The founders have had abundant opportunities to work with young Artists, many of whom have sought their advice regarding institutions for further training. Research revealed that most contemporary Fine Arts institutions provide abundant skill development, but, because almost all adhere to the notion that Art is subjective, no attempt is made to present Fine Arts training in the context of Reason and Faith. It has become increasingly evident that in our era performance and visual arts are promoted as a means of expressing personal opinions.
Modern Artists, as a result of their training, use their art to promote their own ideologies rather than attempting to express universal truths. Without a grounding in classical literature and philosophy modern artists can rely only on personal experiences to inform their art. Most are unable to express true joy, true hope or true love, because their experience is limited to conditional joy, hope and love, and as a result many gravitate to despair. Their impact in forming or inspiring our culture is limited by the extent of their education and personal development.
Historically, the classical education of Artists provided the means by which the Arts could have a positive impact upon Western Culture. Above and beyond the refinement of artistic skill, Faith and Reason were the key elements of an artist’s education, prompting Michelangelo to declare: “a man does not paint with his hands, but with his mind.” William Shakespeare would have been incapable of creating his masterpieces of wisdom and truth without his classical education and his faith.
Late in the 1990’s, the founders of Living Water College of the Arts began to consider the merits of developing a modern institution designed to offer the kind of education that formed great Artists of the past.
It was evident:
- In order to produce excellent Art, artistic skills need to be developed.
- In order to effectively develop Reason, students need to employ socratic dialogue and wrestle with the truths imbedded in classical writings.
- In order to provide growth in Faith for an artist, Theology and a personal spiritual regimen has to be integrated fully with the study of Art and the development of Reason.
The result is an integrated program of Art, Faith and Reason: the three pillars of Living Water College of the Arts.