About the Course

Especially in modern times, Christian artists live in constant tension. On the one hand, their religious communities and churches view their vocation with skepticism, questioning whether it is really possible for an artist to be a faithful follower of Jesus. On the other, the fine art community often finds Christian faith sentimental and laughable, concluding that Christians cannot produce “serious” art. With a foot in both worlds but not totally at home in either, the Christian artist may wonder if they have been burdened with an impossible calling. 

In this course, Cameron Anderson, Executive Director of Christians in the Visual Arts and author of The Faithful Artist: A Vision for Evangelicalism and the Arts, shows us how Christian artists can occupy this “middle space” between the church and the art community with courage, diligence, and hope. Learn why the relationship between Christianity and the visual arts has so often been strained and how creative professionals can bridge these two worlds by engaging them both faithfully. Together, we’ll discover the sacred vocation of the artist, which is desperately needed in a culture running short on both beauty and hope. 

What You'll Learn

  • How can Christians faithfully occupy the “middle space” between their religious communities and the art world?
  • What is the practical value of art?

  • Why have Protestant Christians, historically, been suspicious of art, and why has the art world been suspicious of Christians?

  • How can Christians produce art that is not saccharine, sentimental, or kitsch?

  • What is the vocation of a Christian artist in our hyper-individualistic and fractured society?

Course curriculum

  • 1

    The Middle Space

    • What to do with our vocation?

    • A Double Consciousness

    • The Artist's Dilemma

    • A Personal Reconciliation

    • The Tragedy and the Glory

  • 2

    The Maker Space

    • Between Calling and Witness

    • Risk and Reward

    • The Liminal Space

  • 3

    Collective Agency

    • The Engaged Middle

    • The Misuse of Agency

    • The Artist's Vocation

About the Instructor

Artist, Associate Director of Upper House

Cameron Anderson

Cam serves as Associate Director of Upper House, a center for Christian study at the University of Wisconsin Madison. Prior to joining Upper House, he served a ten-year term as the Executive Director of CIVA | Christians in the Visual Arts. Cam holds a B.F.A. in Painting and Drawing from University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, an M.F.A. in Painting and Drawing from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, and has completed post-graduate coursework in Art History and Aesthetics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He lectures frequently on the arts, media, advertising, and contemporary culture and is author of The Faithful Artist: A Vision for Evangelicalism and the Arts. In his spare time, Cam continues his artistic practice, exhibiting and installing work nationwide.