SOUTH ORANGE, NJ – The “Colors of Faith” art gallery exhibit opens its doors to South Orange residents on Monday, Sept. 10 at Seton Hall University.

The collection of artworks spanning various religious institutions in the North Jersey area will be presented as part of an initiative to reflect the University’s mission and Catholic faith, curators Elizabeth Girvin and Jesse McGarity said.

From paintings to crafts, “Colors of Faith” features women artists from orders such as The Monastery of Our Lady of the Rosary, Georgian Court University, St. James Convent, McAuley Hall and the Seton Hall University Department of Archives and Special Collections. The exhibit includes distinct artworks that not only represent artists’ personal taste but also their faith in God. These forms of art include wooden carvings, water color and pastel paintings, handmade soaps, and flowers made from bread and utensils.    

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“These artists showed that faith doesn’t mean Church,” said Girvin and McGarity. “Faith is having little but doing much for others, faith is an acceptance of the unknown, and the ability to find happiness in the world around us.”

An opening reception will be held on Sunday, Sept. 16 from 2-4 p.m. where Girvin and McGarity will answer questions regarding the art pieces. Some artists, with the support of their fellow sisters, will be on hand to speak about their works.

Although centered on religion, Girvin and McGarity noted that the sisters and nuns who created these pieces are showing their personal values with the communities and sharing their opinions and ideas. With paintings that expressed nature and its simplicity, hand-woven pillows and jewelry made out of metal, co-curators Girvin and McGarity said they both learned from working with the artists.

“Each artist interprets art differently and therefore manifests itself differently,” said Girvin and McGarity in agreement. “Since belief is not seen, the sisters in our show want to show they believe, and they do so through different media and subjects.”

The “Colors of Faith” exhibit will run until Oct. 13. Hand-made soaps from the Dominican Sisters of The Monastery of Our Lady of the Rosary will be available for purchase and the proceeds will go toward helping the monastery.

Since 1994, Seton Hall University’s Walsh Gallery has exhibited a diverse collection of art from multiple disciplines and historical backgrounds. Recent and best known works include “The Redemptive Vision of Georges Rouault,” “Voces y Visiones-Highlights from El Museo del Barrio's Permanent Collection” and “Paperwork.” The Walsh Gallery is located in the Walsh Library, 400 S. Orange Ave., South Orange, NJ 07079. All gallery events are free and open to the public. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 10:30 a.m - 4:30 p.m.

The reporter is participating in a hyperlocal journalism partnership between The Alternative Press and Seton Hall University's Department of Communication & The Arts.