History comes alive at The Blessing of The Brescia Centennial Portraiture

Brescia Centennial PortraitureAbove: The Brescia Centennial Portraiture

London, ON – Artistic expression, community connection and Brescia’s empowering history will be celebrated on Sunday, October 18th, 2020 at The Blessing of The Brescia Centennial Portraiture event. Taking place virtually on the Brescia University College Facebook page, the celebration will include an invocation, congratulatory remarks and a communal blessing over Brescia’s newly-revealed Centennial Portraiture.

Spearheaded by Brescia Associate Professor and Chair of the School of Leadership and Social Change, Dr. Marlene Janzen Le Ber, and funded by a number of generous donors, the Brescia Centennial Portraiture was designed to develop community through art and to capture the essence and spirit of Brescia’s first 100 years in a mural. Sought-after social artist, Melanie Schambach was commissioned to lead arts engagement with the Brescia community to produce the Portraiture, which is comprised of twelve panels and stands together at 16 feet by 24 feet. Schambach composed an artist sketch for the overall image that emerged from the extensive reflection with the Advisory Committee; after which Brescia invited members of its community to tell, sketch and paint their own stories as well as images from Brescia’s archival stories throughout 2019. Hung in September 2020, the Portraiture now resides on the outer wall of the Mother St. James Memorial Building.

In anticipation of the blessing, Dr. Marlene Janzen Le Ber says, “The Brescia Centennial Portraiture has already inspired so many reflections. It tells our collective story of courage, wisdom, justice, compassion, spirituality, community and women thriving.”  She goes on to say, “Equally important though is the development of community amongst our various constituencies at Brescia: the Ursulines, alumnae, faculty, staff, students and The Circle through this engagement. I am so grateful and proud of our students, trained by Schambach, who facilitated the arts engagement and community cultivation processes. On October 18th, we are thrilled to officially welcome and bless this spectacular portraiture, which will inspire the next century of women leaders.”

Purposefully occurring on Persons Day, and in advance of the Feast Day of St. Ursula, The Blessing of The Brescia Centennial Portraiture will include a variety of speakers and presentations designed to honour the University’s unique past and look ahead to its bold future. Highlights of the event, which is open to the media, includes:

  • An introductory invocation;
  • special remarks from: Brescia’s Foundresses, the Ursuline Sisters of Chatham; The Circle Women’s Collective and Brescia’s Chancellor, Maude Barlow and
  • the official blessing of The Brescia Centennial Portraiture.

Media and members of the London community are invited to attend The Blessing of The Brescia Centennial Portraiture, taking place virtually through the Brescia University College Facebook Page on Sunday, October 18th, 2020 from 2:30 – 3:00 p.m, with the event opening at 2:15 p.m. For additional information or to register, please visit: https://brescia.uwo.ca/about/who_we_are/brescia_centennial_portraiture.php

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For more information, please contact:
Rhea Johnson, Director, Communications, Marketing & External Relations at rhea.johnson@uwo.ca or 519-636-9408, or Caitlin Core, Communications, Marketing & External Relations Officer, ccore@uwo.ca.

Brescia University College, Canada’s women’s university college, is affiliated with Western University. The 1,600 women registered as either full- or part-time students at Brescia study a wide variety of subjects in the Schools of Behavioural & Social Sciences, Food & Nutritional Sciences, Humanities and Leadership & Social Change in an empowering, compassionate, student-centred and invigorating environment. Degrees are granted by Western. The Catholic University College welcomes students from all backgrounds and values diversity. For more current and archived news, a listing of faculty experts, and photos please visit our Online Media Room, at brescia.uwo.ca/communications/media_relations.