College of Saint Elizabeth Celebrates Christmas in Art

The College of Saint Elizabeth, 2 Convent Road, Morristown, is celebrating Christmas in Art, featuring a selection from the CSE crèche collection and the work of Alex and Mihai Chereches, at the Therese A. Maloney Art Gallery in Annunciation Center on campus from November 30 through December 19, 2009.The selections from the international crèche collection, donated by Dr. Eileen Canty, of New York City, in honor of her friend and CSE alumna, Colette Conroy, ’55, of New Rochelle, New York, include groupings created in Africa, the United States, Canada, Europe, Asia, Mexico and Central America.

“Christmas is one of the most celebrated liturgical feasts in Christendom,” said Dr. Patricia Pongracz, curator of the exhibit and adjunct professor in the Art Department at CSE. “For Catholics, this celebration is personalized through the display of the Nativity or crèche. The sets on display here are part of this devotional tradition begun in the 13th century and developed over time throughout the various cultures embracing Christian devotion. Focusing on this group affords us the opportunity to see how the Christmas message, told in spare prose in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, has flourished in the visual tradition.”

The exhibit is accompanied by 10 icons on glass painted by brothers Alex and Mihai Chereches, self-taught artists from the county of Cluj, Transylvania, Romania. Traditional Romanian icons on glass inspired the artwork, which depict religious themes. Alex Chereches came to the United States in 1985 and is a contemporary painter living in Morristown, New Jersey.

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