Friday September 19, 2008

Seasons of Our Lady

Award-winning tapestry artist Linda Schapper will show a series of strong and bold acrylic paintings with a touch of humor depicting the life of Mary, Mother of Jesus at the Marian Library gallery through November.

The paintings of artist Linda Schäpper will be featured this fall in the gallery of The Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute at the University of Dayton.

"The Seasons of Our Lady," features acrylic portrayals of the life of Mary, mother of Jesus, along with 20 mysteries of the rosary. The exhibit began Sept. 15 and runs through Nov. 15 in the Marian Library Gallery on the seventh floor of Roesch Library.

Schäpper is an internationally known award-winning artist, who designed a huge tapestry for televised coverage of a papal Mass in Central Park in 1995 as well as a UNICEF Christmas card.

According to the artist, she works in the primitive style and utilizes various techniques of church art, such as square, gold painted frames based on the ceiling tiles of an 12th century church in Zillis, Switzerland.

"I love using these old techniques because it joins me to people who loved God 1,000 years ago," she said. "I think if I met the artists of that time, we would have the same heart. Somebody told me recently that one of the most important jobs of an artist is to be a storyteller and continue carrying the story through our generation and passing it on to the next."

Other paintings break an incident from Mary's life into several stages, similar to contemporary storyboard techniques, she said.

"For instance, one scene shows somebody coming to tell Mary her some was being sentenced. Then it shows her traveling to the scene. It's almost an older version of a storyboard breakdown," she said.

Other works in the exhibit feature floral borders and focus on the mysteries or religious truths of Mary's life. For those, Schäpper said she utilized techniques from illuminated manuscripts from French monasteries.

The exhibit is free and open to the public. The Marian Library gallery is open 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. It is open evenings and weekends by calling 937-229-4214 to make arrangements.

The Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute at the University of Dayton holds world's largest and most comprehensive collection of printed materials on Mary and an extensive collection of non-print media including Nativity scenes, statues, postage stamps, audio and video recordings, Rosaries and artwork. The library and institute aims to further study and research and promote a well-founded devotion to Mary.

The University of Dayton is Ohio's largest private university and one of the top-10 Catholic universities in the U.S. Founded by the Society of Mary in 1850, UD emphasizes transformative education and prepares students for leadership and service in their communities in the Marianist tradition.

Sister M. Jean Frisk S.S.M. at 937-229-4254 or