GCU Exhibit Reflects “Contemporary Encounter with the Icon’s Invitation”
Lakewood, N.J., Oct. 28, 2010—For most people, the sight of an oil-soaked pelican struggling to flap its wings is enough to evoke anger or deep sadness, but for Mary-Paula Cancienne, R.S.M., Ph.D., the image is more than that. It also provides an opportunity for people to think deeply about their relationship to the natural world.
The distressed bird, photographed by Dr. Cancienne during a trip to her native southern Louisiana, is the subject of “Whose Earth,” one of about 40 mixed media pieces in her new exhibit, “Contemporary Encounter with the Icon’s Invitation.” The show, which runs November 1–22 in the M. Christina Geis Gallery at Georgian Court University, includes many of Dr. Cancienne’s works that date back more than a decade.
“I’ve painted all my life, and although I started doing icons around 1999, I’ve gone from creating more traditional icons to creating those that are more contemporary,” says Dr. Cancienne, a GCU assistant professor of religious studies and theology. She recently explored similar issues in “The Oil Spill: What We Will Remember,” a feature article published in the September/October edition of Viva Mercy magazine.
Two of her paintings—one reminiscent of a Madonna-like Mother Earth shedding tears and the other a representation of smoke billowing from the Twin Towers on September 11—are especially thought-provoking.
Overall, says Dr. Cancienne, the pieces are an “invitation to engage the holy.”
“This collection asks ‘Where and how does God invite us to contemplate the non-human natural world?’”
Dr. Cancienne will discuss the show in-depth during a special lecture on Tuesday, November 9, at 5:00 p.m. in the Little Theatre at GCU. A reception and tour of the exhibit will follow.
The M. Christina Geis Art Gallery spotlights works of established and up-and-coming artists in diverse media. The gallery is located on the second floor of the Arts and Science Center on Georgian Court’s Lakewood campus. Gallery hours are Monday through Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. For more information, call Kathleen Settles at 732.987.2388.
Founded in 1908 and sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, Georgian Court University is a comprehensive university with a strong liberal arts core and a special concern for women. A forward-thinking university that supports diversity and academic excellence, Georgian Court serves nearly 3,000 students of all faiths and backgrounds in a residential Women's College and a coeducational University College with undergraduate and graduate programs. Georgian Court's main campus is located at 900 Lakewood Avenue, Lakewood, N.J., on the picturesque former George Jay Gould estate, now named a National Historic Landmark. Georgian Court also offers classes at its site at One Woodbridge Center in Woodbridge, at Coastal Communiversity in Wall, and at Cumberland County College in Vineland.
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