Friday, October 31, 2008

Wanted: Art of baby Jesus and animals

Peaceable Kingdom by Edward Hicks
I’ve been searching in vain for an image of the Christ child with animals to show the union of God and nature -- but all I can find are sentimental Christmas-card pictures. Hasn’t anybody created a serious image of the baby Jesus with animals since the famous “Peaceable Kingdom” by Edward Hicks way back in 1834? The movement for GLBT rights is deeply connected to honoring nature and the earth, because homophobia is part of a system of controlling and denying nature, including human nature. I want to include a contemporary artist’s take on the baby Jesus with animals in an alternative Christmas art series that will run here at the Jesus in Love Blog this December. A new post at the Iconia Blog talks about the challenge of preventing Christian art from becoming saccharine and soaked in sentimentalism. Max McLean, president of the Christian arts ministry, Fellowship for the Performing Arts, is quoted in an interview with World magazine. Please contact me if you have any suggestions for images of Jesus with the animals. I do like “Manger Scene with Jesus and Animals” by Karen Soleau, but it’s clip-art, and not in the same league as the other art that is already planned for the series.

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