Saturday, November 1, 2008


How does being an artist fit in with the gospel?  That is a question that I think a lot of the students in the art department here at BYU ask themselves.  We know that we have been given these talents by our Father in Heaven and so we need to use them to help build his kingdom.
One way I think we can see art's relation to the gospel is by visiting religious exhibits and just looking at religious art like we did on Thursday.  By studying the religious art of the past we can learn the rich heritage of symbols that artists before us have used that we can employ in our own works.  
One of my favorite pieces in the show we saw was the picture of Christ Subject to his parents which was full of so much symbolism with the cross, the water jug, the wheat basket, etc.  I was also very intrigued to learn why Joseph is always shown as older.  I had never even considered Jesus' siblings as being Joseph's children from a previous marriage.  That was a very interesting idea which helped to understand the traditional representation of Joseph. 
I think it is really important for artists to know as much as they possibly can.  Great art is not created when artists have mastered just art but when they apply their mastery of disciplines outside of art so create something truly amazing.  This certainly applies to the religious artworks which we saw.  The artists had mastered symbolism and scriptural knowledge to create such amazing pieces.  

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