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Stained glass from UD chapel used as art in new exhibit

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A piece from the "Living Glass" exhibit is show next to an image of the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception. (Artwork courtesy of UD, chapel photo by John Stegeman)
A piece from the “Living Glass” exhibit is show next to an image of the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception. The glass for much of the new exhibit came from windows removed from the historic chapel. The artwork is titled, Cube. It was created by Yiqiong He.  (Artwork courtesy of UD, chapel photo by John Stegeman)

University of Dayton students and faculty transformed reclaimed stained glass windows from the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception into new works of art that communicate what the University’s Marianist identity and community mean to them.

Living Glass: Sustaining Memory Through Light runs Feb. 29 to March 17 in Gallery 249 on the second floor of Fitz Hall. It is free and open to the public.

Co-curator Darden Bradshaw, assistant professor of art education, said the exhibit celebrates the history of stained glass and the power of light.

“The windows are more than material,” she said. “The glass embodies a visual connection to Christianity as a whole, and to the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception specifically. It does this in part because stained glass was never simply a device to allow an infusion of light. It was a means to educate churchgoers through visual depictions of the stories of Christianity and served as a visual means of drawing them closer to God.”

The pieces on exhibit were created by students during a fall semester class using different techniques, including cut and fused glass. Photographic prints, an interactive light projection and an original window will also be on display.

Sophomore Bridget McCafferty, an art education major from Chicago, said she wanted to take the class because she liked the idea of using another artist’s work to create her own. She made a sculpture containing black flowers out of black glass and embellished with gold leaf.

“Even though the original artist of the chapel windows didn’t create the pieces, he still had a part in what was ultimately made,” she said. “I also really loved the opportunity to connect to the University’s history through creating art.”

The exhibit’s opening reception will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, March 3, with an artist talk at 6 p.m. Parking passes will be available from a greeter at the Fitz Hall main entrance.

An “ask the artist” discussion about the challenge of translating ideas through the medium of glass will take place from 12:30 to 1:15 p.m. Thursday, March 10.

Gallery 249 is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursdays, and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Fridays. Parking passes are available at the visitor center on University Circle.

The exhibition will continue in the University of Dayton’s Roesch Library first floor gallery from April 3 to July 20. The opening reception will be held from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. April 7, with a conversation on collaboration among the Rev. James Fitz, S.M., vice president for mission and rector; Sandra Yocum, associate professor of religious studies; Bradshaw; and co-curator Geno Luketic, fine arts studio coordinator.

Following the exhibits, the pieces will be available to departments and units on campus for permanent display.

Press release submitted by University of Dayton

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