Exhibition Co-curated by Nick Maione
The Dedee Shattuck Gallery is pleased to present The Riches of Simplicity: Monastic Artists and Artisans. This group exhibition showcases the art and craftwork created by and in monastic communities of the Northeastern United States. Featuring work in many mediums, it ranges from textiles and candlestick holders to icons and beyond.
St. Benedict, the father of western monasticism, begins Chapter 57 of his Rule: "If there are artisans in the monastery, they are to practice their craft with all humility…". These artistic riches of a religious monastic tradition are placed within a contemporary gallery space as a way to witness a unique approach to creation, where the modes and motivations of making are often quite different from those of the contemporary artist, yet result in works that startle with their quality and beauty; that are worthy of the attention they claim—or don't claim—for themselves.
The four participating communities are the following: Mount Saviour Monastery in Elmira, NY; Weston Priory in Weston, VT; St. Joseph's Abbey in Spencer, MA, and the Abbey of Regina Laudis in Bethlehem, CT.
The exhibition is guest curated by Nick Maione. It will run October 31 - November 25 with an opening reception on Saturday, November 3, 5-7pm. The artist talk will be at 6pm. The reception is free and open to the public.
Please find a copy of Fr. Emmanuel Morinelli’s speech given at the opening here.
Sampl, with an ‘e’, is an Austrian name. I was born and raised near Hartford, Connecticut, and have lived my entire life in southern New England: Providence, Boston, Worcester, and now what Massachusetts calls ‘the South Coast.’ I hold BFA in graphic design from Rhode Island School of Design, and a MAE from UMass Dartmouth. I am certified to teach middle- and high-school level art and do so presently in a small, Catholic high school.
However, what interests most people about me is my twenty years as a Christian, Catholic monk. At age 26, I joined the Cistercian Order of the Strict Observance, commonly known as the Trappists. Briefly, it is a life of much prayer, reading, and silence in a high communal setting. As each monastic community must be self-supporting, I served in positions as disparate as healthcare administrator, vestment production coordinator, and catalogue designer. Yes, God exists.
Equally interesting, perhaps, was my three years working in typeface design. This was in the 1980s, at the very beginning of the digital revolution. The technology that enables me to see this font as I type was born then. It continues in today’s digital drawing tools, which I am just beginning to learn.