Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Trinity Art Project

Trinity symbol photo from here.

This semester I had the opportunity to teach an amazing class called Theology in the Arts where we looked at the theology and art through the lens of art history, scripture, theology, culture, and Christian worldview.  (For more about Theology and Art, click here)

There were three texts for this Theology in the Arts class, which included Francis Schaeffer’s Art and the Bible, Philip Graham Ryken’s Art for God’s Sake, and Hans Rookmaaker’s Art Needs no Justification.

As a final project for the course, students were required to complete an art project of their choice.  The students were inspired to do some artwork of their own by two guest speakers who joined the class, photographer and videographer Michael Bixler, and Corrigan Clay, from the Apparent Project.  Through their suggestions and inspiration, the students decided on doing a painting of the Trinity symbol.  The project would be in the stylistic form of Felice Varini, an artist recommended by Corrigan Clay who uses perspective.

Below is a photo of the classes’ Trinity Art Project, based on Felice Varini’s artwork and the Trinity symbol above.
Photo of the Trinity Art Project by Robbie Pruitt

The students were also required to write an artist statement and make comments about why they enjoyed the project and/or what they got out of the project. What follows is the artists statement and their comments on the artwork.

Artist Statement

Do you ever feel like God is unjust, mean or even weak? Sometimes we attribute negative attributes to God. This often happens when we are suffering or find ourselves in a bad situation. This trouble or suffering blurs our vision and we look at God from the wrong viewpoint or perspective. The right point-of-view to look at God is through His Son, Jesus Christ. In looking up, in a humble position, we see. We may even see as God sees. This artwork is the same. All the wrong perspectives that we can view this artwork from, which distort it and make it unclear, represent the trouble and the suffering that we sometimes face. However, just like God, this work of art can be appreciated and seen if looked at from the right position. This perfect perspective represents Christ, the “way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6).”

To see more of Felice Varini’s artwork, click here.

Quotes about The Trinity Art Project

Our imaginations were unlocked to new dimensions as we admired the works of Felice Varini. We caught a glimpse into new depth, and like children watching magicians at a fair, we desperately wished to make it our own.

                   -Natasha Van Dam, High School Junior

This was an edifying experience. It was inspiring to be able to express our view of God using a different medium, words being the usual medium.
                   -Gael Georges, High School Junior

In a world filled with different perspectives and opinions, this piece of art can only be perceived from a singular perspective. Like horses with blinders on, we should focus on God without being distracted. The only way to focus on God is to see Him with humble eyes. 

                   -Stephanie Etienne, High School Sophomore

The artist, Felice Varini, influenced this piece of art with his unique artistic form and style of art, which focuses on perspective. You can only see the Trinity sign from the right perspective or point of view.

This work of art made us go through struggles and frustrations, but we still persevered. God looks for that same perseverance in us. We should not quit seeking Him and living in His glory.

                   -Hans Dorleans, High School Sophomore

This was an amazing experience because this is one of those pieces of art that only has one perspective. You can only comprehend when you are standing in the perfect position. 

                   -Randolph Rameau, High School Junior

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