Dougherty hosts first religious art walk

Photo by Jill Power | The Duquesne Duke. University President Charles Dougherty (right) tells tour attendees about a piece of religious art on campus Sept. 30.

Photo by Jill Power | The Duquesne Duke. University President Charles Dougherty (right) tells tour attendees about a piece of religious art on campus Sept. 30.

By Jill Power | The Duquesne Duke

Duquesne President Charles Dougherty led a campus tour of religious art on Sept. 30.

The event was open to Duquesne graduate students, faculty and staff.

According to Dougherty, the tour showcased Duquesne’s “Catholic artistic tradition.” The tour featured nine separate art pieces on campus designed or manufactured by Catholic artists.

On the tour, Dougherty discussed the creation and history behind recognizable works such as “I Am Because We Are: A Celebration of Spiritans in Africa,” by Gerry Toni, the mural painted on the side of the Laval House. This mural is visible to students who are walking from the end of Academic Walk toward Rooney Field.

“I think of this as a very welcoming piece because it speaks to the university in a very positive way,” Dougherty said.

Another piece familiar to students with an interesting history is “Crucifix” by José Pirkner. This piece of art is also known as “Scary Jesus” to students, a fact that Dougherty mentioned.

While it once stood in the center of the concrete path towards Rockwell Hall, “Crucifix” was moved towards the lawn behind its former home. The wood of the cross in the statue was beginning to rot and needed to be replaced, according to Dougherty. The piece was moved this past summer and can be seen while entering and exiting Rockwell Hall.

Cheryl Karashin, director of Annual Giving, said she was impressed by the tour.

“I enjoyed the tour, especially because of President Dougherty’s passion for the pieces on campus,” Karashin said.

Joseph Bertino, a philosophy graduate student, also enjoyed the tour.

“I came because I was looking to support University art, and specifically religious artwork,” Bertino said.

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