Art at The Canticle
Since its opening, The Canticle has attracted gifts that have permitted the commissioning of new art to grace its rooms. The blessing of these gifts is ongoing and often unexpected. Artists help us define who we are and where we are going.
Simplicity. Balance. Gratitude. Hospitality. Oneness with God and all creation. Right relationships. These are some of the enduring truths of who we are. These are the truths embodied in the art commissioned for our home.
We invite you to enjoy the beauty of The Canticle collection:
Holy Water Font
by Jerzy Kenar
The red mahogany holy water font carved by Polish sculptor Jerzy Kenar stands in the gathering space outside The Canticle chapel. Commissioned in 1987, it embodies "The Canticle of Creation," the "peaceable kingdom," and the ideal of right relationships within the Circle of Gift.
by Linda Willaredt
The stained-glass rose window is situated in the wall high above the altar in The Canticle chapel. The window was designed and constructed by Linda Willaredt in partnership with woodworker Bob O'Hare, who also collaborated in the painting and installation of the window.
Willaredt remarked, “The imagery in The Canticle's rose window is taken from St. Francis' The Canticle of the Creatures. The sun, moon, and stars, the arch of sky; water, rain, wind, and cloud; fire, smoke, energy, and transformation; flowers, fruit, trees, the nest of life, and nurtured growth - these are the elements that are harvested from the creation canticle and represented visually in the window. These comprise the traditional four elements of creation: earth, air, fire, water."
Tree of Life Windows & Doors
by Linda Willaredt
The stained-glass doors and windows as you enter The Canticle chapel were designed and constructed by Linda Willaredt in partnership with woodworker Bob O'Hare, who also collaborated in the painting and installation.
Willaredt expressed about the Tree of Life and matching rose window, "In the way that our earth environment is a symbiotic, interactive, interdependent system, so too are these images. On one level, many of the elements in the window represent traditional religious iconography. For example, the rainbow symbolizes resurrection and eternal life, and water is a symbol for baptism. On another level, all of the images represented in the window represent one concept, our environmental system, our world, God's gift to all of us. In other words, while the window is composed of multiple symbols, it also represents one inclusive idea or image."
Praise God for Family & Friends
by Linda Willaredt
Artist Linda Willaredt designed the Praise God for Family & Friends mosaic mural located in the gathering space outside the dining room of The Canticle. The mosaic mural honors all of the persons whose efforts and contributions made the construction of The Canticle possible. The seeds and seed pods commemorate the flow of love and generosity from the larger community. The names of contributors are incorporated into the design and pattern of the mural just as they are and have been a part of the growth and development of love and community. The flowering of the seeds continues at the top edge of the mural to represent the infinite growth of this love.
by Larraine Anne Lauter, OSU
This fabric/mixed media on denim painted, fused, and sewn by artist Larraine Anne Lauter, OSU, of Singing Moon Studio, Owensboro, KY, depicts Mount Olivet in Gethsemani, KY, the first home of the Sisters of St. Francis. The convent-school was built by the Trappist monks of Gethsemani in repayment to their neighbors for helping them build their abbey and church.
Lauter stated, "I have pictured Mount Olivet in an idealized state, as it might have appeared in the dreams of one of those who left it behind; as a lush, sacred garden, a peaceable kingdom, a locus for the reign of God. Its inhabitants have created a circle of protection and care for those they serve and for one another, within the circle of the hills and fields of their land. It is an insubstantial vision, for the Spirit blows in the spring winds and leaves the insecure and unsettled in spite of their dream. They will be called away, through trial and storm, to a new land and a new life. The window depicts the Kentucky knobs region in April, a month when the knobs are painted with redbud and dogwood. April is the tornado month – often high and gusty winds will signal an approaching change of threatening weather. The landscape is an actual portrayal of the view from the hill on which Mount Olivet was built. The viewer looks on the scene from the unique perspective of the dreamer – as if able to fly with the birds. Gethsemani lies just out of sight and over the hills to the viewer's left."
Come Wind and Fire
by Larraine Anne Lauter, OSU
Come Wind and Fire is a fabric wall hanging designed by Larraine Anne Lauter, OSU, of Singing Moon Studio in Owensboro, Kentucky. Depicting the feminine Holy Spirit, this 4' x 12' tapestry hangs above the gathering space outside The Canticle chapel. It was unveiled in the summer of 1998.
Lauter expressed, "The art I create for liturgy is designed to interweave with our prayer a celebration of the beauty all around us, a deepening communion with the Creator, and the family of all that is created."
Fires of God
by William HannanA cruciform reminiscent of the crucifixes of Cimabue, a contemporary of Giotta whose works adorn the Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi, now hangs in the gathering space outside The Canticle chapel.
Artist William Hannan of Moline, IL, was asked to produce a contemporary work reflecting Franciscan spirituality. He chose the symbol of fire and the cruciform shape and muted colors to achieve that goal. "The muted colors are in homage to Tuscany, the area of Italy in which Assisi lies," said Hannan, who has studied the artists of the period and locale for many years and incorporated that research in other projects, including a series of stained-glass windows for a church in Davenport, IA.
"Nothing could be more symbolic of Francis, bearer of the stigmata, than the cross," he continued. "Therefore, the total work is the cross."
The central panel, the vertical of the cross, represents the burning bush. "The first time God was present to human beings and talked directly to them was in the form of fire," said Hannan, recalling the Old testament story.
The left panel represents the appearance of God, again as fire, at Pentecost.
The right panel, the blazing loaf, recalls the story of Francis and Clare's final meeting. It was reported by observers that when the Saints talked in the woods below Assisi, the fervor of their discussion about the love of God caused the whole neighborhood to appear to be aflame.
"The entirety of the work takes on that one sign of the presence of God as fire," said Hannan. "Fire is prominent in the Old and New Testaments as a sign of the cleansing and healing power of God," he said. "Today we perpetuate that symbol in our sanctuary lamps and paschal candles."
The three paintings are of polymer acrylic on birch-faced plywood, "a smooth and receptive" surface, Hannan explained, and were commissioned in memory of Lawrence and Helen Schneider.
by Charles Fach
A bronze-cast sculpture of St. Francis and St. Clare helping a leper by artist Charles Fach of Galena, IL, was gifted to the Sisters of St. Francis in 2005. While many people know St. Francis of Assisi for his love of creation, not as many know of his dedication to the poor. He and his followers, or “brothers,” went into leper colonies to care for people. St. Clare of Assisi and her followers, or “sisters,” also helped the poor and the lepers.