Culture

Saint salute: an artistic tribute to Faculty Saints

Story by Macayla Jones, Reporter
Photos courtesy of Macayla Jones

From the beautiful beaded masterpiece by artist and AQ faculty member Madeline Kaczmarczyk, to the mind stimulating creative freedom of the soon-to-be retired Stephen Schousen, this cleverly put together faculty art showcase brought the best works from AQ staff to life. I went into the AMC not knowing what to expect, and came out inspired. Each piece was unique in its own way, which was very exciting to see as an outsider looking in. I am not currently taking any art classes at Aquinas, but everyone was extremely welcoming and willing to answer any questions that I had.

I had the privilege and honor of asking Schousen and Kaczmarczyk a few quick questions, in order to learn more about what drives them to create what they create, and gain more insight on them as people.

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A piec of Madeline Kaczmarczyk’s art

“A lot of things that really inspire me are clothing patterns, especially ethnic clothing patterns. I come from this long line of women that did some kind of handiwork crafts like crochet,” said Kaczmarczyk. “My grandmother used to crochet tablecloths to give to her husband’s bosses at Christmas because my grandfather was an illegal alien… so she made sure he kept his job,” said Kaczmarczyk.

Later, Schousen gave some deep wisdom about obstacles that he’s had to overcome in his own life– personally and artistically. Creating art is not an easy or strategic process, however it is one that guides the artist from the unknown into something tangible and real. This is something therapeutic with healing properties, not only for the artist, but hopefully for the viewer as well.

“Sometimes I feel very isolated, and that’s been something in my life I’ve had to battle. I think it’s (his artwork) a combination of a very private world, and then my attempts to interact with people, and really communicate,” said Schousen.  “The other thing is, I just like to make work– to get the materials, and just go, and see what happens. Finding what you’re looking for after you make it doesn’t have a plan and I don’t know where it’s going to go. You follow it, and it arrives someplace. The art leads you.” said Schousen.

Overall, going to this art show opened my eyes to the incredibly talented and thoughtful artists and teachers we have here on the AQ staff. I didn’t just learn about art, but I learned stories, triumphs, and history. I think in the end that’s what art is trying to convey– life. Life’s ups and downs, and methods of how to cope on the bad days while rejoicing with the good.

The Faculty Art Show runs through November 9 in the AMC, although it will be closed Oct. 20-28 due to Fall Break.

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