Quality is the first norm for art, but its final norm is love and truth, the enriching of human life, the deepening of our vision.


ArtWay Newsletter December 2013


Dear reader,

ArtWay looks back on another richly filled year. Every Sunday you receive a visual meditation from us, but ArtWay does much more. 

We started the year with the publicity around Jezus voor ogen, our book in Dutch with visual meditations for Lent and Easter. The book received many positive reviews from all corners of Dutch Christianity. We hope that the book may be translated and published in English soon. 

In the Spring our intern Nina Minnaar, art-history student at the University of Nijmegen, The Netherlands, did research for us on young Dutch Christian artists. She came into contact with 20 artists and reached some remarkable conclusions. Although the notion of ‘Christian art’ is often associated with art that depicts biblical scenes, the artists she investigated turned out to focus mainly on other themes, while the link with their faith is present in a more indirect manner. As to style, media and approach their works displayed a rich variety. Only some of them, to a very limited extent, worked for the church, or, indeed, for a specifically Christian audience Their concern is to be present in the middle of society.  They desire to show beauty, inspire, prompt reflection and make people look at the world with new eyes. For these artists art is not a form of evangelism. They welcome the multi-layered character of art and leave room for different interpretations.   

To encourage churches opening up to art and artists opening up to the church, ArtWay was involved in a symposium about art in/and the church in the autumn. For the more conservative Reformed world in The Netherlands art in the church is a new development, while the mainline Protestant and the Catholic churches are happy to receive a new stimulus in this area. We also devoted special attention to artists working for churches on the ArtWay website. 

This year we added six Eastern European artists to our website. We would like to extend our knowledge and database further. Though we added approximately one hundred new artists to the website in 2013, there are more than enough artists we would yet like to feature. We would also like your input: let us know what and who you still miss on the website. Do give us tips and feedback!  

In October we started a new Art & Poetry section on the website. Poets regularly send us poems, usually directly inspired by specific artworks or a specific period of the Christian calendar. We are happy to create room for these poets and hope that their work may help us to ‘see’ artworks in a new way. 

At the moment I am also involved as one of the editors in a Dutch book (which will we hope also be published in English) on the Neo-Calvinist tradition and the visual arts. It will feature or deal with Calvin, Kuyper, Dooyeweerd, Rookmaaker, Seerveld, Wolterstorff, Zuidervaart, Chaplin, Van der Leeuw, Birtwistle, Walford, Romaine, Laurel Gasque and Bill Edgar, among others. 

Finally, we would like to ask for your support of our work. We all work as volunteers and thus with minimal expenses, but without your gift ArtWay would not be possible. Therefore, a big word of thanks to all of you who supported us last year! Your gift can be remitted online. Just go to ‘Support us’ on the ArtWay homepage (on the left). 

Canadian citizens and residents can claim a tax credit by giving through MSC Canada, specifying that your gift is 'to support the work of the Lord under the direction of Laurel Gasque, Associate Editor of' 

The mailing address is:
MSC Canada
101 Amber Street, UNIT 18
Markham, Ontario L3R 3B2

The ArtWay board and team wish you all a blessed Christmas and 2014. May Jesus be our guest of honour this Christmas! 

Warm Advent greetings, 

Marleen Hengelaar-Rookmaaker 

The image is The Birth of Christ by William Congdon, 1960.