St. Louis artists interpret Laudato Si

St. Louis artists interpret Laudato Si at an art exhibit that is on display at Good Shepherd Gallery in Ferguson, Missouri. Laudato Si (Medieval Central Italian for Praise Be to You) is the second encyclical of Pope Francis. It has the subtitle On Care For Our Common Home. In it, the Pope critiques consumerism and irresponsible development, laments environmental degradation and global warming, and calls all people of the world to take “swift and unified global action.” 

Creation mirrors God’s goodness and beauty

St. Louis artists
Featured artists from left: Corlita Bonnarens, RSM; Fr. Thomas Wyrsch; Glynis McManamon, RGS; Mary Beth Kemper, CPPS; Maria Liebeck, DC; Ann Francis Monedero, OSF, and Josephine Niemann, SSND. Regina Shin, RSCJ, was unable to attend the event.

The collection of art in the Laudato Si exhibit includes oils, watercolors, sculptures and other mediums. The featured artists are seven Catholic Sisters and one diocesan priest. They flesh out each piece of their artwork with an accompanying quote from Laudato Si. The quotes were either selected by the artist or by Sharon O’Grady, A Good Shepherd Sister who said she has been transformed by the encyclical.

“After studying Laudato Si, I now see Creation as the mirror of God’s goodness and beauty,” Sr. Sharon said.

The art exhibit is designed to give viewers a sequential approach to Laudato Si. The show begins with artwork depicting the beauty of Creation. Progressing through the exhibit we witness, through the artists’ eyes, our abuse of Creation, followed by the encyclical’s call for us to be stewards of Creation.

St. Louis artists
Good Shepherd Contemplative Sister Josephine Fritz studies the work of Fr. Thomas Wyrsch, a featured artist in the exhibit.
St. Louis artists
Paintings at the Laudato Si art exhibit catch the eye of an arts appreciator at the artist reception.

The show ends with artwork and quotes from Laudato Si that portray our interdependence and connectivity with nature and one another. The exhibit inspires people to reflect on a larger worldview about our actions and attitudes toward the home we hold in common. 

Sister Glynis McManamon, founder of Shepherding Images Studio & Good Shepherd Gallery, is one of the featured artists. She said the art exhibit supports her ministry of doing art in service of the Gospel.

“In the case of Laudato Si, while there is a hard message to take in – our neglect and destruction of our common home – there is also the Good News. We are called upon to be, and are capable of being, stewards of Creation. This is a restoration of God’s original vision of the world: a garden where human beings and nature can live in harmony and create something beautiful together,” Sr. Glynis said.

Sr. Glynis hosted an artist reception at the Good Shepherd Gallery at the art opening on May 22, 2016. The reception and opening drew a steady stream of guests who marveled at the spiritual depth the exhibit conveys.

Good Shepherd Sister Dorothy Renckens said the show is awesome! “This is a truly fitting tribute to God’s Creation. Thanks to all who prepared this wonderful show!”

St. Louis artists on exhibit through June 26

St. Louis artists
Sisters Sharon O’Grady (seated) and Glynis McManamon organized the Laudato Si art exhibit. Sr. Glynis founded Shepherding Images Studio & Good Shepherd Gallery.

Sisters Glynis McManamon and Sharon O’Grady planned and coordinated the exhibit. They worked with eight St. Louis artists to produce the show. The St. Louis artists whose art is featured in the exhibit are Corlita Bonnarens, RSM; Fr. Thomas Wyrsch; Glynis McManamon, RGS; Mary Beth Kemper, CPPS; Maria Liebeck, DC; Ann Francis Monedero, OSF, and Josephine Niemann, SSND. Regina Shin, RSCJ,

The works on display commemorate the one-year anniversary of Laudato Si and will remain on exhibit at Good Shepherd Gallery through June 26. Shepherding Images Studio & Good Shepherd Gallery is located at 252 S. Florissant Road in Ferguson, Missouri. 

For information about the exhibit or other events at Good Shepherd Gallery call 314-522-1155 or contact [email protected] Learn more about Shepherding Images Studio & Good Shepherd Gallery at www.shepherdingimages.com.

St. Louis artists
A painting is marked “Sold” at the art opening of the Laudato Si exhibit on May 22.

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Jeanette McDermott

Jeanette McDermott

Jeanette is the Communications Coordinator for Sisters of the Good Shepherd Province of Mid-North America. She is a career photojournalist who has served in various capacities of print, broadcast, and corporate communications. Jeanette is devoted to creation and is particularly focused on saving pollinators and other wildlife species and their habitat. She is an ethical vegan and created the website veganstoryteller.com