Margi Weir

Margi Weir


Holy Family Art Gallery

Frontline Series

Ink Drawings By

Margi Weir

Exhibit: 3/2-3/30/17


The Holy Family University Gallery is pleased to present

Frontline Series, Ink Drawings by Margi Weir

Ms. Weir earned her MFA in painting from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA); her MA in painting from New Mexico State University. She also holds a BFA in painting from San Francisco Art Institute and BA in art history from Wheaton College in Massachusetts.

Ms. Weir has had solo exhibitions at Ivan Karp’s OK Harris Gallery in New York, and the Ruth Bachofner Gallery in Santa Monica, CA.   She has completed installation pieces at Athens Institute of Contemporary Art (ATHICA), Lexington Art League (KY) and the Las Cruces Museum of Art (Las Cruces, NM)

Awards for her work include First Prize in the Contemporary Art Center of Las Vegas’ Juried Exhibition in 2012; the prize for Best Work on Paper in the first Southwest Biennial at the Albuquerque Museum in 2006; and Best of Show in the New Directions in Fiber exhibition at the CORE Art Center in Denver CO in 2004.

She is, currently, an Assistant Professor of painting and drawing at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan 

Artist Statement – Margi Weir:

I began making drawings of ink and ink wash about 10 years ago using a technique that I call a “snap line”. A snap line is the mark made by dipping cotton twine into liquid ink or diluted ink, pulling it tight and snapping it against the paper in an action similar to plucking a guitar string. It is a record of the violent impact of ink with paper. It suggests an event, an explosion, a reverberation, yet the over spray lends a softness to the line quality. I like the idea that something beautiful on the surface has an underlying violence, a dark side, if you will.

I moved to Detroit in 2009 to join the faculty of Wayne State University.   I found, not only Detroit, but the Mid-West in general, to be full of unfamiliar sights and sounds.   I was also confronted by the architectural decay that was, initially, frightening. I began to draw these skeletons of buildings to familiarize myself with my new environment. Through drawing, I learn to understand new information. I internalize it and know it in a way that transforms it into something familiar and less frightening. These drawings are fairly large but they are intimate studies of my neighborhood as I become familiar with it. You could say that I am drawing close to Detroit. I have titled the series “Frontline: Detroit” because I still begin my drawings with snap lines. I use them to find the main compositional and architectural lines to anchor the drawing. As I paid closer attention to the urban ruins, I found that they are not only in Detroit. I began to notice them all across the country. There are architectural bones of regional cultures that dot the countryside along Route 66. There are ruins of motels, gas stations and, actually, whole towns. There are “bones” left from natural as well as financial disaster. So I have expanded the “Frontline Series” to include Route 66 and other cities in America.

My drawings continue to be private attempts at understanding my surroundings. In the summer of 2013, I began to notice the reclamation by nature of the empty lots left by fire or blight removal. The opulent vegetation makes these open spaces appear pastoral in the heart of the city. These “Terrain Vagues”, which are no longer city but not country either, are my focus in recent drawings. “Terrain Vagues” is a French phrase for urban outlying areas that are “in between” the city development and the pastoral country. That seems to be an appropriate description of these patches of open space within the City of Detroit.

Please visit the Holy Family Art Gallery.

Holy Family University Gallery is on the Lower Level of the Sister Francesca Onley Education and Technology Center.

Contact: Pamela Flynn


Natasha Giles

Social Voyeurism

paintings by

  Natasha Giles

  Exhibit: 2/2-2/28/17
Reception: Wednesday 2/15 12:00-2:00


The Holy Family University Gallery is pleased to present Natasha Giles’ Social Voyeurism. The exhibit features paintings from her most recent body of work.  Her works are inspired by social media, memory and the experience of moments in time. In this series the unspoken communication of body language and character is exuded in each captured moment.

 Natasha is a Georgia based painter and educator, originally from Kentucky. She received her B.F.A. from Savannah College of Art + Design in 2007 and her M.F.A from the University of Kentucky in 2011. She will have upcoming exhibitions at Transylvania University, the Arts Council of Southeast Missouri, The Lyric Theater and Cultural Arts Center (Lexington, Kentucky) and The Carnegie Center (New Albany, Indiana).

Artist Statement

 My work is about social voyeurism and our shared experience of memories and moments in time. Many people are laying their private or mundane thoughts and actions at the feet of the masses for consumption. I pilfer public images, memories that are not my own, and create paintings where I imagine, investigate and become a part of that original moment. In my paintings, I reinterpret each event and invite the viewer to engage and participate with me.

Each painting is created from images found on social media. The photos used as reference were taken by different individuals. More than anything, I am drawn to the interactions of the people in the original photographs. What intrigues me is the illusion of time and the unspoken communication of body language; the personality and character that is exuded in a captured moment.


Robert McNellis

Anonymous Images / Specific Objects

New Work By:

Robert McNellis

Exhibit: 1/9-1/30/17

Reception: Wednesday 1/25/17 12:50-2:50

anonymous-landscape-11-1 Robert McNellis studied film at the University of South Florida and holds a degree in art from Troy University with a concentration in film and digital photography. Since moving his studio practice to Philadelphia, his work has been exhibited at ARTSPACE 1241 in downtown Philadelphia. Robert is also an adjunct instructor in our School of Arts and Sciences.

Artist Statement

My work attempts to combine the pictorial, material, and structural elements of my practice into a balanced unity. Using modern materials, I strive to create structures and discover imagery that can achieve this unity. As the pictorial aspects of this work have come more and more to suggest visual similarity to the natural world–albeit obscure and scarcely defined–I have recently turned to incorporating photographs taken in chance ways into my work. In these anonymous photographs, I find images that are evocative and yet whose subject is largely unknowable. When successful, this interplay between the evocative and unknowable within the image, together with the clarity of the material structure, creates a strong resonance between image and object.

From the Exhibit

John Chang


Exhibit: 12/2-12/20 

Holy Family University will exhibit a collection of mixed media paintings created by
John Chang.

Born and raised in Shanghai, China. John Chang is an artist based in Southern California. John’s works have been widely exhibited,

Artistic Statement:
“I was born and raised in Shanghai. By the 1980s, Deng Xiaoping initiated a more open door policy, but I still had a deep desire to experience America and Western culture. Immigrating to Boston to study art in graduate school, I discovered a more complex society than I had imagined. Longing for a democratic system, I wasn’t prepared for the magnitude of consumption, both promoted and practiced. The great chasm between Communist China and capitalist America was quite a shock and heightened my awareness of self. Belonging to both worlds and to neither, I recognized the social construction of cultural codes and their impact on identity. Calligraphy expresses the shared space of the personal and the political. Chinese students must devote many years to memorizing several thousand characters. Each character must be written flawlessly and must be both neat and pleasing to the eye, and such rote exercises condition one to submit to authority. In the public square and all walls everywhere, big calligraphic characters were a constant reminder of a collective voice, and so people discounted the empty rhetoric of the official media. Yet in classical Chinese, the script, or shu, is so sacred that it is believed to be capable of affecting change in the natural order of things. By invoking calligraphic forms, I am commenting on the distortion of language, but I am also reclaiming the energy of the written word. Tapping into my ancestral roots, I also use pigments for their symbolic power. For example, black and white are the colors of most ink painting but also represent yin and yang; red and yellow represent happiness, wealth, and health. I consider myself a “spiritual escapist.” I am especially interested in making and unmaking meaning with the combination of word and image — particularly in this age of digital communication. Incorporating contemporary events and pop culture, I collect daily newspapers in English and Chinese, cut specific text, graphics and articles, and put them in categories. I also gather postproduction material from local ad agencies. Influenced by artists like MARCEL DUCHAMP, and ANDY WARHOL, my calligraphic strokes commingle with expressive brushwork and drips, and the freedom of such abstract artists allows me to explore Chinese characters in a personal, reinvigorated way — connecting to and balancing vital energy. The cross-cultural exchange mediated in my creative process continues to unfold and push beyond duality. In merging the beauty of traditional painting technique, modernist performance-like gestures, as well as typography and imagery, I am forging an art that both creates and expresses myself. Embracing the chaos, or ran, I stand hopefully poised between ambivalent remembrance and undetermined tomorrow.”

The Art of Forgiveness: Understanding Hurt, Hope and the Healing Journey

The Art of Forgiveness:

Understanding Hurt, Hope and the Healing Journey

A two-part multi-disciplinary program inspired by Pope Francis’ Jubilee Year of Mercy

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Panel Discussion on Forgiveness

12:30 pm – 1:30 pm ETC Lobby

Fr. Mark Hunt …. Spiritual Perspectives

Dr. Michele Muni …Restorative Justice

Dr. Jim Huber ….Marriage & Family Therapy

National Juried Art Exhibit on Forgiveness and Artist Reception

1:30 pm – 3:00 pm Holy Family University Art Gallery

Selected artists

Robert Thurlow, Charlesey Charlton-McCallister, Lisa DeLoria Weinblatt, John Wood, Aaron T Stephens, Ed Smith, Dorothea Osborn, Colleen Sweeney Gahrmann, Marilyn Rodriguez Michael Wartgow,  Leila Hernandez


Aaron T Stephens

aaronstephensA life of Sin series was created to express my problems as a Christian. I commit acts that are against my Religion and my own beliefs. This image expresses how I feel every time I pray for forgiveness of those acts.

Charlesey Charlton-McCallistercharleseymccallisterThis piece of work is about the ability to forgive a spouse or significant other after the act of infidelity. Forgiveness is a process like the journey a baby makes from crawling to walking. According to a study from 2010, the most common type of unforgivable offense is betrayal, including affairs, deceit, broken promises, and broken secrets (see source below). This  art work asks the viewer to ponder the meaning of a past betrayal and to ask the hard question of “how does one begin to forgive, when the betrayal itself is/was so personal?”

Colleen Sweeney GahrmanncolleengahrmannWe All Fall Down, part of a larger installment titled Restorative Justice, hints at the responsibility of a society that has a stake in its youth, even those of incarcerated parents. It brings an awareness of the feelings and issues surrounding the children affected by the crimes and punishments of their guardians.  Statements by children of incarcerated parents are often filled with incriminations, confusion and conflicts.  When forgiveness becomes an ongoing process it helps to restore family relationships.

Dorothea OsborndorotheaosburnThe art of forgiveness is a road. An intimate road of change and it’s a process, sometimes lengthy, sometimes surprisingly expedient.  It is a change within ourselves, on more than a cellular level. It is an acknowledgment and acceptance in its finality. Forgiveness does not suppress or ignore the pain. It deals with it on a spiritual and cellular level. These pieces are from a series of graphite and colored pencil that deal with the human condition and change on a cellular level. The progression of Forgiveness takes time and creates change. It means letting go, albeit, keeping others in our heart. As each of these pieces was produced, a daily personal and spiritual time was given to each segment of the individual pieces. Time and change is evident in all three pieces.

Ed SmithedsmithThe work submitted are images in metaphorical form depicting the act of forgiving, specifically with regard to the events of 9/11. And while the hope is that the understanding and internalization of these events can bring peace it also suggests we not bow to forces along the journey of healing. The etchings are intimate and demand a close attention focusing on the personal nature of the tragedy and forcing the viewer to be open within the reading of the images.

John WoodjohnwoodThe works in this series respond to a common theme: the journey from doubt to faith.   I have explored the theme by responding to the story of St. Thomas from John 20: 19-31, and a contemporary poem by Francine j. Harris entitled “another finger for the wound.”   Through the ekphrastic process of reflecting upon text through visual art, I invite confrontations to my interpretations of ancient themes and modern interpretations. Another Finger for the Wound explores the moment, from the Gospel of John 20: 27-29, in which Christ exposes his wound by lifting his robe for Thomas.  The human qualities of flesh and hair seen on the hand of Christ in the sculpture are contrasted with abstracted images on the opposite side of his hand.  The palm contains patterns of human figures and text from the poem by Francine J. Harris.

Leila HernandezleilahernandezSquaring the Circle talks about change. It is transformation- a square that is composed of circles which are interconnected through threads; like our brain cells, our body, our friends, the world, the universe; each one influencing the other. The red symbolizes life that can be full of passion, good or bad, and it can be lived in an intense manner, which of course is best if we change the negative into a positive. The blue flowers bring tranquility; the green leaves symbolize growth in a sparking manner which relates to the gold which is scattered through our lifetime making our total experience golden during our lifetime. Mandalas have engaged the artist during the production as to absorb the mind in such a way that distracting thoughts produced by anger and sorrow from damages that have affected the stability of her life in many areas are slowly replaced by a feeling of well being. The artist has experienced many hardships that invoke the need for forgiveness since it is well known that it is imperative to forgive people in your life, even those who are not sorry for their actions.

Lisa DeLoria WeinblattlisadeloriaweinblattI use the vocabulary of daily life and historical reference to inform the content of the MAN/WOMAN painting series.  The image in this painting investigates the interactions of interpersonal relationships within a time- frame.

The myriad pressures of modern life often impact the relationships that we hold close to our being.  The ability to forgive and ‘open the door’ to another solution/ way of thinking, is vital to forgiveness.

In Man/Woman 3, portraying part of a series of life events, I incorporated the biblical symbol of the snake, literally her vanity, in which she is in front of, the salvation of the bird, flying to new territory/heights and the pear on the dresser, the fruit of both good and of the fallen.

Marilyn RodriguezmarilynrodriguezMy name is Marilyn Rodriguez; I am a Latina (mixed medium) community artist.

My art comes from my environment and my community (North Philadelphia), it is where I take my inspiration. Much of my paintings and drawings manifest through unconventional materials like paper bags and other found objects. The materials are often chosen to fit within the context of the subjects.

My works reference lost souls that walk amongst us and the constant flux of their mental health illness, drug addictions, and social handicaps. These individuals roam the streets with uncertain futures and become the forgotten people unable to assimilate to their environment and society. They seek a window to find forgiveness for themselves and for the people they have wounded. The work(s) I create are to show awareness of what happens in the journey for peace and a sign of forgiveness.

Michael WartgowmichaelwartgowPresented as both a psychological concept and a virtue, my work discusses forgiveness through various states of transition. It is about looking for forgiveness in yourself and the need to find some sort of divine forgiveness in order to understand purpose. Through the use of symbols and dreamlike imagery, my work places emphasis on an individual’s path to forgiveness yet speaks to a larger universal idea about reconciliation.

Robert ThurlowrobertthurlowHoly Suffering Saints

This image speaks to the redemptive quality of suffering and the healing power of forgiveness. Although the action and process of forgiveness is difficult it is this difficulty that gives us strength, humility, and transforms us into saints. The chaotic handwritten script is taken from a 1930’s journal my grandmother kept and is meant to echo the struggle and effort required to forgive.

From the Exhibit Opening:


Lisa Bigalke

Mixed Media Prints

Exhibit: 10/4-10/27/16

 Holy Family University will exhibit mixed media prints created by
Lisa Bigalke.

Lisa Bigalke graduated from the University of Wisconsin- Parkside with a BA in art in 1996. She received her MFA in Studio Art, with a concentration in printmaking, from Louisiana State University in 2000. Currently she teaches Art at Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Her artwork has been exhibited in many regional and national exhibitions. Since 2000, she has exhibited her work in over 15 solo exhibitions. In 2016, she was awarded a Racine Art Museum Fellowship Grant.
Artistic Statement:

Most people have a place that makes them feel alive. For me this is being outside with my feet in the grass. Farm, park, garden–it doesn’t matter, as long as plants are growing. The bulk of my imagery has come from places explored with friends — the Chequamegon National Forest, Grant Park in Milwaukee, or even my garden.

For me this body of work began on a trip with my sister and mother exploring places found in my father’s notebooks. He died when we were children on a hunting expedition and this was a way to feel close to him.

Traveling through these places, being able to document through photos, drawings, and notes, gives me the opportunity to reinterpret and organize. I include in my final works maps, statistical information, and personal letters to indicate reality, the actuality of these places and my relationship to them.

The spirit of the place comes through in the color and texture. The intensity of the color often reflects time of day exaggerated, such as, a mid-morning golden yellow light shimmering through the leaves at Buckhorn State Park. Abstracting from nature allows me to create decorative patterns and visual texture in both the macro and micro of the landscape. I include a readable landscape with an enlarged abstracted fossil, flower or water pattern. This layering of surface texture requires the viewer to interact with the rich surfaces. They are forced to peel back the layers and read it at my pace.

The overlapping and concentrated use of the pattern puts the viewer into the realm of my journey- for they travel on my journey through the image. Those who look once may just find a pretty landscape; those who get lost in the color and pattern find the meaning.



From the Exhibit:

Zachary Pritchard

Zachary Pritchard


Mixed Media Works

Exhibit: September 2-28, 2016

Artist’s talk and reception: Wednesday 9/28 12:50-2:50


Holy Family University will exhibit a collection of artwork created by
Zachary Pritchard from Friday, September 2nd through Wednesday,
September 28th. Made from paper-mâché, plaster, fired clay, pigmented
wax, cast iron and aluminum, the exhibition features sculptures on
pedestals, free standing pieces and wall sculptures.

Pritchard earned his BFA in sculpture from Buffalo State College in
2011. As part of his studies, he participated in an international artist
residency, creating art in Finland and Latvia. He went on to earn an
MFA from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. His work has been
exhibited across the United States, recently in Massachusetts, New
York City, and Philadelphia galleries. His most recent body of work
has been included in group and solo shows, earning high praise.
Described as, “forms that play with a sense of expectation and
balance, Pritchard’s sculptures have a familiar, yet uneasy presence
about them, as if they are each their own characters with their own
distinct personalities.”  He currently lives and works in
Artistic Statement:

My work explores themes and personal experiences of humor, loss,
death, loneliness, and attraction. Working with materials that lend
themselves to manipulation, such as paper-mâché, plaster, pigmented
wax, paints, and metals, my work plays with structural balance and
expectations of materials in primarily anthropomorphic forms.

I consistently work in an intuitive process that seeks to translate an
unspeakable subconscious language through objects. Engaging the viewer
in a familiar, yet uneasy presence, my aim is to elicit raw and
visceral emotional reactions through my sculptures, drawings and

Artist talk:

Pictures from Exhibit: