Jan. 5, 2021 | Bible |
A collection of 40 paintings depicting scenes from the Old Testament is now on display on the second floor of the McInteer Bible and World Missions Center. Designed and created by Danny Helms, the paintings were originally housed in the 1984 Gallery in Texarkana, Arkansas, until shortly after Helms’ death when it was decided they should be donated to the University.
“An artist sometimes looks at the world and looks at the text and sees something that the rest of us don’t quite see,” said Dr. Mac Sandlin, assistant professor of Bible and religion. “Danny Helms looked at the biblical text and frequently saw things that we, or that I, didn’t see. We are honored to have these paintings on display at Harding.”
Helms, a church of Christ minister, began painting the series in 2020 and spent close to 1,500 hours completing the set. Thirty-nine of the paintings portray a scene from a book in the Old Testament while the 40th painting reads, “And God was silent for 400 years.” Helms’ intention was to continue the series with a painting representing each book of the New Testament; however, he passed away before he was able to complete the project.
1984 Gallery co-owner Georgia Hubnik knew Helms well and saw several of the paintings as they were completed.
“Danny Helms was a church of Christ minister, song leader, Sunday school teacher and loved God first of all more than anything,” said Hubnik. “But he also loved art, and he felt like God was leading him to illustrate the Old Testament. It was such a joy for him to paint and illustrate the Bible because he wanted people to know that the scriptures were real, and he tried to make them become real on the canvas for others to enjoy.”
A podcast, voiced by Danny Helms, is also available to walk guests through Helms’ thought process for several of the paintings in the collection. The display is free and open to the public. For more information about the College of Bible and Ministry visit harding.edu/bible.
Harding University is a private Christian, liberal arts university located in Searcy, Arkansas. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, it is the largest private university in the state. Harding’s student body represents students from across the U.S. and more than 50 nations and territories. The University offers more than 100 undergraduate majors; more than 15 preprofessional programs; more than 40 graduate and professional programs; as well as numerous study abroad opportunities including locations in Australasia, Peru, England, Greece, Italy and Zambia. For more information, visit harding.edu.