The History of Art Project
Art Project began as the vision of Dr. R. Wesley (Wes) Hurd. In 1979, he founded McKenzie Study Center (MSC), a ministry focused on reaching out to university students, teaching and discipling in the Christian worldview. During their years of teaching students to interpret and apply the Bible, the MSC teachers saw a need for giving students a broader education, one that would provide the learning skills essential to understanding the Bible and other writings and to understanding life. Discussions (among the staff and with others whose lives MSC had touched) as to what should constitute such a program and, more generally, what should constitute a quality undergraduate education came to fruition in Gutenberg College, which opened its doors in September 1994.
Not long after Gutenberg College began, Wes, who was trained in both biblical studies and art, began meeting weekly with students at MSC and Gutenberg College to discuss the nature of art and biblical faith. From those discussions emerged the decision to hold a conference on art and faith in 1996, the beginnings of Art Project. Subsequent conferences followed annually for several years.
Art Project became an institute of Gutenberg College in 2001, the culmination of Gutenberg students’ deep interest in contemporary art, Dr. Hurd’s desire to help students and emerging artists to understand what art is and how biblical faith can provide a powerful foundation for art practice, and Gutenberg College’s conviction that the “languages” of the arts have an enormous influence on our present world culture.
Dr. Hurd retired from Gutenberg College in June 2012, but you can view his work at weshurd.com. Gutenberg’s continued support of the arts and its commitment to help artists create and audiences see art from a biblical worldview will be one of Dr. Hurd’s lasting legacies at Gutenberg College.