Friday September 3, 2010

Seething and Soothing

The Marian Library's fall exhibit features Dayton artist MB Hopkins, whose work explores social injustice, suffering and the saving power of faith.

A powerful art exhibit exploring social injustice and suffering, featuring works by Dayton-area artist MB Hopkins, will be on display in the University of Dayton's Marian Library through Nov. 12.

The paintings of Hopkins, an illustrator and designer for the Dayton Daily News, examine suffering caused by social injustice contrasted with the saving power of God as witnessed by Mary, the mother of Jesus.

"Seething and Soothing: The Madonna Between Hope and Havoc," will be on display Sept. 7 through Nov. 12, in the Marian Library 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.

A reception for the artist is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 7, in the Marian Library, and will feature live music and a discussion of the exhibit by the Rev. Johann Roten, S.M., director of research and special projects for the Marian Library.

Hopkins' work explores "the overwhelming experience of human misery, as well as the joy of mastering human life and finding victory in love with Mary and with God," said Sister M. Jean Frisk ,S.S.M., assistant for the arts for the Marian Library.  

Hopkins said inspiration for many of her pieces rose from news stories of human tragedy and suffering. The 2005 story of 11 handicapped children in northern Ohio who were forced to sleep in cages was one of many such stories that influenced her work.

"As a visual artist and human rights advocate, I felt compelled to call attention to this appalling local story and to use my artwork to bring the subject to a wide audience," Hopkins said. "As I grappled with how to visually represent this horrific story, it occurred to me: What better image to describe what was lacking here ¿ nurture and compassion and the need for prayer ¿ than the immediately recognizable global icon of the Mother and Child?" 

Some of the works on display will be available for purchase.

The Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute is an international center of study and research on Mary. 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 interviews, contact Sister M. Jean Frisk, S.S.M., assistant director of art and special projects, at 937-229-4254 or friskjem@notes.udayton.edu.