Biblical Artist Series: Ned Bustard

How should Christians engage with the visual arts? Christianity and art don’t always mix well. Many forms of “Christian art” (films, children’s Bibles, music) make in-your-face, moralistic claims. Other Christians condemn art because of its “bad messages.” Still others believe that making art is nothing more than expressing yourself or your emotions. Ned Bustard possesses a very different perspective.

Ned is an artist and graphic designer based in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He believes that provocative, visually fascinating pieces are not necessarily in tension with Scripture. Instead, they can be used to heighten biblical themes or show us parts of the text that we had not yet noticed. Ned’s book Revealed: A Storybook Bible for Grown-Ups exemplifies this approach, with gritty and novel depictions of often-whitewashed or ignored passages of Scripture.

In this episode, Dr. Dru Johnson talks with Ned about Christianity and art, and about a couple of the most provocative pieces in Revealed. They also discuss the tearing down of Confederate statues, how art can be used as an argument, and how making woodcuts of the Bible is actually a lot like preaching.

Show notes:

  • 1:26 What should we do about putting up and tearing down statues?
  • 6:00 How art is like preaching
  • 10:13 Christianity and art: good art vs. bad
  • 15:35 Ned’s work on his book Revealed
  • 24:00 Integrating faith and art
  • 26:29 Ned’s depiction of Judges 19
  • 34:20 Art with a “slant”
  • 40:12 Why people miss the arguments in Biblical poetry and the visual arts

See more of Ned Bustard’s work through his graphic design company, World’s End Images.

Read more about the proposed cylinder around the Robert E. Lee statue.

Christians in the Visual Arts (CIVA) promotes a diverse group of artists rooted in orthodox Christianity.

Watch this video about Ned’s work and view of art:

Ned Bustard: Making Good from Cursive Films on Vimeo.

Show notes by Micah Long.

Did you enjoy this podcast episode? Check out articles from The Biblical Mind.