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    The Catherine Portrait    
The Catherine Portrait
Aga Sulek
Carissa Samaniego
Kathy Daniels
Kathy Harris
Pang Moua
Rowina Kollie
Sia Vang
Sister Margery Smith
Emily Deutsch
David Schmidt
Francesca Hoffman
Julie Nagan
Kay Tweeten

What does it mean to be an individual with specific characteristics and gifts, and yet to be immersed in a community that has common aspirations and values? Does the individual submerge her eccentricities and become an indistinguishable, albeit valued, thread in the fabric? Or should each person do her own thing, hoping that somehow she will weave into the pattern of the larger cloth? These questions of self and community are at the heart of The Catherine Portrait, forty portrait paintings of individuals associated with St. Catherine University, including women and men; students, faculty, staff, administrators, alumnae, members of the founding Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet; on campuses in St. Paul and Minneapolis; and depicting persons of differing races, ethnic backgrounds, ages, genders, abilities and status. My hope is to provide a representative visual archive of the University community at the beginning of the twenty-first century.

Throughout the history of Western art, portraits have been made to honor, if not glorify, the individual. Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa has prompted gallons of ink to be used in speculating on her character and reasons behind her curious smile. More grandiosely, Hyacinthe Rigaud’s 1701 painting of The Sun King, Louis XIV of France, is dripping with royal paraphernalia and symbolism. As portraiture moved into the twentieth century, it merged with celebrity culture in the silkscreen prints of Andy Warhol. The Catherine Portrait suggests the possibility that, at this time in history, a painter can present an individual in all her/his glory, yet also give this individual context and connection to a larger whole—beyond the anomie and alienation of previous decades.

I have been able to realize this painting project as the Sister Mona Riley Endowed Professor in the Humanities at St. Catherine University from 2008 – 2011. This position allows a faculty member teaching in the humanities time to work on a creative or scholarly project. This generous gift of time to work in my discipline, at a sustained and regular pace, has been nothing short of stupendous. The Catherine Portrait has required a deep investment of time and energy, and has permitted me to grow as an artist both technically and aesthetically. As a set of disciplines, the humanities study and reflect on the condition of being human, and my hope is that The Catherine Portrait demonstrates an aesthetic response to the human condition at our time in history and our place in the global community.

A catalog of the exhibition is available: contact Patricia Olson.

Alan J. Silva
Amy Hamlin

Anupama Pasricha
Ardus Morgan
Jack Flynn
Carol Lee Chase
Brianna Brady
Kate Furlong
Katherine Curtis

Todd Deutsch
Kimberlee Roth
Kelly Trisko
Shawn Field
Mary Delaware
Scott Sopiwnik Patricia Nanoff
Rafael CervantesChristina CampbellPamela FletcherRoxi SwansonRobert GrunstSuzanne ClarkeScott PakudaitisSwathi ReddyPatricia Olson Self-portrait
Cecilia Konchar-Farr Molly Davy

PortraitsThe Catherine PortraitThe Buoyant HeartLooking at ArtOperation Mopping Up