July 2, 2018, Adrian, Michigan – The work of two distinctive Adrian Dominican artists – Sister Aneesah McNamee, OP, and Sister Alyce Van Acker, OP,– will be showcased in an exhibit, “Soliloquies: Two Voices,” beginning Saturday, July 14, 2018. The exhibit at INAI Gallery runs through Sunday, October 28, 2018, with an artists’ reception from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Saturday, September 8, 2018.
Sister Aneesah, a freelance graphic designer, traces her longtime interest in art to her early habit of drawing on the walls of her childhood homes. A calligrapher as well as a graphic designer, she counts among her most significant works the design of the book Drawn by Love: A History of the Dominican Sisters of Iraq. In her current work, Sister Aneesah continues to use images and words to convey clients’ messages. “I turn those words, images, and ideas into beautifully created pages that tell a story,” she said.
Sister Aneesah holds a Master’s of Fine Arts Degree in Graphic Design from the Savannah College of Art and Design, Savannah, Georgia.
As a math and science teacher, Sister Alyce never lost her earliest interest in art. She nurtured it during art classes and workshops she attended after teaching and on the weekends. She even transformed her father’s garage into an art studio. Sister Alyce and her sister opened an art gallery in Geneva, Illinois, to showcase their own artwork and that of other artists. Later, she joined Fine Line Creative Arts Center in St. Charles, Illinois, where she has taught art and has exhibited artwork for years.
“Color captivates me,” Sister Alyce said. “I’m continually learning more about it because each painting is a journey, an inspiration.”
Sister Alyce earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts from Siena Heights University in Adrian and a Master of Arts Degree in Painting from Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Illinois.
INAI Gallery is adjacent to Weber Retreat and Conference Center, on the campus of the Adrian Dominican Sisters’ Motherhouse, 1257 E. Siena Heights Drive, Adrian. Enter the Eastern-most driveway of the complex and follow the signs to Weber Center.
INAI Gallery is open daily from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Thursdays.
For information, call Weber Center at 517-266-4000.
Feature photo: Sister Alyce, left, and Sister Aneesah, right
By Sister Mary Soher, OP
July 21, 2016, Adrian, Michigan – “The Dominican story is only kept alive by live Dominicans.” These words by Dominican scholar Edward Schillebeeckx, OP, could be heard echoing from Adrian, Michigan, the gathering site of the 18th Annual Dominican High Schools Preaching Conference. Students from 23 high schools – including two from Australia – gathered at Siena Heights University June 24-29, 2016, to discover and deepen the preacher within.
Using the 800th Jubilee Celebration of the Order as a theme, conference attendees met Saints Dominic, Catherine of Siena (Sister Nancy Murray, OP), Martin de Porres, and Rose de Lima (Sister Xiomara Méndez-Hernández, OP); learned about the interfaith mission of the Order; and connected with Dominican family members, including Associates, Laity, Volunteers, and Young Adults, in addition to the Sisters and the friars.
As proof of the intercultural nature of the gathering, a rosary procession was prayed in five languages – German, Spanish, Vietnamese, Polish, and Arabic – with a rosary shared by the nuns of Mary the Queen Monastery in Fatima.
Students learned about the signs of the times by studying such social justice issues as human trafficking, domestic violence, and becoming aware of the need for respect for elders and hearing an update on the United Nations’ Agenda 2030. The students also lived out what they heard through a special service day that led to encounters with children, seniors, people suffering from economic poverty, and those regaining their homes. They also had the opportunity to improve the local land through permaculture techniques.
During the conference, Dominican Sisters of Adrian prayed for specific students and met with them during a special ice cream social before the students hit the dance floor. Adrian Dominican Sisters also helped the students in their final day of the conference. Among the presenters teaching the students to pray through the arts were Sister Nancy Murray, OP, Moving in the Spirit; Sister Lorraine Réaume, OP, liturgical reaching; Sister Sue Schreiber, OP, water colors; Sister Maria Browne, OP, Morovian stars; Sister Aneesah McNamee, OP, origami peace cranes; and Sister Luchy Sori, OP, liturgical movements.
And what is Jubilee without a cake? The final night of the conference concluded with a banquet, complete with a cake fit for an 800-year celebration. “The Dominican tradition is something that should be celebrated,” one student commented. “To survive 800 years in a society where most things can’t even last 10 days is worth appreciating!”
The following morning, at the commissioning ceremony that took place during liturgy with the Adrian Dominican Sisters, the high school groups shared how they plan to continue to live the Dominican charism within their school communities in the coming academic year.
“Before this conference, I knew I was a preacher, but I didn’t know how to be a preacher,” said Emma Bonnet of Mount St. Dominic Academy, Caldwell, New Jersey.
“This conference was not only faith-furthering but also life-changing,” proclaimed Kate Gartrell, of St. Agnes Academy, Houston, Texas. “I now know in my heart what it means to be Dominican.”
Songiemar Garcia Curbelo, from Colegio San Antonio, Isabela, Puerto Rico, stated, “It’s a spiritual awakening, when you least expect it!”
The Dominican High Schools Preaching Conference is a program of the newly formed Dominican Youth Movement USA, the umbrella organization that connects today’s youth and young adults to the Dominican tradition of preaching and the participant’s own call to preach.
A big thank you to all the communities of Sisters and Friars who collaborated for another incredible week of sharing our charism with these young adults.