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(LifeSiteNews) — A studio in Madison, Virginia is the home base of Henry Wingate, a Catholic artist who uses his gifts to bring true beauty into a dark and broken world.

“Beauty is so important for our culture because it enriches our lives to a great degree,” Wingate told LifeSiteNews. “I think if we didn’t have beautiful art, our lives would be much less full, much less rich.”

Inspired by the “created world,” his oil paintings often depict nature and people. Many of his portraits bring Biblical characters to life.

“The way God lets a husband and wife participate in the creation of a child, I think He lets us as artists participate in His creation to some small degree in mimicking what He created.”

Wingate expressed his joy of working on religious paintings, such as altar pieces, commenting that the images are “good for teaching” the faith.

“I enjoy very much seeing a child looking at my paintings and realizing that there is a way for them to learn the Bible stories.”

“There does seem to be a lot of ugliness in our culture today,” Wingate continued. “The reason for that must be the drift away from a God-centered sense of reality. If there’s no God, then why does beauty matter? But if you believe in God, and believe that He created the world, then the true, the good and the beautiful mean so much to you. So that’s what I try to do with my art, is try to show something that’s true, good, and beautiful. I think the world needs it, especially now. Theologians say the best way to draw people to the church is probably through beauty.”

Wingate concluded with an encouraging message for anyone interested in art to pursue that interest, despite the challenges that may accompany that path. He says that while it can be intimidating to provide financial support in this profession, it is possible, if an aspiring artist commits to good training and is willing to invest time to learn how to further the mission of spreading true beauty in the world.

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