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NCDS News

Students Reimagine Mater Admirabilis
This fall, the Campus Ministry committee asked Upper School girls to create artwork illustrating how they imagine Mater Admirabilis might look like in 2020. Two stood out among the submissions received and are currently on display outside of the Chapel.

R. Simen ’23 was inspired by modern Israeli women for her piece. She drew Mary in comfortable jeans and a red t-shirt representing strength and courage, while guarded by the shade of a tree. Her head is wrapped in a scarf and adorned with a peacock feather for eternal life. Beside Mary is a bouquet of flowers commonly associated with her, including a lily for purity and a periwinkle for grace. 
 
In her artist statement Simen wrote, “In my drawing, she is resting against a tree with a book. I see students doing this a lot in Boston Common, and it looks so peaceful, like the perfect place to pray and enjoy the weather. The image of the Sacred Heart is carved into the tree behind her to show how she is connected to our school and how her faith is always a part of her.”

N. Brown ’21 and S. Payne ’21 collaborated on their submission depicting Mater as a powerful woman. To emphasize this, they drew her sitting in the Lincoln Memorial. They chose this location because of Washington, D.C.’s rich history of power, decision making, protest, and change. Their Mater is surrounded by influential women, both past and present, who exemplify Mary’s qualities, including Harriet Tubman and Greta Thunberg, and trees of lilies for “heart strength.” “The women gathered around Mater are from all backgrounds, time periods, and ethnicities to replicate the diversity in our world,” Brown and Payne shared in their artist statement. Their piece is framed by two banners: one reading courage and the other confidence

“We chose to paint on a large scale so people would be able to see all aspects of the painting from far away,” Brown and Payne noted. In highlighting Mary’s strengths, they also highlighted their own. “We both have different strengths and wanted to showcase them.” Payne drew the people and Brown used her favorite medium, watercolor, to add to the piece.

Students are encouraged to be inspired by these contemporary depictions and to work to embody Mater Admirabilis’ virtues.