Valuing the Visual

I WAS DELIGHTED with the special section on creativity and faith in the May-June 1996 issue (“In the Image of God”). I am an active and enthusiastic writer, visual artist, and musician, and that section gave me a great deal to think about.

However, I was disappointed by one point: The writers who contributed the essays got their names in big, bold, quarter-inch type. The visual artists were identified in tiny, 1/16 inch type standing on end, as if the illustrations were just decoration and no one would really care who did them.

I have noticed this in many magazines. The writers get the big credits; the artists’ and photographers’ names are barely legible, if you can find them at all. Yet having worked professionally in both media, I know that a good photo or painting can take just as much time, effort, persistence, and skill as a good article— sometimes more.

It’s no revelation that our culture values words, and the people who work with them, far more highly than images. Even God is conceived of as Word. But the Bible also reminds us that God created people in God’s image. I’d like to see Sojourners give more credit to the people who contribute their visual creativity to the magazine.

Anne L. Simko
Cambridge, New York

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Sojourners Magazine July-August 1996
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