What is Limner?

Job by Jeff Youngblood, Cindy Woolery,
and daniel Baltzer

The Limner Society is an organization comprised of artists of Christian faith who desire to see a visual arts renaissance in Church and society. We are a community scattered around the US and abroad. We have been gathering annually since 2002 and in February of 2009 became an official 501(c)3 public charity. 

One of the main questions we get is, “What is Limner?”
The word “limner” has had many meanings through the centuries, and is currently defined as “a person who draws or paints.” Derived from the French luminer and from the Latin luminare, limner means “to illuminate,” “adorn.” In medieval Europe, a limner was an illuminator of manuscripts. Later, in 18th-century America, a limner was an itinerant painter who usually had little formal training. These painters were known to travel from town to town, painting portraits for common people or landscapes of farms.

The Limner Society is a summation of all of the definitions mentioned above. We are individuals who draw and paint, using our gifts in visual art to illuminate ideas. As we travel from town to town, we sow our ideas about art, its value, and its context in Church and society.

We have more recently adopted a version of Millet’s “The Sower” as our logo because it represents the true heart of the Limner Society.  Jean-Francois Millet was captivated by the simple imagery of the countryside in the place of his birth, and in the people who inhabited it. 
Because of his commitment to this subject matter, Millet spent much of his professional career defending himself and his work against the charges of being a socialist.  Millet painted the “The Sower” in 1850, which typifies the heart of his work; beautifully simple images rendered with technical excellence. His work gives dignity to subjects who are pursuing a basic existence.  We have also added red, yellow, and blue seeds, which are the primary colors out of which all other colors arise: not unlike the Trinity where all goodness, truth, and beauty arise.   Limners intend to walk trough life sowing these seeds in abundance.

What is a Limner member?
A Limner member is a visual artist of Christian faith who has participated in at least one Gathering as a Guest Limner or visiting artist, aligns with our vision/mission, observes our core values, and supports tLS. tLS expects only that a member would live out the core values in earnest, stay connected with tLS, and pay membership dues.  Of course we welcome anything more that a member would give (serve as an officer or board member, serve in the administration of the organization in some capacity, or tithe/give financially in addition to their membership dues), but they are not required.

What if you do not consider visual art your profession?
If you devote time to making art, then you are participating in a process that we consider a gift from God.  We hope to encourage your stewardship of this gift, your pursuit of excellence in art making, and the application of this gift to the glory of God.  We celebrate the diversity that comes from people who participate in visual art at differing levels.

What if you are not a visual artist?
We recognize that we will need a diverse collection of people to accomplish the vision set before us.  tLS welcomes anyone who aligns with our vision, and wants to participate in our mission, to become a volunteer, supporter, administrator, board member, or the like.  We also recognize that visual art has a special relationship with its audience and so we welcome those who love art to become supporters or patrons of tLS and our mission.

Caped Crusaders 1 by Mark Neuenschwander

In short, these are the different levels of involvement in tLS:

  • Limner Supporter—one who participates in our mission by in-kind service or financial support through the purchase of tLS artwork or giving monetarily to tLS.
  • Limner Patron—one who tithes of gives sacrificially to tLS.
  • Limner Member—one who upholds our core values, supports tLS through dues, and actively participates in a Seed Initiative of tLS.
  • Limner Officer—one who aligns with our vision and participates in our mission through administrative service to our organization.
  • Limner Board Member—one who upholds our core values and participates in our mission through financial support and service on the Limner Board.
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