By Elizabeth Michael Boyle, OP
Representatives from 12 states, Great Britain, and the Dominican Republic assembled July 31–Aug. 3 on the campus of Ohio Dominican University, Columbus, Ohio, for the 17th Annual Gathering of the Dominican Institute for the Arts (DIA), an organization dedicated to promoting the preaching mission of the Dominican Order through the medium of the arts.
“Art from the Heart,” the theme of this year’s conference, was articulated, demonstrated, and embodied by Queen Brooks and Aminah Robinson, two African-American artists from Columbus, in exhibits by member artists, and by the choir of St. Thomas the Apostle Church. Both Ms. Brooks and Ms. Robinson extended their engagement with the group in private gallery showings, interviews, and participatory activities.
Outgoing DIA president Mary Fran Gorman, OP (Springfield) announced the 2013 winner of the Fra Angelico Award, Barbara Schwarz, OP (Amityville). The Fra Angelico Award, named in honor of the most famous artist of the Dominican Order, is awarded annually to a DIA artist whose artwork exemplifies Fra Angelico’s dedication to preaching the gospel through the arts. Sister Barbara is an artist in a wide range of mediums from acrylics, wood carving, mandalas, photography, graphics and video especially regarding the Dominican charism. She has been prominent in her work with the National Dominican High School and College Preaching Conferences, and most recently her series of abstract paintings inspired by Hurricane Sandy and other current events.
The board also recognized three other artists for their service to the organization with the “Spirit of DIA” award: Sisters Colleen Gallagher, OP and Toma Swanson, OP (Peace), and Sister Janet Wright, OP (Adrian).
The gathering concluded with the affirmation of the new executive board: Barbara Schwarz, OP, president; Pat Daly, OPA (Peace), vice president; Mary Pat Reid, OP (Caldwell), secretary; Jeanne Stickling, OP (Adrian), treasurer; Elaine Taylor, OP (Sinsinawa); Gail Bogdanowitz, OP (Racine); Fr. Rudolph Lowenstein, OP (English Province).