THE OPENING OF SISTER MARY JANE ROBERTSHAW'S ART SHOW AT THE COLLEGE OF NEW ROCHELLE 2016
For the 65th anniversary of Sister Mary Jane Robertshaw's graduation from CNR, a retrospective of her art was enthusiastically and lovingly celebrated by family and friends in the art building gallery. As Jennifer (helped me drive there) and I entered the space, an interview was in progress. Sister was explaining the history of the wooden and bronze versions/sizes of her Angela Merici statue and indicated that there are two more of them in the Philippines as well as a few in the US. She then gave a mini seminar on the construction of her enamel Christ. I leaned back into past-time and had memories of her teachings and brilliance and humor as she explained how she attached the copper to the wood, "So it wouldn't look sloppy!" We all laughed as she said that.... remembering that voice and her compassionate and fun way of indicating, do your best and make it fabulous. Remember those days, that marvelous mentoring? Yes, we do remember! And I read our collected stories in the "memory " book displayed at her opening. The curators of the show collected them from past students and they told of ways in which Sister effected and sometimes literally saved our lives via art; and they told of the compassionate permission she gave us to create beauty and truth.
The room was aesthetically elegant, that's the only way I can describe her almost diaphanous/dignified cloth tapestries in light blue. And then there was the surprise and shock of bright red: the Christ enamel and the brilliant, warm colored Angel yarn hanging, all testaments to Mary Jane's versatility and personality. And then the metal bas-reliefs....more indications and self-portraits of her: our gentle, totally ecstatically colorful and intensely strong TEACHER/ARTIST/FRIEND.
Following her to the car, a groupie wanting even more blessings as if I had not received enough all these years, she looked at me and said, "Even my family came!" And then she smiled.
I'm still high. Linda Mary Montano