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INDS 785

Seminar: Vocation of the Artist

Though the special calling of the artist by God goes back at least to Bezalel (Exodus 31), and though there is a long, rich tradition of artists working in the context of the Christian church, Christian artists today often have to struggle with a sense that other Christians do not recognize the worthiness of their vocation as artist. Yet in a world that values the works of the imagination more than ever before, it is especially crucial that artists who have experienced the Christian gospel be encouraged to express the full range of human experience in the light of that gospel, and to do so in all the artistic media. 

This course is for those who are seriously considering the vocation of the artist. We will explore the idea of a Christian calling to the arts, as it has been expressed and explored by various theologians and artists, looking at some of the reasons that Christians have often found their artistic vocation discouraged by the church. We will consider also some of the unique challenges and possibilities of the current "postmodern" moment, with its apparent openness to—and hunger for—"the spiritual" in art. More than merely a reflection on what it means to be an artist in the world, this seminar is intended to help you gain further clarity in discerning a vocation to the arts; and do work that will move you forward toward a successful IPIAT proposal, and ultimately, to serve God with heart, mind, and creative gifts in an integrated life.

You will be encouraged to carry on two kinds of exploration of your vocation as an artist:

  1. an academic inquiry into a specific aspect of your chosen art form related to the artistic project you may be intending to undertake, presented to the class in the form of a seminar paper; and,
  2. a creative exploration of your chosen medium or genre, to be presented as a work-in-progress.

The academic paper will provide you with a good basis for the academic paper that accompanies the IPIAT. The work-in-progress will provide you with an opportunity to present a creative project and receive meaningful critique and response to help clarify and focus the IPIAT proposal. This integration of academic inquiry, creative activity, and spiritual reflection will be rigorous, but it should help you reflect on and discern vocation, as well as serve to get the IPIAT underway for those who wish to carry on with that.

This class has a maximum enrollment of 10 students.

To get into a priority enrollment course, you must register by the early registration deadline of August 17, 2012 and submit a Priority Enrollment Course Request (available in WebAdvisor, on the WebAdvisor and Registration webpage, or in the Student Services office) along with your Fall Registration. Class lists will be determined within two weeks after August 17, and you will be notified by email shortly thereafter. 

First priority will be given to students who need a course for the program to which they have been admitted, and who have registered by the early registration deadline.

Credit Hours:
INDS 560; requires instructor approval and portfolio submission