Word Pictures by Timothy R. Botts | November 6, 2014 through April 12, 2015
"I hope he will lay out his whole genius and skill upon it, that the composition may excel all his former compositions, as the subject excels every other subject."
These were the prophetic words of lyricist Charles Jennens before presenting the libretto to his friend for the musical component of the project, Messiah. George Frideric Handel wrote the entire oratorio in about three weeks. His partner's hope of its greatness has come to fruition in the centuries that followed. The composer's highest achievement was borne from the Bible, with its sacred text on the centrality and supremacy of Jesus Christ, "in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." (Colossians 2:3)
Now, more than 270 years later, these direct quotations from both Old and New Testaments, coupled with Handel's picturesque music, have inspired the artist exhibited here. Timothy Botts visually orchestrates Messiah through the medium of calligraphy, adding a dimension to amplify the power of the biblical text.
Reception and Live Art Presentation
On Wednesday, November 19, from 4:00 to 8:00 pm the Museum will host an opening reception and book signing in its rotunda and gallery, located in the Billy Graham Center. With a program at 6:00, the artist will create a new work in real time, accompanied by a live ensemble improvising excerpts from the music. Mr. Botts will also be signing copies of his books, including pre-orders of his brand new, extended edition, illustrated book "Messiah." Books and other materials will be available for purchase. Refreshments will be provided. Events are free and open to the public.
About the Artist
Timothy R. Botts graduated from Carnegie-Mellon University, where he studied calligraphy under the legendary calligrapher Arnold Bank and earned a BFA in graphic design. His work has been exhibited in Obernei, France, the Washington National Cathedral, and one of his originals is in the permanent collection of the Newberry Library, Chicago. He has designed more than 600 books at Tyndale House Publishers, among them several of his own including: Doorposts, The Holy Bible: Botts Illustrated Edition, Portraits of the Word, Bound for Glory, and Psalms.
As one who reveres the Holy Bible as God’s words, Botts found calligraphy to be a natural link between his art and spirituality. He teaches calligraphy at the College of DuPage and regularly mentors and curates exhibits for artists and organizations, most recently founding Masterpiece Ministries, an arts outreach to high school students. Tim and his wife, Nancy, live in the nearby town of Glen Ellyn and have 3 grown children and 11 grandchildren.
Explore in sight and sound as Timothy R. Botts creates a new work, accompanied by a live ensemble improvising excerpts from the music.