Tuesday, November 01, 2022

The Undergraduate Art Program at University of Mary, Bismarck, North Dakota

I am often asked by young aspiring artists where can they go to learn to create art in a Catholic environment. Up until now I haven’t really had an answer. Those who have a first degree can sign up for Pontifex University’s Master of Sacred Arts Program, which provides the Catholic inculturation necessary for creative artists in any discipline (although the focus is on visual arts). It is 100% online, and assumes that the student can obtain the necessary skills somewhere else, for example, through an atelier that teaches naturalistic drawing and painting, or through icon-painting workshops. As such, it is more appropriate for mature students who are strongly self-directed.

Now I can recommend the University of Mary in Bismarck, North Dakota, as a safe first destination for high-school graduates looking for a more conventional on-campus undergraduate art education, but don’t want to have to deal with the neo-Marxist ideology that pervades art departments throughout the rest of the country. The university, which has steadily been gaining a reputation as an orthodox Catholic school, currently has an art minor, and hopes to expand it soon to a major.

I became aware of this because Dr Ann Brodeur from the University of Mary asked me to recommend graduates of Pontifex University’s MSA program to teach art history. I am now delighted to announce that Deacon Lawrence Klimecki who obtained his MSA in 2018, has been appointed to do so. He is an accomplished artist and regular writer about sacred art, on both his own website, deaconlawrence.org, and on thewayofbeauty.org.

Dr Brodeur, who is Associate Professor of History and Catholic Studies, and Administrative Chair of Languages and Literature, told me on his appointment:
Deacon Lawrence will be teaching Art History I (next fall) and Art History II (this spring). His service is crucial to our goal of helping our Art Minor grow into a major here at the University of Mary. We currently have a number of “making” art courses, and are looking to build out our art “analysis” courses, of which Art History is an important key! As you know, it’s notoriously difficult to find faithful, orthodox Catholic or Christian artists or art historians, and so I was very glad to find Deacon Lawrence at your suggestion. I’m excited to see how he can help us build a program that is attractive to current and prospective students.
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