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Arts and Culture

In the tradition of St. Dominic, Dominicans are always encouraged to use their gifts and talents for the glory of God. John Da Fiesole, artist and comtemplative whose preaching as a Dominican was art, received the name Fra Angelico for his exquisite paintings of angels.

The Dominican Sisters of Sparkill continue in that tradition encouraging many of their artistically talented women to preach through art.

I embrace the concept of art as gift - a gift that has the power to extend our minds and enrich our spirits. It counters the image of art as self-centered, "obsessed with its own reflection."

Each day in my studio begins with a prayer for the strength to avoid cowardly solutions, falsity, and insincerity in my work.

Adele Myers, O.P.

Sr. Adele starts her day
Sr. Adele starts her day
Adele Myers lives and maintains her studio at the Dominican Convent in Sparkill, New York.

As a fulltime professional artist she creates relief and freestanding sculpture combining cement and fresco. Over the past several decades her works, exhibited steadily throughout the tristate area, have enjoyed wide critical acclaim.

A native of New York, Sister Adele received her undergraduate degree from Fordham University. Awarded a fellowship to study in Florence, Italy, she earned a graduate degree in the fine arts from Villa Schifanoia, a school for music and art.

Mosaic at Thorpe Village
Thorpe Village mosaic with detail
In addition to cement and fresco, Sister Adele works in other mediums. She has designed stained glass windows and recently she received a decentralization grant from the New York State Council on the Arts to create a large outdoor sidewalk mosaic at Thorpe Village, a housing community for the elderly.

Sister Adele speaks:
I painted my first fresco in the early sixties during my year of study in Italy. At that time, however, I was more interested in looking at frescoes than in painting them. I particularly liked frescoes that were partially removed - remnants revealing their supporting walls - some of which had wonderful textures, while others had traces of the original drawing still visible. In 1987 I decided to give this medium another try. It seemed more in tune with the cement than the oils I had been using.

The Chinese believe that stones are microcosms in which process and permanence are equally present. To me, stone is durable, everlasting. It has a spirit. When I pick up a stone, it speaks to me, simply and clearly. It invites contemplation. Where did it come from? What is it? How long has it existed? Cement has all these qualities, plus the added weight of human history. It is rooted in time. It is a human invention. Like stone, it possesses durability and history.

SONGS OF A SAINT
SONGS OF A SAINT
Each segment 9" x 9" x 3"
Cement/fresco

As I look back on the Italian frescoes, I realize that both the paintings and the supporting walls were equally beautiful to me. Perhaps this has influenced my current work in which the earthy, tactile, textural mortar is just as important to me as the cool white smoothness of the lime mixture that it supports. Frequently, it is more important, as in SONGS OF A SAINT.

View Sr. Adele's work...

 

 

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