The Higher Call

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Catholic sculptor is on a mission to “save the world” through liturgical art

J-P Mauro – published on 02/25/21

Dony MacManus is preparing to open a new art school to train “an army of artists to serve Christ.”

Catholic artist Dony MacManus is on a mission to save Catholic culture through the beauty of liturgical art. The 49-year-old Irish sculptor says he feels called to “resurrect the Christian tradition in the visual arts.” To accomplish this, MacManus is preparing to share his world-renowned skills at a new art school in Virginia.

Dony considers his artistic drive to be a vocation, and he brings his faith to each project. In the video interview above, he explains that art arises from the overflow of the artist’s interior life. This means that his art, and all art for that matter, is reflective of the artist’s innermost drive. In MacManus’ case, he brings Catholicism to his artworks by keeping his faith at the center of his focus.

This, in turn, can bring the viewer a deeper understanding of faith through art. In his philosophical work Art as Experience, John Dewey establishes that the meaning behind art is determined equally by the artist and the viewer. When viewing MacManus’ distinct Catholic style, faithful and “nones” alike are bearing witness to the artists own faith. As MacManus’ Catholic experiences mingle with the lives and backgrounds of the viewer, this has a vast propensity to spur spiritual growth.

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