Scribes of Hope

“To give us hope in the face of life’s many challenges, we catch the miracle of God’s spirit to regenerate his people from dead-end living.”

These words describe a painting by artist Timothy Botts. Botts, a calligraphy artist, created a traveling gallery for the group Christians in Visual Arts. On Oct. 4, the gallery opened as the Scribes of Hope II at John Brown University.

The goal of the show, and others hosted by the University’s art department, is to present and support different art forms that teach and encourage students on campus. This gallery specifically displayed Botts’s idea of calligraphy, which embodies a sense of hope, according to Jeannie Abbott, the administrative assistant of the art department.

“Them Dry Bones” is the title of Botts’s painting previously described. In a statement by the artist, it was bone-like formed letters that joined together in a rock-like pattern to suggest the musicality and life of Ezekiel’s vision for the people. He created the Scribes of Hope II as an opportunity to celebrate the centrality of the word in Christianity.

Senior Karli John, an art major, explained that since God has revealed himself through both text and image, through art he is made visible.

John described Scribes of Hope II as, “a form of Christian hope, topography of the two together… the use of lettering gave it an inspirational message that was hidden behind the art and the words.”

“I never thought about putting words in the art work, it usually can take away the meaning and wording from the images,” John said. “Either the piece has meaning or it doesn’t, and the typography of the two here has changed my perspective.”

According to Abbott, John Brown University has been bringing various artists and art galleries to campus since 2004.

“We try to bring in appreciative art that also fits JBU standards,” she said.

The Christians in Visual Arts organization seeks to help people explore the profound relationship between art and faith. The organization also wants to encourage Christians in visual arts to develop an understanding and pursue a relationship that unites art, the church and culture.

“It gives a sense of inspiration to the outside,” John said. New to the University community, she appreciates the good quality and variety of the work that they bring in for each of the exhibits during the semester.

Scribes of Hope II runs through Nov. 1 in the Windgate Visual Arts East building. Admission is free and open to the public.