Fine Arts Competition
“Art has lost its way because humanity has lost its way and each now imitates the other, drawing the reason for its existence from a lost vision for life and beauty. I pray that Christian musicians and artists will blaze the trail for recovering the true, the good and the beautiful.” Ravi Zacharias
Observe the world of the Creator. Orderly, precise, complex, filled with variety, aesthetically pleasing. Clearly, our God is an artist extraordinaire. He reveals Himself to us as Creator in the opening verses of the Bible, and our Creator has bestowed on us the ability to be creative as well. In fact, the first job given to Adam, naming the animals involved creativity. We are able to, in a small way, reflect our Creator as we “create” art. We are not able to create out of nothing as He did. Our creations are limited in scope in many ways. However, we are able to magnify his orderliness, precision, and beauty in the art we make. Art is often a reflection of the artist’s view of God, him or herself, and the world.
As believers in a Creator, our art should provide a realistic reflection of our Creator and His world. However, consider the words of Andrew Smalley, director of Fine Arts at the Regents School of Austin, TX. “Scripture also instructs us, ‘(Finally,) brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things’ (Philippians 4:8). The world’s view, especially as it relates to the arts, is perhaps directly counter to Paul’s words. By this I mean, “Whatever is false, whatever is dishonorable, whatever is unjust, whatever is dirty and profane, debase, perverse, let’s think about these things.” The list of the “world’s view” is what comes naturally to us. It’s also natural to seek beauty in ourselves and the things we create. God calls us to something much higher. He calls us to have beautifully redeemed souls that no longer seek what is natural but what is holy. Art and music that flow from this worldview will be entirely different from the art of a world that is careening in darkness and confusion.
Through the Fine Arts Competition at NBCS, we have the opportunity to teach our children about the difference between God glorifying art and man centered art. The purpose of the competition is not for students to show themselves or their talents, but to point to a Creator who made them wonderfully and uniquely. Our students do not necessarily comprehend these truths, but as the adults who train and disciple them, it is our job to help them grow in understanding this. We must help competitors see that it is not about winning awards or getting good remarks from the judges. Instead, it is about doing the thing we were created to do; that is acting as one made in God’s image for the purpose of glorifying the One whose image we carry. In doing this we point their hearts toward Redemption and the Redeemer. That is what art and music is meant to do.
 Zacharias, Ravi. “The Art of Losing One’s Way.” RZIM https://www.rzim.org/read/just-thinking-magazine/the-art-of-losing-ones-way. Accessed 15 Dec. 2019.
 Hess, Donnalynn. “Beauty Matters: a Question of Going Back.” Journal for Christian Educators, Fall 2019, pp. 6-11.
 Smalley, Andrew. “Arts in the Christian School: For Some or for All?” American Association of School International, 2019, https://blog.acsi.org/arts-in-the-christian-school. Accessed 15 Dec. 2019.
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