Posted by: Thomas Richard | October 11, 2010

Fellowship of Consecrated Artists

This post comes with a request for comments and thoughts.  I’m envisioning a fellowship of artists – both the outwardly artistic and  the inwardly inclined – artists who are conscious of the religious and spiritual dimensions of true art.  I find such art in very scattered places, and in surprising expressions!  This is an “in-process” concern of mine, and what I am posting below is a first draft.  If you have any sympathy with what you read, please comment and give me your thoughts.

Mission Statement of Fellowship of Consecrated Artists

God gives to everyone a hunger for the good, the true and the beautiful.  God gives to artists a particular sensitivity to the good, the true and the beautiful – and to some among artists, He gives the ability to express these things in surprising and penetrating ways.  The artist, then, receives with his gift a responsibility: “to whom much is given, of him much will be required.” (Lk 12:48)

The artist, like all men, must choose – what to say, what to express, what to write or paint or compose, and for whom, and to what end? The consecrated artist returns his art first and foremost and above all to God: the unique Creator and Artist above all.  First art is done for God, then in His name, for others.  The consecrated artist consecrates his art to the purposes of God, echoing His eternal creativity.  To God the artist is responsible.

For what is the artist responsible?  The artist can, by personal expressions of his gift, illuminate the darkness that oppresses so many in the world, with a luminance that in fact is of God: the light of the good, the true and the beautiful.  In this way, the artist is an evangelist of Good News, wakening men and women to a perhaps forgotten or lost nobility, dignity and value.

What are the proper subjects for true art?  All in creation is created good, and the good is beautiful, and truth is found in every moment sustained by God.  Man, broken in sin, can distort this creation in both his actions and his perceptions.  Yet such darkness is not our vocation, nor our rightful destination.  True art is a sign-post pointing home, whether plainly or hidden as in a parable, whether whisper-gentle or prophet-strong.

I envision a studio/gallery here or somewhere where such intentional art can be displayed, where people can see or hear the works, and talk and share and grow together on our common journey.

What do you think?

Thomas


Responses

  1. Dear Thomas,

    Let me express my thoughts especially on your conclusion:

    ” … True art is a sign-post pointing home, whether plainly or hidden as in a parable, whether whisper-gentle or prophet-strong.

    I envision a studio/gallery here or somewhere where such intentional art can be displayed, where people can see or hear the works, and talk and share and grow together on our common journey.”

    I agree whole-heartedly that true art is indeed a “sign-post pointing home”. Each time I see beauty, or hear beauty or experience the beauty of another human person I am reminded of Him Who is All in all. The fellowship of persons consecrated in His Love who might come together in a studio/gallery to share their creative gifts in various ways seems like a good idea to me. I will continue to pray and ponder this and I look forward to reading some additional comments from others on this blog.

  2. Dear Thomas,

    I think you make a beautiful suggestion about creating a venue for artistic expression to share with others a visual or verbal expression of one’s experience of/with or thoughts about our Creator, God, the ultimate artist, from whom we receive all creative inclination. Where/how do you suggest we create and submit these expressions?

    • Hello Lesley –
      Good question! I don’t know how to do this – I’ve only begun to wonder about it. I think the need and the value are real, but how to do it? I don’t know yet. Let’s continue to think and pray and seek, and maybe the Lord will show an open door.

      Thomas

  3. Hi Thomas

    I just found your statement as I was searching for fellows who were also consecrated. Hopefully your desire for this “so necessary community” still remains in your heart!

    Being Art, The Expression of The Creator… this fellowship should move forward!

    Luigi Pirandello once wrote: “Six characters in search of an author” but, we can write a better one: “Many artists in search of the One and only Author, God”.

    I am definitively, one of “those many”. I am an artist consecrated to “Jesus through Mary” (Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort). I believe a fellowship like this already exists in France and probably in other countries. At least in Paris, they have a Priest “assigned” to the artist’s community.

    When any of my talents, as you said in your statement, can light someone’s life in this journey, I say Yes. Therefore, I am offering to you my prayers and my help if wanted.
    If it is God’s will, we can walk and find that door… wide open. I have no doubt that Blessed Mother has already done some work for this Unique Fellowship.

    God Bless!

    • Hello Susi,

      Thank you for your post, and the desire in you to offer and use your art for the spiritual good of others, and for the glory of our Lord. I have been and continue to be in prayer for guidance in this desire….
      Prayer, and listening.
      Blessings,
      Thomas

    • Dear Susi,

      How could I have missed your beautiful reply? So sorry to be this late in responding to you. I have long been a reader of St. Louis de Montfort, and continue to be blessed by his treatise on True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, and his other books.

      Yes, God blessed St. Louis de Montfort with many artistic gifts, such as sculpturing the small statue of Our Lady, as well as the music and artistic pageantry the saint incorporated into his parish missions. I believe that beauty speaks to mind and heart in a unique way, and so I hope that something may yet “open” to allow more consecrated artists to share God’s work with the world. I hope you may return to this blog again. I would be interested in knowing more about the fellowship which you mentioned existing in Paris.

  4. Thomas and others,

    I am in the midst of discussing with my spiritual director and others the possibility of co-founding an institute of consecrated life with an apostolate of artistic creation and ministry to artists. I would be happy to send the draft idea document to anyone who is interested, and talk with you more. There are several people interested in building this kind of a community in New York, Los Angeles, and Canada. Email me at ccematson AT gmail DOT com if you would like to discuss more.

    Yours in Christ,
    Cole Matson

    • Dear Cole,

      May the Holy Spirit guide you and others in praying over the possibility of co-founding an institute of consecrated life with an apostolate of artistic creation and ministry to artists. New York, Los Angeles and Canada seem like places where artists might welcome such an apostolate and ministry.

      Thanks for your e-mail address and your willingness to continue the discussion with others. I will pass along the information, prayerfully.

      • Thank you, Deborah! And feel free to send anyone my way who might be interested.


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