Studying the Arts
My identity as a redeemed child of God does not supersede my identity as an artist. It is simply foundational to who I am (Romans 8:12-21). The Spirit of sonship in Romans 8 is the Spirit by which we grow in holiness.
You’re going to need a Christian mind to think through gospel responses to daily situations in your course. Consider both our obligation to take action and our reliance on the Spirit’s help to grow in holiness.
Perhaps you approach final deadlines with such good intentions and are determined not to be swept up in stress. Then you get to the studio! By the afternoon, the competitive culture has totally got to you. It’s so hard to remain un-anxious.
You may know that you are a child of God and that is an amazing status and ought to be totally satisfying. Yet, when you’re in a crit, you’re very worried about how others will view you. We can constantly compare ourselves and look up at some people and down on others. We either feel elated or despairing. Do we have Christian joy in every circumstance? Will we be generous when someone on our course sells all their work and we only sell one piece?
We will need to return again and again to where we find our significance, satisfaction and security - to Christ. In Him we can be risk takers because we are co-heirs with Jesus and cannot be separated from Him.
When under pressure, we not only feel tension but we can become comrades with our peers as we prepare for our end-of-year show together. Our course friendships can deepen significantly in the final year. They will see Jesus in the way we live as He is changing us. And so we can expect a range of reactions - we are the aroma of Christ to God and we are the aroma of death to those who are perishing. Our Father is pleased - remember that but our non-Christian friends will either taste death or life as they become friends with us. They may not want to hang in there as our friends. In the future, colleagues may not want to hang around us, gallery owners or bosses may find themselves compelled to let us go. As we engage with the world these are the reactions we get. But we needn’t fear this. Remember Philippians 3:8 and know that God can establish the work of our hands as we ask Him.
Hannah Howarth, UCCF London Arts Staff Worker (BA Lancaster 1999-2002)