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Student Improves Ability to Read, Reflect, and Share Insights on the Importance of the Arts

Aug 26, 2023
White neon letters sayin ART on blue and black background.

Photo by Zach Key on Unsplash

Course: Bahá’í Faith and the Arts (2023)
Faculty Mentor: Anne Perry

I am continuing to achieve my goals, most of which are ongoing. I incorporated some of the inspirational writings on the arts into our “Art and Soul” evenings, and later in the evening at our reflection time, I shared some of the insights of other artists such as this one by Michael Fitzgerald in his preface to Creative Circle: “The planetary vision of a Bahá’í artist will lead him or her to relish the gifts that an exploding world culture offers. Without the need to be restricted by a parochial view, the artist with access to the Bahá’í writings can glean a rich pool of ethical and aesthetic inspiration… When the “locality” is the whole planet, the frontiers of the imagination are expanded beyond provincialism of every sort.” The frontiers of my imagination have certainly been expanded by doing this course.                        

I was amazed and sometimes daunted by the amount of inspirational articles, videos, and reading material that was shared with us and am so pleased that they will be available for a year so that I can delve into them more deeply. My understanding of the importance of the arts has grown and broadened and is being greatly encouraged by reading passages such as these from the Universal House of Justice; “The believers are free to paint, write and compose as their talents guide them… [from a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to a National Spiritual Assembly dated 20 July 1946] they should continue their artistic endeavors in prayerful recognition that the arts are powerful instruments to serve the Cause [Extract 53 dated 9 August 1983 on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to an individual].”

I have improved my ability to read, reflect, and share insights on the importance of the arts gained not only from the course material but from the many thoughtful and diverse contributions from the team on our course. I feel excited, encouraged, and confirmed about the prospect of developing my art more and using my creative side in service to the Cause.                                                                                                            

Deep down I have always loved the arts and understood their importance for humanity’s wellbeing but this course has expanded my awareness of this and given me a fresh impetus to explore more ways of sharing them with others. I look forward to approaching my own art-making with more focus, dedication, and in a more prayerful and humble way beeching God to assist and guide me so that as the prayer says, ‘O God, grant that I may become like unto a hollow reed through which Thy love may flow unto others’.   

I also look forward to continue meeting with and expanding our arts group, ‘Spark in the Dark’, many of whom have participated in this course. Perhaps we can work on a project together, sharing our insights and learning from this course with our community. I plan to use what I have learned by incorporating the various art forms in a tangible way at Feasts and Holy Days and perhaps through workshops in my community.



Sabina Nagle (Myrtleville, Ireland)

I am a very grateful mother of 6 children and now 13 grandchildren. I became a Bahá’í when I was 15 years old and feel so blessed to have had the bounty of the Revelation of Bahá'u'lláh throughout my life. I have been working in the arts throughout my life and am presently teaching art to children with special needs part time and also continuing my own practice mostly in ceramics in between helping out with granny duties!!!

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