Mary Southard, Artist,Painter, Sculptor, Sister of St. Joseph
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Mary Southard, CSJ
Art, A Language of the Heart
“I paint and do sculpture as a way
to explore the nature and wonder of the Universe,
and to celebrate its beauty and creativity.”
As a visual artist I work in a variety of media--paint, plaster, fiberglass, clay, cast paper, pastel--and started making an “Earth calendar” which has found its way to homes around the world since 1980. I’ve also loved being educator, retreat director, and a voice for Earth healing.
My love of art began to unfold in high school. I went on to receive a BA in Art from Dominican Universeity (1960) and an MA in Art from Notre Dame University (1964).
The power of art and the creative process was realized during a time of personal crisis. Unable to do much else, I would draw/paint images coming from inner struggles and fright. I began to trust these images, letting them emerge and unfold. And I noticed their power to heal, to reveal, to discover, to explore new ground. I was being drawn into a Sacred Space of soul which connected me to others, eventually to everyone and everything—to my place within all of creation.
Since that time I have been facilitating others in learning to release their inner creativity through teaching (Loyola U. IPS, 1981—1993) and spontaneous painting. What a joy to witness others come to trust their inner guidance as part of a creative Universe, to learn the language of their soul.
Since the mid 1980’s, allured by current discoveries of the evolutionary Universe, and distressed by environmental collapse, I began an ever-deepening contemplative study, mentored by Thomas Berry, Brian Swimme and others. I continue to awaken to this glorious Universe, saturated with Divinity, and see ever more clearly that we are essentially creative beings, engaged with the Creator in the Great Work of OUR time. We are all part of a radical shift taking place in human consciousness. My creative work gives me a way to participate in this critical work of evolving ourselves and our planet, and to explore and celebrate the wonder and mystery of Creation. I pray that I may be one small Voice for Earth and her healing.
How blessed I have been that Art Commissions and program work have taken me to many places in the US, Canada and Europe, and to Australia. Publications include the yearly art/meditation Calendar, book illustration, and book cover art. As a member of the Congregation of St. Joseph, I live and have my studio in La Grange Park, Illinois.
Vision Statement for Ministry of the Arts
Sisters of St. Joseph in La Grange Park IL.
We encourage and affirm creativity in ourselves and in all persons.
Through the arts we contemplate and express the unity and holiness of all creation.
We affirm the power and prophecy of the arts
and believe the arts to be an important ministry for hope and healing
in this critical moment of world transformation.
Painting: "Spiritearth" 19" x 24" prints available; signed and numbered. $20 each. See sales and copyrights page.
©Mary Southard, CSJ. All rights reserved. 1515 W. Ogden Ave., La Grange Park, IL 60526; firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo courtesy of Joellen Sbrissa, CSJ
Website designed by Mary Lou Pleitner, CSJ