Fairfield University's Bellarmine Museum of Art collaborates with Bridgeport's Diocesan teachers to expose students to Celtic art



Image: ChaliceIn anticipation of the Bellarmine Museum of Art's upcoming exhibition, "Kells to Clonmacnoise: Medieval Irish Art in Context" (April 18-May 23, 2011), the museum will host a workshop on March 24 that will bring together Diocesan teachers from grades 3-8, art teachers and librarians together with art historians, museum professionals and art educators from Fairfield University, the Museum's parent organization, in a collaborative endeavor that will focus on teaching Medieval Celtic art and culture to Diocesan young students. Teachers will return to their classrooms with newfound knowledge and will initiate a curriculum-based art project that incorporates the Diocese's current theme of "Gospel Values" with the goal of presenting a student art show at the Bellarmine Museum of Art's Meditz Gallery June 2-10, 2011.

Prominent in the Irish art focused upon in the workshop is the "Book of Kells," an illuminated manuscript from circa 800 AD, a facsimile of which will be on loan for the Museum exhibition from the University's DiMenna-Nyselius library's Special Collections as well as four high-quality reproductions of the national treasures of Ireland lent to the Bellarmine Museum by the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters.

Bridgeport Diocesan students will be asked to interpret the Celtic art and culture they learn about in their classrooms and assimilate the theme of "Gospel Values" into illuminated pages reminiscent of "The Book of Kells." The Bellarmine Museum exhibition will highlight approximately twenty-four modern "illuminated" pages created by participating students. Winning works will first be displayed in the Meditz Gallery and at the close of the Bellarmine exhibition, the University's Graduate School of Education and Allied Professions (GSEAP) will create a gallery of children's art that will be housed in Canisus Hall and will continue the student exhibition from June 15-September 15, 2011 before returning the work to their creators.

"The Bellarmine Museum of Art seeks to enrich the lives of our many constituencies by providing them with access - both physically and intellectually - to art and culture," said Jill Deupi, Ph.D. director of the Bellarmine Museum. She continued, "I am thrilled to have the opportunity to collaborate with the Diocese of Bridgeport. This workshop presents a wonderful chance for the museum to fulfill its mission while touching the lives of both some of our younger visitors and the individuals charged with stewarding their intellectual development. To be able to rely on the expertise of Fairfield's Graduate School of Education & the Allied Professions is an added benefit, as their input and support not only ensure the quality of our programming but also allow the GSEAP to enhance its own curricular objectives in Arts Education. It is my goal to transform this project into something sustainable. To that end, we are currently seeking external funding - both in the arenas of foundational grants and corporate sponsorship. The Bellarmine Museum is dedicated to preserving, studying, and exhibiting those objects entrusted to its care, while never losing sight of its obligation to educate and inspire its many audiences, for the greater enrichment of all."

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Media Contact: Joan Grant, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2950, jgrant@fairfield.edu

Posted on March 22, 2011

Vol. 43, No. 241