Wednesday January 26, 2011

In Chaminade's Spirit

An art exhibit at Roesch Library through February celebrates the positive, upbeat message of the founder of the Society of Mary.

Marianist artists will celebrate the legacy of founder Blessed William Joseph Chaminade with a February exhibit of paintings, photographs and other artwork.

"A Chaminade Tribute" runs Saturday, Feb. 5, through Sunday, March 6, in the first floor gallery of the University of Dayton's Roesch Library. Hours are Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday noon to 5 p.m. It's free and open to the public.

The show highlights Chaminade's emphasis on possibility and his positive outlook through the work of Marianist priests and brothers in a wide variety of media, said Brother A. Joseph Barrish, S.M., exhibit coordinator.

"The artists celebrate Chaminade's positive vision and enthusiasm about the world, expressing that vision with bright colors and very accessible images," Barrish said.

Chaminade, a French Roman Catholic priest, survived the French Revolution and started the Society of Mary, also called the Marianists, in 1817. The Society of Mary founded the University of Dayton in 1850.

Barrish said the exhibit includes some religious images; many artworks as well focus on the beauty and spirituality to be found in nature. Media include photography, painting, ceramics and sculpture, among others. Most of the works are for sale.

Many of the artists have taught at the University of Dayton and other area schools and are part of the community of Marianist artists at the Gallery St. John at the Society of Mary's Bergamo Center in Beavercreek, Ohio, where Barrish is gallery manager.

In spite of the anger and incivility in much of modern life, the exhibit offers a way forward in the spirit of Chaminade, Barrish said.

"Chaminade's message was 'Don't give up, find new ways, with the help of the Virgin Mary we can succeed,'" Barrish said. "Marianists have been taught to appreciate their gifts and find creative ways to share them.'"