Painting Her Way Through the Pandemic September 14, 2020

During the seven months of quarantine due to the pandemic, Sister Maryanna Euring has created hundreds of pieces of artwork: paintings brushed on rice paper and origami earrings lovingly folded. Now, she is selling her art to sisters and Motherhouse staff to raise money for the OPening Word Program, an adult literacy program for immigrant women. OPening Word is a sponsored Ministry of the Congregation.

“All the money will go to the OPening Word Program whose students are really hurting at this time,” said Sister Maryanna. She added that each piece of art is imbued with prayer for the person who receives the art, as well as for the women in the OPening Word program.

“The gifts from this art show will be very welcome as our funding sources are diminished during the pandemic,” said Sister Elaine Jahrsdoerfer who is on the Board of the Program. “The ‘preaching’ of Maryanna’s art is enabling the ‘preaching’ of The OPening Word, (as the care and support of our women are surely good news to them).”

Maryanna wasn’t always an artist. In fact, she didn’t begin painting until ten years ago when she retired. The Islip Art Museum offered a course in Asian Brush Painting. “When I picked up the brush, it was like I always had it in my hand,” she said. Where her interest in Asian culture came from, she is not sure. Although she vividly recalls her mother taking her to The Brooklyn Museum of Art. She said, “I stepped into the room filled with Asian art, I never wanted to leave that room.”

Now, the St. Martin de Porres room in the Motherhouse is filled with hundreds of her paintings, the surprising fruit from her time in quarantine.

“When I knew we would be locked down, I brought supplies from the art studio,” Sister Maryanna said. She knew it would be hard for her and for other sisters in isolation. She wanted to give everyone, staff and the sisters, something beautiful to look at when they were depressed. “I wanted to give them something they could look at to feel uplifted, peaceful, and inspired…so I just started painting.”

Soon, she ran out of space in her own room and began filling up a communal parlor which motherhouse employees now dubbed, “the Gallery.” Motherhouse employees began to ask if they could purchase paintings. Now they can!

Maryanna’s Art Show and Sale is being held in the Martin de Porres Room on September 17-19 from 10 am to 2 pm, as well as 8 to 10 pm.

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