In what ways must the success of the Christ in Media Institute depend on contributions from the discipline of Art?

by Prof. William Bukowski

1. Define the use of a visual arts sensibility in the new media foundation. (Quality, sensitivity)

A visual arts sensibility could be defined as understanding and responding to the visual arts in a way that can be incorporated into a quality of vision.

Basic concepts in the visual arts include how something is designed and created, how the eye is moved around the picture plane, how an image is perceived. It would also display a sensitivity to elements of design including texture, light and movement. This quality of visual imagery will make the message clearer and more powerful. Sequential images used to explain a concept or tell a story are critical to the clarity of the message. The goal is to couple the artistic vision with the Christian worldview to create effective communication.

2. Defend the use of the visual arts in the Christ in Media Institute. (historical precedent)

The history of Christianity in Western Culture has been recorded in the history of religious imagery. The visual arts have been a way of manifesting religious beliefs in a concrete way since prehistoric cave painting. A clear way of reaching people with the Gospel message of Jesus Christ is to use the images of the past and reveal their message.

Images dealing with Jesus have been a mainstay in Christian Europe, Asia Minor and the Holy Land since the 3rd century. The image of Christ is arguably the most common in art history, particularly from the 5th to the 17th centuries. In contemporary culture the image of Christ has become rare. It is used to create controversy, shock or sacrilege. In some non-Christian countries it is forbidden to depict Christ.

We need to return the significance to the image of Christ and energize Christian media to the task of spreading the pure Gospel.

3. Where this would be particularly effective is in the application to all media. (rough guidelines)

At the core of a Christ in Media venture is the understanding that the Gospel isnÕt just material for individual creative expression or a genre to satirize or mock. Misrepresenting the Bible would be a great disservice to the intent of this endeavor. At the same time “dumbing down” the message or settling for the lowest common denominator will fail to reach an audience.

4. Explain a point of view on how art is crucial to spreading the Word (unique qualities of artistic expression to reach people)

  • Art has a unique way of helping the viewer imagine concepts and stories. Art can put the viewer right into a place, viewing a scene or imagining an experience. In ancient times visual images taught illiterate believers. Now imaginative assistance will direct the viewer through the glut of media and images that are without standards or a canon in contemporary life.

The gift of art is not being used to its communication potential.

5. List actions that need to be taken to insure a strong stand on the use of media to spread the Gospel…(gather the artists)

  • Compile a directory of artists, actors, videographers, graphic designers, writers, and musicians from our fellowship and sister synod that have the talents and share the goals of the Institute. In this way artists can be ready when the opportunity arises to implement the message.
  • Promote the appreciation of the arts and art history as a vehicle for sharing the Gospel.
  • Commission works of all the arts.