EPIC LAUNCH The John Paul II Foundation for the Sacred Arts
With the groundbreaking launch of The John Paul II Foundation for the Sacred Arts dawns a new era of art patronage in the Catholic Church, throwing open the doors for a renaissance in sacred art. The organization, founded and directed by Diocese of Raleigh priest, Fr. Michael Burbeck, is a true game changer, promoting new sacred art by “partnering with artists who share our belief in the evangelical potential of beauty” and applying crowd-funding concepts to achieve the new model of patronage. Fr. Burbeck was converted to the Catholic faith by the power of sacred art. He states,“Those works of art that I encountered were the fruit not only of a culture of faith, but of a system of patronage, an environment in which art and artists were promoted and financially sustained. That system, by in large, no longer exists, especially not for truly sacred works of art. As our namesake, Pope St. John Paul II, wrote so plainly in his Letter to Artists, ‘the Church needs art.’ The John Paul II Foundation aims to help meet that need.” He adds, “Sacred art can change lives; it changed mine through the transcendent beauty I found in the great churches of Europe. I invite you to join me as we spread that beauty to a world in desperate need of its transforming power.” That invitation is extended to Catholic artists (grant proposal!) and to you, crowd patrons, who want to see the Church’s artistic history revived.
"I invite you to join me as we spread that beauty to a world in desperate need of its transforming power." - Fr. Michael Burbeck
The Foundation’s first project will be with artist Cameron Smith who has been creating Catholic art since reading John Paul II’s Letter to Artists in 1999. Says Smith, “His words moved me to put my faith into art. Immediately I began looking for a way to partner with the Church. Almost two decades later, this is the best model I've seen. For Catholic artists, it changes everything. For myself, it's a providential moment. Our Lady, the subject of this inaugural project, has been a true patron of my art vocation; John Paul II, the foundation's namesake, was my catalyst; and Fr. Burbeck, who years ago asked me to use this image on his ordination card (Immaculate Heart of Mary, above) now brings this vision of patronage into being. It's amazing. Only God knew I needed eighteen years of practice to prepare! It awes and humbles me - the unfolding of His plans.”
This inaugural project, the “maiden voyage”, so to speak, will be a re-presentation of Our Lady of Guadalupe, a painting inspiration Smith received while entering church on the feast of the Immaculate Conception. Read more and donate at sacredartnc.org.