Tuesday March 27, 2007

Iconic Mother Mary

An artistic celebration of Mary as a mother with her child, Jesus, will be featured in a special exhibit of original icon-style paintings by artist Christine Granger at the University of Dayton's Marian Library April 1 through June 15.

About 30 icons, which were featured in Granger's 1996 best-selling book Mary, Mother of My Lord and the 2006 follow-up Mother and Child, will be on display along with poetry and prayers about mothers and children, in particular Mary and Jesus.

Canadian Granger has painted icons – images representing a significant holy being or object – since 1980. Internationally acclaimed, her work is in many private and public collections, including the Canadian Museum of Civilization.

She uses a variety of media, including wax and egg tempura. Currently, she works with acrylic colors and gold in a layering technique to build up textures, patterns and borders. Her primary color palette includes reds, oranges, yellows and golds, colors usually associated with fire, light and the divine.

Her starting point is the tradition of Ukrainian and Byzantine icons. She sees her paintings as expressions of faith.

"If I had a good voice I would sing in a gospel choir … I work in color instead, bring(ing) new techniques and ideas to a tradition as old as Christendom," Granger said. "Each painting is a joyful reaffirmation of the mystery of the incarnation," she wrote.

The exhibit will display Granger's books, which include inspirations from spiritual sources such as Mother Teresa of Calcutta, poet Rainer Maria Rilke and the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams.

The Marian Library is a part of the international center for study and research on Mary, located on the seventh floor of the Roesch Library, just off Stewart Street, on the University of Dayton's campus. It is open Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and on Saturday and Sunday by appointment. There is no cost. Call 937-229-4214 for further details or go to www.udayton.edu/mary for further information.

For interviews, contact M. Jean Frisk, S.S.M. at 937-229-4254 or friskjem@notes.udayton.edu.