Sunday, September 17, 2017
My favorite things 38
In 2013 I had a solo show at the beautiful art gallery at St. Meinrad Archabbey and Seminary, a monastic institution in St. Meinrad IN, an hour or so west of us. It was founded in the 1850s by Benedictine monks sent from Switzerland to the frontier; their presence generated a large and thriving Catholic community that still exists in southern Indiana.
My husband and I drove over to deliver the quilts, and as we went through the closed gallery we saw that the artwork from the previous show was still there, leaning against walls and stacked near the door. It was sculpture by Brother Martin Erspamer, a monk at St. Meinrad with an MFA who paints, designs worship spaces, and makes furniture, ceramics and stained glass.
Ken fell in love with a ceramic Jesus and we bought Him and took Him home with us. It's a ceramic bas relief, about an inch thick and amazingly heavy. After we got it home I went to hang it on the wall and realized to my dismay that there was no hanging apparatus -- no holes so you could slot the piece over nails in the wall, no wire loop embedded in the clay. Hmmmm.
Jesus leaned against the wall in Ken's office for several months until my wonderfully practical son figured out how to put Him securely on the wall. The solution was two wooden railings, long enough to be screwed into the studs, rabbeted to make lips that keep the ceramic slab from coming loose.
I particularly love this piece of art because it was Ken's choice. For 47 years he has been graciously welcoming art of my choice into our home, with only a few pointed comments about how so few of my paintings have any people in them. (Yes, I'm a landscape junkie....) This time he got what he wanted.