people throughout the ages.  The pivotal role Christianity has played in the development of society is represented by the rich images of western civilization.  The student learns that art can also direct the viewer's attention beyond the work of art itself to a contemplation of spiritual truths and realities (Exodus 37:1-9) that lie hidden to the natural eye, but which are of much greater significance (Colossians 3:2).  We want our graduates to appropriately value the arts, and hope to help students discover, develop, steward and use their artistic giftings to the glory of God.