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Sparkill Dominican Exhibit
Maidens and Madonnas

OSSINING, NY, December 26, 2006-- Mariandale Retreat Center hosted an exhibit of the acrylic, oils and watercolors of Elizabeth Slenker, OP (Sparkill)Maidens and Madonnas:Biblical Figures Presented in Today's Life, features a series of paintings that depict biblical figures in modern multi-cultural people.The exhibit ran the month of December. The project is part of the Chapel Art Program.

Her thought about this exhibit:

"In preparing for this exhibition I thought it would be interesting to compile a series of paintings featuring people that I have met throughout my life from different cultural traditions. The present day figures I painted reminded me of women in Biblical history who were instrumental in the story of salvation. I then searched through the Scriptures for women who played important roles in this narration. I connected the words of Scripture with the various images from the present to relate the Biblical stories. For me, the Biblical narrations are as relevant today as during the times of the Jewish heritage of Jesus and early Christianity.

As a product of Western civilization and immersed in its recorded history, European tradition strongly influences how Biblical figures have been depicted since the Middle Ages. Many artistic representations come to us from artistic rendition strongly influenced by Caucasian European tradition. We sometimes miss the richness of how other cultures might depict the same story according to their traditions and customs.

Adele Myers,OP (Sparkill) and Elizabeth Slenker, OP at the Maidens and Madonnas exhibit. (photo: Catherine McKillop, OP)

I thought it might be interesting to examine how other cultures might present the Salvation story from their perspective. I took a leap of faith to step out of my tradition and depict my artistic representations as Mid-eastern, Mican, Indian, Native American and Asian. This exhibition is an attempt to 'Go out to the whole world and preach the good news' through painting."

Elizabeth Slenker, OP (Sparkill) spent thirty-five years teaching at all academic levels, and is now working full time in art ministry. She taught elementary school, high school art, and art at St. Thomas Aquinas College. She works in stained glass, computer design and watercolor. Among her achievements are tabernacles in wood and glass for St. Louis University and Mercy Center in St. Louis. She has also had a series of one-person art exhibitions at the University of Notre Dame, St. Thomas Aquinas College, Sparkill, NY, and various locations in St. Louis. Every year she enters five juried shows, and has placed best in \. show for her painting of the Market place in EI Salvador. She loves painting animals and has painted numerous family pets. She also does a variety of stained-glass stepping stones including flowers, animals, abstracts and personalized subjects.



Chapel Art Gallery at Mariandale

The Chapel Gallery at Mariandale Retreat Center is an art space which offers visitors an opportunity for contemplation through the arts. The works of local, national, and international artists provide the impetus for reflection and prayer. Most exhibits are topically related to religion and spirituality. The gallery is open daily to the public.

The Chapel Art Gallery is committed to promoting and fostering the arts, and educating the public to the spiritual nature and importance of artistic endeavors and works.

Lorraine Ferguson, OP (Hope) organized the exhibit.

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