Resource: The Catholic Artists Directory

The Directory of Sacred Artists is an impressive initiative and invaluable resource that I really hope will grow and flourish.  It serves its purpose, helping to get the word out, calling attention to Catholic artists who seek to showcase their work.

The Directory is an excellent resource that is updated each year.  It helps showcase new artists who wish to be included, some of whom are up-and-coming.  Through its unique online presence, artists have a chance to showcase their work while being connected to possible patrons for artistic commissions.  The site serves a mutual purpose both for artists and pastors and church building committees to be led to each other.  

The artists listed offer something special through their work, each a bridge linking the best of the past with the present.  The Church has always been the sponsor and cultivator of fine arts and sacred art in particular.  While the Church recognizes a subjective element that is present in every artist's creation, sacred art has in addition an objective quality that transcends the artist's forms and expressions.  And even though the fact remains that a chaotic and ill-educated time cannot always clearly recognize and grasp the truth of authentic sacred art, this does not alter the fact that sacred art is an objective reality that exists and can be achieved.     

I should like to refer to the Council's Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, which states in its seventh chapter on 'Sacred Art and Sacred Furnishings' that sacred art is the 'summit' (culmen) of religious art exactly because it is explicitly directed to the honor and glory of God: 

"Very rightly the fine arts are considered to rank among the noblest expressions of human genius.  This judgment applies especially to religious art and to its highest achievement, which is sacred art.  By their very nature both of the latter are related to God's boundless beauty, for this is the reality which these human efforts are trying to express in some way.  To the extent that these works aim exclusively at turning men's thoughts to God persuasively and devoutly, they are dedicated to God and to the cause of His greater honor and glory" (n. 122).  

I think everyone should be talking about the Directory and sharing the link, especially with pastors, parish administrators, and parish building committees, etc.

The categories include:

Architect, Bookbinder, Calligrapher, Choir, Composer, Designer, Illuminator, Illustrator, Painter, Sculptor, Traditional Craftsman, Vestment Maker.  

Christian culture has existed in Europe for over 1,000 years, producing the greatest number of artists and art imaginable.  Meanwhile, Catholic artists stand tall on this foundation, a patrimony of the ages.  We find ourselves living in an age of recovery, a new Renaissance where many arts are being restored and revived, flourishing under the patronage and munificence of the Church.  

In many ways history is essentially a creative process where progress in sacred art is only possible when there is a capacity to incorporate the past into the present.  This allows for proper growth. Catholic artists showcased in the Directory aim to create in the present from the best of the past for the glory and honor of God while committing themselves to a noble vocation where they can provide for their families as gainfully employed professionals ("for the laborer is worthy of his hire"; cf. Luke 10:7).   

Artists who wish to be included in the directory can use the contact form found at the bottom of the directory, or they can email Gwyneth Thompson-Briggs.

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