Xavier’s art collection grows with pieces from “Multicultural Expressions of Faith”

By: Katherine Colborn

The Xavier Art Gallery greeted the new school year with music, culture and several new additions to Xavier’s own art collection through with “Multicultural Expressions of Faith.”

The show, opened with a reception on Aug. 23. The displayed collection includes 70 works of art in all mediums reflecting diverse expressions of faith, spirituality and devotion.

The exhibit is endowed by a grant from the Xavier University Women of Excellence (WOX) and was awarded to Xavier University Gallery Director Kitty Uetz, Department of Art Professor Suzanne Chouteau and Assistant to the President for Diversity and Equity Cheryl Nuñez.

The project’s funder, WOX Giving Circle, honors and advances the legacy of Xavier University and Edgecliff College alumnae through opportunities for women to grow as philanthropic leaders for the university.

Giving Circle grants are allocated on an annual basis to support projects proposed by Xavier faculty, staff and students.

The inspiration for the exhibition grew out of an effort begun by Kitty Uetz to document Xavier’s art collection, which currently reflects a generally Eurocentric point of view.

This spurred conversations among the department about the need for campus art that reflects both the diversity of the Xavier community and its missiondriven commitment to dialogical exchange across faiths and cultures.

“We are using 75 percent of the money from the grant to purchase 10 pieces from this show for Xavier’s art collection,”Uetz said. “It’s very exciting to make these new additions.”

The show was juried by a diverse panel of three judges outside of the Xavier community and includes work by artists from over 20 different U.S. states and Canada.The jurors selected 92 pieces from 176 submissions.

A few members of the Xavier community had works accepted in the collection, including Uetz, Chouteau, Maura Proulx Carpinello (wife of Greg Carpinello, director of the Center for Faith and Justice) and Xavier alumna Holly Schapker, known for her painted Ignatian series hanging in the Center of Mission and Identity. T

he theme of the show drew many people to the reception, including President Michael Graham, S.J., who presented awards of excellence to the winning artists.

“Ultimately, success will be measured by the wider realization that multiple visions and ideas are welcomed and revered at Xavier,” Chouteau said.

“It is our hope that the exhibition will raise awareness and set a precedent for a more strategic and inclusive approach to campus public art acquisition.

Art transforms space and transforms public awareness.” The show, “Art at the X National Juried Exhibition: Multicultural Expressions of Faith,” will remain in the gallery until Oct. 11.

The gallery is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m in the A. B. Cohen Center, Monday through Friday. A catalogue of the show is available upon request.