Monday November 27, 2006

The Nativity Through Children's Eyes

Local Catholic school children were asked how they would describe Jesus' birth without talking. Their answers, in the form of pictures, are on display until Jan. 28 at the Marian Library, home to the world's largest collection of nativity sets.

Local Catholic school children were asked how they would describe Jesus' birth without talking. Their answers, in the form of pictures, will be on display 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. now through Jan. 28 at the University of Dayton's Marian Library.

Local artists and teachers picked 30 pictures from 575 submissions by children in grades three through eight for The Nativity through Children's Eyes exhibit.

The exhibit is free and open to the public. The Marian Library is on the seventh floor of UD's Roesch Library. Please call 937-229-4214 to make special arrangements to view the exhibit.

The Marian Library is home to the world's largest collection of nativity sets, or crèches. The library has collected more than 1,000 crèches from 45 countries since 1994. The collection includes styles and settings as diverse as the heritage, vision and interpretation of the artists who created them. Some incorporate earthen elements like cork, bamboo and moss to create natural landscapes. Others use household items such as bread, wax and clothespins. Traditional mangers abound, but the Christ child also can be found in a forest, cave and a Swiss chalet.

The collection, managed by the UD Marian Library's Crèches International committee, is designed to promote the study and understanding of culture and religion, as well as the Christmas story itself.

Crèches will be on display 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. now through Jan. 28 at the University of Dayton's Marian Library; noon to 4 p.m. Nov. 29 through Jan. 31 at and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday through Wednesday and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday now through Jan. 1 at the Dayton Art Institute. Admission to the exhibit is free at each place.

For more information, contact Shawn Robinson, associate director of media relations, at 937-229-3391 or srobinson@udayton.edu.