The Beautiful, a collection of work by 33 Christian artists, will be on display at John Brown University from Oct. 11 to Nov. 11.
The community is invited to an opening reception for the exhibit from 6:30 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 11, in JBU's Windgate Visual Arts West Gallery. It will continue to be available to students and the public during gallery hours, which are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 2 to 4 p.m. on Sunday.
The artists and artworks in the exhibit represent a wide variety of mediums and styles, yet they all focus on the central theme of finding beauty in an imperfect, fallen world, according to Bobby Martin, gallery director and JBU professor of visual arts.
Many of the settings or subjects are not considered conventionally beautiful, yet the artworks show there is beauty in everything in some sense, he said.
"God is perfect beauty, but obviously we don't live in a world that has perfect beauty," Martin said. "Yes, we live in a world with beauty all around us, but it's broken in some way. I think that's what these artist are addressing in some way, this idea of beauty in the world, but in a world that's still broken and not restored yet."
Martin is hopeful the exhibit will give students and community members a chance to see the multitude of ways that artists make art, the different materials they use and the way that artists put these materials together.
"Artists use all kinds of materials, common place or weird, to make art," Martin said. "Ultimately I would like them to appreciate this idea of God and his presence in a broken world. I think that as artists, especially as Christian artists, that's part of our calling. I think our calling is to be able to reflect and show that beauty in the midst of all this brokenness. To me that's the biggest takeaway that I hope our students get. There's always beauty around us, it might not be in places we expect."
The traveling exhibition was organized by Christians in the Visual Arts, a non-profit dedicated to exploring and nurturing the relationship between the visual arts and the Christian faith, according to a press release from the university.
More information about the exhibit is available online at www.jbu.edu/art/gallery/General News on 10/10/2018
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