Thursday, March 29, 2012

Summer Programs at The Thomas More College of Liberal Arts

Someday, I really want to go to one of these! Find out more here:

Way of Beauty Summer Retreat

July 6 - 8 or August 3 - 5

This residential course in prayer and culture will transform the spirit and direct you to the via pulchritudinis, the “way of beauty” – the divine path to creativity, love and joy.

Through this Retreat, you will learn about traditional culture – art, architecture, music – and how it reflects the rhythms and patterns of the cosmos. You will also explore how the cycles and rhythms of the liturgy – the formal and public worship of the Church – participate in the same heavenly standard.

In the chapel, you will learn to chant the Liturgy of the Hours. The Liturgy of the Hours is a simple and beautiful prayer that enables you to “breathe” with the Church. It is so simple, in fact, that you can take it back to your family or your choir so they can chant it too. Apart from the Mass, the Catechism tells us, the Liturgy of the Hours is the most powerful and effective prayer.

You will also receive an introduction to the traditional ‘quadrivium’, or ‘four ways’, of studying the pattern, harmony and order in nature and mathematics, viewed as a reflection of the Divine Order and perceived by us as beauty. They provide the basis for a tradition of harmony and proportion in design and for a tradition of beautiful geometric art used, for example in tiled floors. Along with Church Tradition, these principles also provide the model for the rhythms and cycles of the liturgy.

Christian culture was patterned after this ‘cosmic order’. Literature, art, music, architecture – all of creation and potentially all human activity – are bound together by this common harmony and receive their fullest meaning the Church’s liturgy. Tradition tells us that when we apprehend beauty we do so intuitively, so an education in beauty is also an education in intuition and creativity. This results not only in more ideas, but also better ideas.

Previous training in art or music is not required for the Way of Beauty Summer Retreat.

July 23 - 28

Forty-five years ago, Pope Paul VI said to artists from around the world, “You are masters. It is your task, your mission, and your art consists in grasping treasures from the heavenly realm of the spirit and clothing them in words, colors, forms—making them accessible.”

Through the Thomas More College’s Iconography summer program you can enter into this tradition of beauty that is so central in the Church. You will begin to learn the skills of a master painter giving you the ability to make the truth accessible through the beauty of your masterpieces.

During the week long course you will come to thoroughly understand how the theology and philosophy of the Church gives iconography its form and how that is reflected in its stylistic elements. After achieving some knowledge of the iconographic tradition, you will be instructed in creating them: drawing the icon, transferring the drawing to a panel, making the paint with pigment and egg yolk, and finally, the painting process itself.

As icons are religious art, the process of creating them is not only artistic, but also spiritual. Icons, when worthy of veneration, are like sacramentals. Although they are not themselves a channel of grace, their value is that they predispose us to grace. As you learn to paint icons, you will grow artistically, intellectually, and spiritually.

Thomas More College’s artist-in-residence, internationally acclaimed and Oxford educated Professor David Clayton, will carefully guide you through the entire iconographic process, and you will graduate with a certificate of completion—and an icon you produced with your own hands.

Previous training in art is not required for the Iconography course.

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