Brother Mel's 83rd year--which we will be celebrating at The Arts Company during his 14th Annual Artistic Pilgrimage to Nashville June 3 & 4--has truly been another phenomenal year for this rare artist who has been a Catholic brother in the Marianist community for over 60 years and a practicing artist for over 50 years.
Between now and the time we will see him in early June, his year will be topped off in three important ways:
1) First and foremost: On May 21, St. Louis University will award him an honorary doctorate in the arts for his lifetime of making art.
2) As if that is not enough, some 18-20 of his large outdoor sculptures have been purchased by St. Louis University to be placed in a special park at the entrance to the university in the middle of downtown St. Louis in mid-May, just ahead of the degree ceremony. While the university and other businesses and public spaces have purchased and commissioned his work for years, this newest purchase and special presentation, plus this academic honor, is further testament to the demand for and quality of his work.
...and the best for last...
3) Lucky for Nashville, Brother Mel will be coming to Nashville just two weeks after this honor and the formal dedication will have taken place. If you are one of his special collectors and fans, listen up. He will be at The Arts Company for two occasions, accompanied by his latest exhibition of new work.
On Friday, June 3, he will be the subject of that night's Collectors Art Night at The Arts Company. To honor him further, his visit that night will be hosted and presented by some very special collectors who will be there to talk about why they keep coming back to his work and why it matters to them--from corporate to individual collectors.
On Saturday, June 4, he will be available to meet and greet his Nashville friends as they come to see his latest work...and to celebrate his 83rd birthday.
This year, we have asked him to focus on small sculptural shapes and colors, more artwork to "bring beauty to space to lift up spirits." It's exciting work commissioned especially for this year's Nashville exhibition. It's artwork we can all take personally.
In true Brother Mel fashion, once St. Louis University made their selections, within a short time Brother Mel had produced more large sculptures to re-populate his own sculpture yard outside his studio. He is never at a loss for new ideas, and his love of working at art all day six days a week never wanes.
We are lucky in Nashville to have direct access to this rare artist during his annual exhibitions.
The Shapes & Colors of Brother Mel
Opening at The Arts Company