Via Affirmativa Core
Via Affirmativa is a movement that seeks to provide opportunities for art makers to examine and live their creative vision in light of the values of the Kingdom of God
Every art maker has a compelling call to fulfill the measure of the gifts given to them. There are two essentials for this journey of fulfillment and they are a compelling vision and mastery of the medium. We believe that mastery of the medium is in fact critical and affirm those who provide that contribution. Via Affirmativa is a movement with a distinct purpose to provide the environment and opportunity for the art maker to inform and imbue their vision with the values of the Kingdom of God.
These days, everything is for sale. Everyone from marketing executives to religious fundamentalists has appropriated this ancient Greek triad of goodness, truth and beauty, in an attempt to sell a time-share, or lipstick, or God.
In the beginning of the creation narrative, God is first seen as the Creator. When he names the crown of his creation, and declares that we bear his image, he is defining us as being creative at the very core of our humanity. Are we created for more than just sales? How do beauty, truth and goodness inform the way we engage with our world?
When language becomes brittle, when tradition becomes rote, when imagination shrinks, when our ability to laugh atrophies, when the wonder at the strangeness of life begins to evaporate, we become foolish. We allow our creativity to be twisted by fear. We lose our courage to play and discover ourselves as participants in a larger story. How can we remember how to create? To live? To love?
It is in these questions that Via Affirmativa was born. It began as four friends wrestling with the narrow definition of beauty and art found in much of Christianity. The name, Via Affirmativa, means the way of affirmation. We seek to affirm artists and all whom we encounter to live with redemptive creativity. This is an inherently lonely journey, one for which community is indispensable. We need each other to be reminded of the sacramental nature of all of life; there is no dividing line between what is sacred and what is secular. As we journey into chaos and noise that fills this world, we believe that we are called to see penetratingly both what is and what is possible, and speak artistically into the yet-uncreated world that might be.
This exploration of the creative, redemptive life with our longings for beauty, goodness and truth is usually a rather messy journey. After all, beauty is often not found in what is deemed to be pretty, but beauty frequently resides in a tragic pairing with what is ugly. Living in these grey areas of life often isolates artists from others. As such, Via Affirmativa seeks to affirm artists in their question asking, of their pursuit and expression of that which is beautiful, good and true.
We believe that artists play an instrumental role in shaping culture by encouraging us to reflect upon our forming narratives and by asking the question: How then should we live?