Wall of Crosses

“Objects of Devotion” Art Exhibit and Lecture Held At Briar Cliff

November 1, 2021

The art exhibition “Objects of Devotion: Beauty, Prayer and Spiritual Memory” will be on display through December 3 at the Clausen Art Gallery in the Stark Student Center on Briar Cliff’s campus.

“Object of Devotion: Beauty, Prayer and Spiritual Memory” features over 150 religious objects that are used for private devotion in homes throughout northwest Iowa. The objects on display were created by both well-known and anonymous artists from more than 20 countries and crafted from a variety of materials including bronze, tin, glass, clay, semi-precious stones, wood, and straw.

The intent of the exhibition is to explore the Catholic tradition of using small devotional objects to enhance private prayer and memory to keep alive the spiritual experience of pilgrimages and loving friendships.

Father Brian Hughes will present a lecture at 3 p.m. on November 7 in the St. Francis Center and discuss the connection between domestic religious art and the power of spiritual memory.

Native of Emmetsburg, Iowa, Fr. Hughes attended Loras College and St. Meinrad Seminary in Indiana. He has a graduate degree in Architectural History from the School of Architecture at the University of Virginia. A priest of the Diocese of Sioux City, he has served as a teacher and pastor, Director of Seminarians and Vocations, and as campus minister and chaplain at Briar Cliff University.

“When we travel to religious sites, we often select small objects for our homes that stimulate the recollection of our spiritual encounters. When we inherit objects of beauty from friends or relatives, we use them to recall the delicate nature of loving relationships,” says Fr. Hughes. “This exhibit explores the intersection of beautiful religious objects and the power of rich spiritual memories.”

This exhibit and lecture are a part of the Sr. Jordan Dahm Endowed Exhibition of the Visual Arts. Support also comes from the Marilyn and Russell Christiansen Charitable Endowment Fund of the Siouxland Community Foundation and the Sioux City Art Center.

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