Thursday February 11, 2010

Postmodern Mary

A new Marian Library art exhibit of small-scale sculptures places Mary, the mother of Jesus, with scenes and objects from contemporary life.

The University of Dayton's Marian Library is featuring the work of Melanie Weaver, a California sculptor who creates small-scale works incorporating Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ, with scenes from modern life.

 "And Mary Alit in Postmodernity" is on display now through April 9 in the Marian Library Gallery on the seventh floor of the University of Dayton's Roesch Library. It's free and open to the public. Hours for the Marian Library are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday; Saturday and Sunday by appointment by calling 937-229-4214.

The mixed media sculptures, many no taller than 12-15 inches, include Mary with familiar objects from domestic life and childhood. Many of the works are available for purchase, priced under $100.

Weaver, associate professor at Azusa Pacific University, said she incorporates objects such as toy soldiers, dolls, plastic flowers, gardening tools, jewelry boxes and cake decorations to create works that evoke themes of childhood, war, domestic violence, trauma, healing, spirituality and blessing.

The current show emphasizes the overarching presence of Mary and her blessings of day-to-day activities and common objects, Weaver said.

"She brings peace to trauma, and meaning to mundane daily life. Her presence is a significant part of the transformation of both my life and my art," Weaver said.

The Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute is an international center of study and research on Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ. The academic program serves an international student population including laity, religious and clergy, and grants theological degrees in affiliation with the Pontifical Theological Faculty Marianum in Rome. The library holds the world's largest collection of printed materials on Mary as well as an extensive collection of artwork and Nativity scenes.

For more information on the Marian Library /International Marian Research Institute visit http://www.udayton.edu/mary.

Sister M. Jean Frisk, S.S.M., at 937-229-4254 or email friskjem@notes.udayton.edu