Based in Italy, the Sacred Art School is directed by its founder, Dony Mac Manus, an accomplished international artist with more than twenty years of experience producing and teaching visual arts.
Inspired by the teachings of (soon to be Blessed) Pope John Paul II's Theology of the Body and in response to Pope Benedict XVI's call for a renewal in the Liturgy, the Sacred Art School mission is to teach and produce art in service of the Church, both devotional and liturgical.
Mac Manus has developed a visual arts curriculum which addresses today's "iconic crisis of the West" (Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Spirit of the Liturgy, p. 120). The curriculum emphasizes the human figure, its structure and anatomical accuracy, essentials for it's rendering with power and conviction. With the understanding that the human figure is the most articulate vehicle to express the human condition, the curriculum includes figure drawing, figure sculpture, figure painting, artistic composition and a series of complementary courses that cover essential Catholic liturgical and devotional philosophy and theology.
By focusing on the human figure and informed by academic artistic principals as a foundation for seeing, students learn to observe and are further encouraged to interpret what they see by making informed visual decisions. This approach is based on the idea that one cannot break the visual rules unless one knows what those rules are. It is through this knowledge that an intellectual, emotional, or visually informed abstraction can be properly achieved. Furthermore, the objective of the curriculum is to form artists not only intellectually, but also spiritually and emotionally so that they can communicate their profound love of Christ in the most articulate artistic language.
Inspired by teachings revealed in the Theology of the Body and through artistic anatomy and a visual understanding of nature, students will develop an artistic language to communicate what it means to be a human person. Students will learn how to communicate with the greatest refinement the most profound and beautiful truths of the Faith and have a powerful impact to enter the hearts of viewers and transform them in Christ.