Haggerty Gallery opens new show

Viewers admire the illuminated Bible at the opening reception for the Beatrice M. Haggerty Gallery's "Modern Sacred." Photo by Kaity Chaikowsky.

The “Modern Sacred” exhibit consists of colorful pieces from the St. John’s Bible that capture the audience, leaving them appreciating the bright images while more fully understanding the depth of these Biblical stories.

The Modern Scared exhibition reception took place on Sept. 1 in the Haggerty Art Village.

The St. John’s Bible project began as a way to celebrate the millennium and make a bible of our times.

Many students said that they were not expecting such an abundance of color within the selection of paintings.

Freshman Vince Roberts, who attended the reception, shared some of his thoughts regarding the exhibit.  

“I was expecting some small religious-styled artifacts,” Roberts said. “Art, in its essence, is a reflection of nature, and God created nature and is in that beauty. And that’s why I’m here, because I appreciate artwork.”

Christina Haley, the exhibition curator, explained that the colors were carefully chosen, with purple representing royalty, blue representing the Virgin Mary, and gold representing the divine.

“You can break down the colors to lots of specific meanings,” Haley said. “This artistic choice, you can see, is how they represent the sacred.”

Senior art major Mary Kate Elfelt said she hopes to see more students visit the exhibit, saying she would like to “drag them here” so they may experience the artwork firsthand.

“We don’t have too many students come in comparison to adults, faculty and outside guests,” Elfelt said. “So as an art major I think it’s really important to encourage people to open their eyes to enjoy new types of art. Especially here at UD, most students only like classical art, in other words traditional art, and that’s not the only art worth seeing.”

This exhibit is a great place to relax after many hours of studying — a place where you may feel comfortable and inspired by the art.

“I feel a sense of calm,” Elfelt said. “Each individual piece has a lot of colors and textures and different techniques that keep your interest … and you feel at peace when you’re in the room.”  

In addition to the St. John’s Bible, there is also a permanent collection that shows the history of the Cistercians. The works range in time from the ’50s to this past year.

The permanent collection features pieces by several faculty members, including Lloyd Novinski and Fr. Ignatius Peacher.

Peacher painted several of the pieces within the exhibit, one of them entitled “Descent from the cross after Roger Van der Weydon.”

“I’m not going for the realism,” Peacher said. “I think the drawing is strong. I took risks … just tried something new, and sometimes you get it and sometimes you don’t.”

Peacher said that art can assist one’s prayer life, which was an inspiring factor that went into his painting.

“One reason I made it small … was because I thought of it as a devotional piece that someone would have in their bedroom and pray with it, that it would evoke compassion,” Peacher said.  

Fortunately for students, this beautiful exhibit is available until Sept. 30.

“You gotta come and check out the illuminated Bible,”  Roberts said.


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