Faith and Fine Art

This is a program in contemporary art.

The 20-something writer, Nathan Bierma, asserts that the primary task that God gave men and women was to make culture, that is, to take the nature that God gave us and make it better: rocks into architecture, sounds into music, shapes into images.

After the Fall —by the Fall, I mean the story in Genesis in which Adam and Eve turn away from God and pain and evil enter the world— being human and being an artist got more complicated. Video games, Facebook, cable television, movies, cartoons, advertising, the Internet all on your phone combine to make this the most visual culture that has ever existed. The trend toward a visual culture is accelerating. The endless stream of media images tells us what to wear, how to act and what goals to set. The critic, Kate Linker, notes that such representation is not neutral. It acts to regulate and control the subjects it addresses.

While many art schools simply perpetuate that stream of images without question, at Trinity, we examine the visual tactics and assumptions on which those images are constructed because we believe that a second part of Christian responsibility is to act redemptively in situations where sin has twisted the sort of culture that God intended, a culture where there is justice and mercy for every person.

Contemporary art is about exploring the terms within which we understand and experience the world. Students begin with serious work in technique, art history and theory. They meet a steady stream of artists from Chicago and beyond who will help them gain a sense of what it means to be a professional in the arts. Students measure their progress against the gallery and museum scene in downtown Chicago—and beyond during January interim trips to New York and Europe.

Our goal is to orient students to the contemporary world so thoroughly that they can be at home without losing themselves. We intend for them to take their place knowledgably —understanding the ideas, attitudes, and professional practices that shape the art world— without fear.

In short, this is a program in contemporary art…from a Christian perspective.

Emily Van Hoff's text with all words but the 25 most often used words in the English language excised.