Stillwater News Press


November 6, 2009

Pastor blends faith and art

Highland Park Free Will Baptist Church Head Pastor Brandon Mitts will exhibit his art at Exhibit One Gallery beginning at 7 p.m. Monday.

The exhibit will continue until Dec. 4 and is open to the public noon to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, 102 N. Main Street.

This is Mitts’ first art show in Stillwater, and his media includes painting, drawing and sculpture.

“The exhibit is a good example of how the arts and ministry can be reconciled ... and not at odds as they are often portrayed,” he said.

Art has had a lifelong presence for Mitt.

“I’ve been making art my whole life. My parents encouraged me and bought me supplies, fueled that fire when I was young,” Mitts said.

In 1994, Mitts received his bachelor of arts from Oklahoma State University, and in 2007, he received his masters of fine arts at Arizona State University.

He said some of his teachers pushed him to focus on studio art.

He was a youth minister in Arizona for three years, and this is his first year as lead pastor at Highland Park, 1402 E. Sixth.

Mitts feels faith and art go hand in hand.

“I think they kind of enrich one another. I think I’m a better pastor, because I’m a painter and a better painter, because I have inspiration,” he said.

Someone in the ministry once told him that there’d be a conflict between his art and faith at some point, but Mitts said he hasn’t experienced that.

Mitts referred to history to illustrate the connection between faith and art.

“You look at some of the best art ever created, and it’s often religious-themed or (created) through the church to bring homage to God,” he said.

He says his art is not necessarily religious in nature but is created with Christian themes in mind such as reconciliation, balance and redemption.

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