- We are a group of subcreators seeking to translate, express, and signify Christian faith and human experience through the written, visual, and performing arts. To paraphrase the philosophy statement of Image: Art, Faith, and Mystery (the premier journal of arts and faith in North America), we desire to find fresh ways for the imagination to embody truth and Christian experience in ways that challenge believers and nonbelievers alike.
- We are not “Christian artists.” We are artists. We are Christians. Our primary goal as artists is skill in our chosen fields.
- Our concept of “art” is informed by history, tradition, and training. Any cultural product that is created without education, practice, and a past is suspect.
- We are a community of professionals, semi-professionals, and serious amateurs (actors, choreographers, composers, dancers, directors, filmmakers,musicians, visual artists, writers…). At regular monthly meetings, we workshop each other’s pieces and performances. While our critiques are constructive, they are incisive.
- Appreciative observers are also warmly welcomed to attend meetings, listen to the works, respond with commendation or critique, and help bridge the gap between the Church and the arts community.
- We believe God, the Creator, is the source of our creative abilities. He crafted a beautiful, complex world full of pain, glory, and subtlety, and gave His human creatures the amazing gift of “subcreation”—we can, in turn, create little imaginary worlds full of pain, glory, and subtlety. Art is not merely mimetic nor merely diegetic; it is also subcreative, generative, and potentially redemptive.
- As Image journal has said, “religion and art have always shared the capacity to help us renew our awareness of the ultimate questions: who we are, where we have come from, and where we are going.” Our art may sometimes ask those questions, or it may resonate in the imagination of its audience to suggest those questions—or perhaps even their answers. As Andy Crouch has said, we must be culture-makers.
- We are conscious of what Gregory Wolfe calls “a tragic sense of life,” which recognizes the effects of the Fall. We try to communicate in a mode that does not shamefully speak of the things that the wicked do in secret (Eph. 5:12) and yet exposes the unfruitful deeds of darkness (Eph. 5:11). We sympathize with Flannery O’Connor, who used violence to shock readers into an encounter with sin. We commiserate with T. S. Eliot, who believed modern literature needed to be complex and allusive to communicate truth.
- We are not afraid of content, lest the secular realm have nothing to fear in us.
- We abhor clichés.
- One of our goals is what Image journal calls “bridging faith and imagination.” We want to reach into local Christian congregations, find the artists therein, and provide them with a place where they can grow artistically and spiritually in their vocation. We want to reach into the established local arts communities, find the Christians therein, and invite them to share their expertise and receive nurture in a faith-based fellowship. We want to network with established faith-and-the-arts groups and learn from them as we grow.
- We desire to help the Church reclaim the arts. We believe that Christianity is both beautiful and intelligent; Christians and their arts, then, should strive towards beauty and intelligence in private and public worship. The Church was once the center of patronage and creativity. We believe She can be so again.