Mrs. Stevens, upper school art and humanities instructor, took 13 painting students and a handful of parents to New York City to take in the various forms of art throughout the city. It was 3 full days of touring the city, the museums (The Met and The Cloisters), the 911 Memorial, the New York Public Library, Central Park, Times Square, the financial district, and various cathedrals. We saw the Brooklyn Bridge by ferry, walked over 20 miles throughout Manhattan, conquered the subway system (or at least we didn't lose anyone!), and attended service together at Redeemer East Side.
All the while, Mrs. Stevens, challenged the students to think about what they saw:
- Why was this art created?
- Who was it for?
- How important is the language of symbols?
- Who chooses what a culture values and preserves?
- How does curation impact our experience of art?
- What repeated themes are seen in art?
- What are the purposes of public art?
- How is our creative capactiy evidenced in our worship?
- What is the responsibility of the Christian artist in the Church and the world?
Every child who is taught to read and write will not author a great novel. Every child who is trained to play a musical instrument will not compose a symphony. Every child who is taught to draw will not see his work hanging in the Louvre. However, the reader will have access to great literature; the musician will have an understanding and appreciation for great music; and the one who studied art will be able to discriminate between good and bad art. It is clear in God's word that He loves craftsmanship and design. God's direction to Moses on Mount Sinai was specific (Exodus 25:8-9). God specially appointed Bezalel to be the craftsman for the tabernacle. "See, I have chosen Bezalel...and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability and knowledge in all kinds of crafts, to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver, and bronze, to cut and set stones, to work in wood, and to engage in all kinds of craftsmanship" (Exodus 31:2-5). To put it simply, God created. Consequently, we want to create after Him.