I just started a new quarter this week and it looks to be a difficult one. I'm going to start my thesis this quarter, while taking a class on Yeats, writing and presenting a paper at the ALA conference in San Francisco, hopefully writing and presenting a paper on C.S. Lewis at another conference, and finishing and promoting an album. Since I haven't had the time to write a new post, I thought I would take the time to point out some wonderful blogs on Christianity and the arts, as well as some music suggestions.
Discussion on the Arts
Faith Art Community Exploration
Dedicated to the exploration of faith and the arts in the hope of equipping and encouraging artists of faith to reach the full potential of their creative gifting. This looks to be a great new place to discuss art and faith with like-minded people. What is really exciting about this blog is the emphasis on community, not just pondering about how to make better art.
Diary of an Arts Pastor
This pastor has been a blessing and an encouragement to me as an artist. Like the last blog, he is focused on supporting Christian arts and making them better on a practical level, no just intellectually. He does post some interesting blogs on art theory and the spiritual aspects of art. It's guys like this that give me a lot of hope for the future of Christian art.
The Winding Road to Roundabout
Although he doesn't always write on the arts, his insight into the subject is always compelling.
Joel writes on music, Christian and otherwise, and is often published in papers and magazines with his reviews. While his blog is technically about his experience becoming a music critic, he does post thoughts on music, cds, and artists which are articulate and helpful. If your looking for some good music, go check out his blog.
Looking Closer Journal
Jeffrey Overstreet is fairly well known for his blog and his movie reviews. Like Joel's reviews of music, Jeffrey looks at the movies with a balanced eye. He is a Christian and there is no hiding that in his blog, however his approach to reviewing movies is quite like Schaeffer's or Rookmaaker's: he judges the art based on more than the artists's worldview, although that does count for something. This blog is a great resource for film news and reviews.
In... but not Of...
Stepehn is a young artist who works in architecture and other visual arts. At his blog he has examples of his work, reflections on the world, and discussions of faith and art.
The Master's Artists
This is a great group of bloggers who post daily on the literary arts. They are all good writers. Their posts tend to be very practical rather than theoretical. This is a great example of a wide demographic of Christian artists working together as a community to support each other.
Perhaps the most famous, good Christian visual artist is Makoto Fujimura. Refractions is his personal blog. His posts are vey articulate and poetic for a visual artist. His posts are usually works of art themselves, including his artwork, a spiritual, theoretical, and a practical element. Although he doesn't post often, when he does it is always a wonderful read.
The Prayer Book Project
One of the genres of music that I am most concerned about as a Christian artist is worship music. The Prayer Book Project is an attempt to make artistically excellent music that glorifies God in the worship music genre (loosely defined). His approach is very theoretical and conscious. If worship music is going to change, it will be because of people like Brian Moss who are willing to put their God given talents to work, sacrificing time and money to make music that glorifies God in spirit and in truth. Also, add him and listen on Myspace.
The Prayers and Tears of Arthur Digby Sellers
While this guy's personal belief might not be as strong as St. Paul's was, his music has a rare honesty that is missing in a lot of Christian rock music. For an in-depth discussion of the group, see my old post where the artist himself responds.
I put this last because everyone else here is much more worthy of being listed as examples of good Christian art. But since I spend a lot of time here ranting about the state of Christian art, I need to show that I am actually attempting to make a difference myself (by the grace of God). Soberminded is my Hip-Hop project with my friend and partner-in-rhyme Offbeat. We both rap and make the music. Although I can't give a stunning recommendation for our project, I can say that we have been approaching it consciously, with God at the forefront and with excellence as our goal. Our album should be done in another month or two (we finished recording, now its just mixing and pressing). Perhaps I'll give an in-depth review of it when it's done.
Well, that should give you all plenty to do. Check this blogs out, support these artists, and spread the word. Remember that the key to reforming Christian arts is through community, (actually that's not quite true, it's through the will of God acting in our community, but we can be a tool for the change.) so make a difference by encouraging artistic excellence for Christ.