At the end of July, almost 50 members gathered for The Dominican Institute for the Arts gathering in Adrian. Michigan for prayer, artistic development and friendship. DIA is an international group whose goal is to support “preaching through the arts.” The 86 members are Dominican artists from around the nation, and even the world.

For the past four years, our own Sister Barbara Schwarz has served as the President of the Board for the Dominican Institute for the Arts. As her term ends, she was praised by members. “You have made DIA more than a single event to a year round community!” said Pat Daly, the new president of the board. They also gave her a special painting of St. Catherine of Siena by S. Elizabeth Slenker.

This time has been “a gift,” said Sister Barbara Schwarz. During her tenure, she was happy to strengthen the communications system, improve the website, encourage leadership support and initiate projects with young people.

S. Barbara now will have time for more artistic and congregational projects in photography, graphic design, video, painting and sculpting, to name a few. A past winner of the Fra Angelico Award, creating is her passion, especially when it is connected to preaching the Good News. You can often find her upstairs painting in the art studio in Aquin Hall.  “This is who I am: being Dominican and preaching the Gospel.  Using my creativity is what makes me happy,” said Sister Barbara.

In addition to the new president Pat Daly, OP, other current board members include: Rudolf Loewenstein, Aneesah McNamee, Joella Miller, Ann Marie Santen, Judy Smith and Joe Kilikevice.  At the event, they also bestowed the Fra Angelico Award, DIA’s highest honor, to Janet Wright, an Adrian Dominican and watercolorist.