ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. — Constance Pierce, associate professor of art at St. Bonaventure University, is one of 12 artists to be selected for the sixth “Art on Paper” exhibition at the Museum of Art in Toyota City, Aichi, Japan.
This is the third consecutive year that Pierce has been invited to this international exhibition.
Best known for her allegorical and expressionistic art, Pierce said her primary purpose as an artist is to “bear witness to the depth of human experience including the injustice and alienation of those rendered voiceless in our 21st century culture.”
She is inspired by iconic literary references, such as Dante’s “Divine Comedy,” as well as scriptural narratives from Old and New Testament texts, but expresses these themes in a contemporary fashion. “I often work with images of pilgrimage, lamentation, and rebirth because thoseiconic themes flesh out parable and reveal to me the ancient stories reborn in our world of dissonance and division,” said Pierce. “Also, those narratives, in all of their mythic and consuming drama, are played out deep within our own inward journeys. The moment of betrayal or resurrection is not ancient history, but is enacted anew within each soul.”
Pierce displays two series of works on paper in the exhibition. The first, titled “Auguries,” references Dante’s writings, but the images are presented as visual meditations on humanity’s capacity for both darkness and transcendence. These works often create a visual bridge to current global issues, prompting discussion on intolerance, alienation, and suffering, she said.
The second series, titled “Emissaries of Intercession,” offers insight into the ongoing and ageless struggle within the human soul to discern between duplicity and truth
Pierce’s drawings, monotypes, watercolors, oils, and illustrated sketchbook journals have been featured in solo exhibitions at Seton Hill University, Notre Dame College of Ohio, Yale University Divinity School Library, Houghton College, the University of Dayton’s International Marion Research Institute, and St. Bonaventure’s own Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts. Her work was featured at a national juried exhibition sponsored by the Washington (D.C.) Theological Consortium, and numerous other juried exhibitions.
Pierce’s sketchbooks were featured in two exhibitions at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C., and her work “Epiphany for Those Wounded” is in the museum’s permanent collection.
Her artworks are included in collections at the Smithsonian Institution’s Archives of American Art, the National Gallery of Art Rare Book Library and the Henry Luce III Center for Art and Religion, all in Washington, D.C.; and at Yale University, Georgetown University, and Catholic University of America.
Pierce received a Hoffberger Fellowship, and an advanced degree from the Hoffberger School of Painting, Maryland Institute, College of Art in Baltimore, where she studied with renowned 20th century painter Grace Hartigan.
Pierce’s art has been featured in reviews and articles in the Washington Post, Chicago’s New Art Examiner, the Sunday New York Times, the New Haven Register, Journal of the Print World, and the literary journal IMAGE: Art, Faith and Mystery, Vol. 13.
An article by Pierce titled “OPUS CORDIS: Reflections of a Contemporary Artist Embracing the Drama of Religious Imagery” was published in “Art Inspiring Transmutations of Life,” Volume 106 of the Analecta Husserliana series edited by Patricia Trutty-Coohill of Siena College.
Selections of the artist’s work from prior exhibitions at the Museum of Art, Toyota City, Aichi, Japan, can be viewed below:
Article on Pierce's print work by Dr. Richard Freis, Professor Emeritus of Classics, Millsaps College: The Discipline of Images: The Art of Constance Pierce
About the University: Inspired for more than 150 years by the Catholic Franciscan values of individual dignity, community inclusiveness, and service, St. Bonaventure University cultivates graduates who are confident and creative communicators, collaborative leaders and team members, and innovative problem solvers who are respectful of themselves, others, and the diverse world around them.
Application forms, procedures and additional information
There are many ways to experience
St. Bonaventure for yourself
Learn more about the programs that interest you