What Others Have Said about "Church Art"

A few bits of wisdom to dwell upon from those who have gone before us on the topic of "church art"...

We are able to feel and learn very quickly through music, through art, through poetry some spiritual things that we would otherwise learn very slowly.- President Boyd K. Packer, 1976 Devotional Speeches of the Year

When I was teaching (yup, that's a very 80's looking photo of me) I tried to implement activity for all learning styles into my lessons (as the quote above implies). Now I have also come to understand that this applies to people of all ages and carries into worship and the work we do as the church.
The invention of the arts, and other things which serve the common use and convenience of life, is a gift of God by no means to be despised, and a faculty worthy of commendation.- John Calvin
I recently stayed in an old monastery turned inn and was delighted to see the baptismal font still on the premises. It was literally simply elegant. It served as a reminder to me of church art that is functional and has a common (yet special) use. The simplicity of the font drew a vision in my mind of the water being poured from a shell....a wonderful specimen of art gifted from God's natural world. Maybe Calvin would have appreciated this?
Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.- Thomas Merton
Art can be complex and deep in meaning or simple and superficial...such as these fabric banners seen this summer at Laurel Mountain Christian Camp. They are a simple use of color and line to evoke the feeling of joy for the Lord that is felt by these campers as they worship in the mountains away from their city homes. With the aid of the visual and the art in the music the children find themselves and lose themselves all at the same time as Merton suggests is possible.          Photo credit: Ian Gallo.
Christian art is by no means always religious art, that is, art which deals with religious themes. Consider God the Creator. Is God's creation totally involved with religious subjects? What about the universe? the birds? the trees? What about the bird's song? and the sound of the wind in the trees?- Francis Schaeffer

Did Schaeffer mention the bird's song? You might recall reading about these babies born above our back door. We're proud to announce that just months later the nest is being used again and each morning I am greeted with the song of hungry little ones. I thank God. 
Arts in the church can be many things. How are you and  your congregation doing?