Utilizing Art in Worship

Here at Carrot Top Studio we focus on the use of fiber art in worship....stoles, banners, paraments, etc. But of course this isn't the only way to utilize visual art in worship. The very easiest might be adding images to your worship bulletin cover or multi-media screen. There are a wealth of copyright free images available, artists often will let you use an images if you seek permission first and give them credit or you may purchase images for use from a specific artist (for example, see how artist Jan Richardson's available work here).

Last week I stumbled (online) upon a church that is going a step further. They actually line the sanctuary walls with art. The space is used like an art gallery. The art aids worship and the space is also used at other times as an art gallery.
Glade Church, Blackburg, VA
Whenever you use art it is helpful to guide the viewer that maybe isn't used to examining or responding to art works. This image below supports the Lectionary this week. JESUS MAFA is a response to the New Testament readings from the Lectionary by a Christian community in Cameroon, Africa. Each of the readings were selected and adapted to dramatic interpretation by the community members. Photographs of their interpretations were made, and these were then transcribed to paintings.
Jesus Welcomes the Children, JESUS MAFA
If you were to help someone examine this art you would ask them to:
  1. Describe what they see. Just keep to the facts.
  2. Analyze the evidence.  Look for relationships – similarities, differences or repeated patterns.
  3. Interpret the artwork by making a good guess about the meaning of the work.  
  4. Judge the artwork. A critical judgment can be made after you have interpreted an artwork.  Judging art is always a matter of being fair and logical.

We need to keep in mind that some worshipers are visual learners. By including art you are helping to draw them in (pun intended!) to the moment of honoring the Almighty!