“Spirit Within”-an art exhibit that spoke to the spirit


Photo credit/ Amanda Morgan

Sr. Cor Immaculatum, IHM, poses among some of her favorite pieces.

A recently-concluded artwork exhibition by Sr. Cor Immaculatum Heffernan, IHM, showcased 20 years of her talents at bringing faith to life through a variety of media.

“Spirit Within” featured Sr. Cor’s paintings, calligraphy, mosaics and sculptures that grew from multiple sources of inspiration.

Sr. Cor said she is a firm believer in the impact of the arts and their importance in humanity. In many of her pieces, she took psalms, poetry and quotes that inspired her and rendered them through beautiful pieces of calligraphy. These pieces not only show her talent in calligraphy, but they show her inspirations for the art.

“[My] thoughts were very much inspired by philosophy, science, and religion (the Bible), and literature,” said Sr. Cor.

Sr. Cor’s pride and joy is her sculptures. Bronze, used in many of her sculptures, is her favorite medium. In the exhibit, many of her original, smaller scale pieces, called maquettes, were on display. Her style is unique, and she often turns to parables, which are stylized figurative forms that are a bit abstract.

“If something is very, very deep, rather than making it realistic, [I] can use the figure, for example the turn of the body, and the kneeling and coaxing, and I can use the thing here [referring to the piece], but the person can interpret what it really means,” explained Sr. Cor.

Sr. Cor found meaning in her artwork by taking the spirit found within herself and applying it to her artwork. Creating these pieces of art is, as she puts it, her calling.

“In times of sickness and uncertainty all over the world, that it is a challenge to the musicians, the artists, the writers, the architects, the playwrights and the actors, it’s our duty to speak of the things of God in the language of our time,” she explained.

Sr. Cor said she sees everything in 3D and in turn creates works that bring her visions to life. When she saw a particular piece of wood, she believed it was showing her just how to carve it, with an existing flow in the grain that resembled a body.

Within her artwork, Sr. Cor shows inclusivity through sculptures of a diverse group of women, including Native American, Black and elderly women. She said she works diligently to display feelings of pride, elegance, peace, beauty and dignity.

Sr. Cor has a wide presence on Marywood’s campus that some students may not realize. Her life-size sculptures are displayed across campus. “The Crucifix,” hanging on the entrance to the Center for Architectural Studies, is one of her pieces, along with the fountain in the Learning Commons, “Mary, Woman of the Eucharist,” is in the Our Lady of the Peace Residence, “Theresa Maxis Duchemin” is located in the IHM chapel and “The Seekers” are found in the Amphitheater behind the Learning Commons.

Sr. Cor has further spread the spirit of her artwork beyond the campus. She was commissioned to create a display in a sacred place called Mercy Glen in Elizabethtown, Pa. At “Spirit Within,” the maquettes of her display as well as photographs of the statues within the forest were featured.

Anyone interested in learning more about her process or her inspirations should stop by the Shields Center and speak to Sr. Cor.

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