Matt White admits that in visiting an art museum, there is a temptation to rush through the galleries, trying to see as many works as possible in a short time:
It is a temptation I have succumbed to many times in my life. I have gone to art museums thinking that my visits were only successful if I saw a lot of paintings and took a lot of pictures. However, all those times of rushing through hallways, frantically looking left and right, was I actually experiencing art? Yes, I was seeing more art, but my focus was on getting from place to place, not being with the art, not having a relationship. Art has the capacity to stir deep emotions. But these emotions don’t arise unless a little effort is put forth.
Have you ever considered that you can have “A Relationship with Art”? Understanding the distinction between “seeing” and “experiencing” is the first step in appreciating art, but that deeper step of relationship with the work may be a step many of us skip. But we lose out on the emotional power of art when we rush our way through a gallery instead of savoring and even praying with art.
For stories of how art has inspired creative expressions of faith, check out the Arts and Faith series at Loyola Press.