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The Catholic Artists Directory: A guide to finding the best in traditional sacred art today


Courtesy of The Catholic Artist Directory

Zelda Caldwell - published on 11/13/19

This online list connects patrons to the artists who are leading a New Catholic Renaissance of fine art and music.

For many Catholics, seeing the great cathedrals and beautiful sacred art of Europe strengthens their faith and inspires them anew with a reminder that the Church itself is a reflection of the Truth and Beauty of God. Sadly, it is rare that their own churches, often built in the last 50 years, at a time when traditional forms of sacred art were considered by some to be out-of-date, do much to stir the soul in this way.

At last, after decades of beige churches and contemporary Christian music, there is a movement afoot among Catholic artists to bring back beauty to sacred art. Painter Gwyneth Thompson-Briggs is doing her part to further this Renaissance in traditional Catholic sacred art with the establishment of a “Catholic Artists Directory” to help connect patrons of the sacred arts with artists committed to reviving the traditions of Western art.

Courtesy of Catholic Artist Directory

“There is a growing awareness of the importance of beauty and tradition among Catholic patrons,” says Thompson-Briggs, “and there is also a revival of beauty and tradition among Catholic artists. The Catholic Artists Directory aims to connect patrons and artists, so that sacred art can flourish.”

The easy-to-use online directory, which is maintained by Thompson-Briggs, points those interested in commissioning a work of sacred art to the finest artists practicing it today.The list includes painters, sculptors, composers, musicians, illustrators, calligraphers, an illuminator, and a bookbinder.

Courtesy of Catholic Artist Directory

The directory came out of a discussion among Thompson-Briggs, sculptor Andrew Wilson Smith and calligrapher/illuminator Elizabeth Lemme, who agreed that something needed to be done to help people find traditional Catholic artists.

Painter John Folley says that the directory, which went online this September, serves a hunger for traditional sacred art as well as the artists who create it.

“People today are starved for Beauty,” he says. “What most don’t realize is that there is a cadre of artists within the Church who have prepared their minds, trained their hands, and dedicated their lives to meet that need.”

Courtesy of Catholic Artist Directory

The artists listed in the directory have been chosen based on their “artistic caliber, ability to take on new commissions, and commitment to reviving the traditions of Western sacred art. Many of the artists are particularly influenced by the High Gothic, the Renaissance, and the Baroque,” according to a press release announcing the guide’s establishment in September.

Courtesy of Catholic Artist Directory

Those who would like to commission a work of art for a parish, home, or other community can browse the directory of artists. A brief description of each artist’s work, along with a photo, a link to the artist’s website, and contact information are provided with each listing.

To visit the Catholic Artists Directory, click here.

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