Creativity comes in many forms, but ultimately, it’s inspiration made tangible. It’s taking something that’s only an idea and turning it into something you can share with others. This is the work of a creator, an inventor, and an artist. The Engage Art Contest empowers artists like you by providing a platform to share your original music, your video, and your visual art.

Creativity requires passion and most importantly, commitment to follow through. Whether you’ve been making art for decades, or you’ve never done something like this before, we’re creating a space for you to submit your creative work, have the opportunity to be recognized for it, and to reflect on the greatest Artist ever.

Theme:

Engage Art encourages artists to mine the deep vein of creativity and deliver a piece of music, visual art or video on the theme of the confrontation between Good and Evil. Through the Engage Art app, we’ll supply you with spiritual nourishment and thought-provoking content to nurture your imagination. We want you to explore and respond to the artistic inspiration that the Bible has provided for centuries. This competition invites people of all skill levels, Christians and non-Christians, to help others understand and reflect on their own lives and God’s Word.

Humans are made in the image of their Creator, so we cannot help but be creative beings. Art can encourage, instruct, rebuke, prompt reflection and engage with people from all different backgrounds. Art has the ability to transcend genres, create new ideas and reach people you never thought would see your work. We’re having an art contest so that we can give artists at all levels a challenge and a platform to present great art with an important message. This is the combination of the arts and faith working through us. 

Join in – this is for you!

Our contest will only be as good as the artwork people create and enter. As you work on your visual art, song, or video, you will not be alone! A community of artists all over the Carolinas (and eventually, all over the world!) will help to fill this online space. The Spiritual Battle is often misunderstood & overlooked. By specifying that your artwork must focus on some aspect of Ephesians 6:10-20, the objective is clear, and the rest is up to your creative mind, inspired by God.

You’ll find more in-depth details about the Engage Art contest on our submissions page, including prizes, rules, and the entry process. Show us and the art community at-large how to engage culture and scripture through art.

“The Bible has been the single greatest source and influence for literature, painting, and music in the history of the world.” — Frank E. Gaebelein

Practically Engaging With Scripture

The Engage Art Contest invites participants to submit art based on the Spiritual Battle theme as found in Ephesians 6:10-20. Some artists might find this focus unusual. Artists have been working from this source material for centuries; now is the time for us to contribute our art to the depiction of the grand story. The themes are evergreen and provide fodder for a broad array of artistic response. And rest assured, when using scripture as inspiration for artwork, you are in good company!

Who has Drawn Inspiration from Scripture?

Bach’s music was clearly about his deep and abiding faith, while Mozart wrote both sacred music and complete symphonies without religious content. Bouguereau and Manet are two secular artists who addressed scriptural themes, as have many modern artists, including Chagall, Dali, and Matisse.

The truth is that imagery and stories from scripture have impacted art since before we started counting time, and that overtly “Christian” art was prevalent in the Roman Empire when Christianity was still illegal. From the time that Rome fell until the 1700s, almost all European art was created by or for the Catholic Church. It was valuable to them because they could use it to help teach the masses, most of whom could not yet read, providing a precursor to modern storytelling, so often done today through video.

During the Renaissance, the Orthodox Church perfected the icon, while the West moved toward secular themes, often based in classical mythology. But by the 1800s, all those masterful paintings bankrolled by Rome transcended their original purpose — for worship and teaching — and began to be collected for art appreciation. Many of them fill the great art museums of the world.

That was Then, This is Now

Today, there are cross-over artists who have a significant impact on both the sacred and secular worlds. Makoto Fujimura is the founder of the International Arts Movement, and he was also the first artist in 500 years to be commissioned to illustrate the four Gospels.

Whoever you are, we invite you to follow in the great tradition of extracting artistic inspiration from the Christian scriptures. The Engage Art app (also a requirement for contest applicants), will help make this easier for you, feeding daily scripture straight to your phone about the things you’re most interested in, and also providing access to information and encouragement that can help you as you create art for the contest.

Art, culture and scripture do not live in opposite worlds. They co-exist together. Scripture has something to say about our culture and art while our art and culture can have something to say about scripture.

Why Focus on Ephesians 6:10-20?

These verses muse about a spiritual battle, a conflict between Good and Evil that can be depicted in many ways. Humans play a role in this confrontation, and music, art and film play a part in how we understand our world.

Engage Art creates a space for artists to express their vision of The Spiritual Battle, which is often misunderstood and overlooked. By inviting all artists from around the world to reflect on this critical spiritual dynamic (during the international version of the contest to run in 2019), we will gather artwork that can inform and inspire many people and perhaps enhance the artists’ spiritual journey, as well.

So download the mobile app and get started!

“Through the history of the Christian church there runs a wide and roaring river of artistic glory, feeding believers and unbelievers alike.” — N. D. Wilson

Why an Art Contest?

Art communicates across cultures and languages. Art transcends time and history with an impact that can resonate for an entire lifetime. The Mona Lisa will speak to people seeing it for the first time today, just as it has for 500 years. And it doesn’t even have a deeper spiritual meaning.

Nothing New Under the Sun

It’s not a new idea to use the arts to celebrate, to praise God, or to explore faith. The Scripture tells us that the Children of Israel made music, sang, and danced after the victory over the Egyptians at the Red Sea. Exodus conveys that God wanted beautiful things for his Tabernacle — metalwork, fabric, tapestry, and architecture. Jesus was a first-rate storyteller. The Psalms are a songbook, and the Old Testament is littered with poetry. Members of the early Christian Church, used a symbol to identify themselves and created frescoes in the catacombs under Rome. The first human, Adam, was told by God to create and tend a garden.

Creativity comes in many forms, but we are all uniquely creative. We hope this Contest can help foster a renewed connection between artists and the Church. The question is, through visuals, music and storytelling (video/film), can using the tools and sensibilities of our modern time add to the depiction of the age-old story of Good vs. Evil?

From Every Background

Engage Art is for all people (18 and older) — people of all backgrounds, all skill levels, literally anyone at all who is interested in communicating a vision for these verses.

Our pilot project will run through September 2018 and will only be open to artists in North and South Carolina. Stay tuned for our international contest in 2019!

The Engage Art Contest is designed to provide a platform for your creative work to speak to people from this day forward. Are you ready to Engage Art?