Thursday, March 21, 2013

Art Legacy League Board Gathers

Art Legacy League Board Gathers-L-R Amy, George, Jeff, Paul, Nancy, Donna, John
Many of the members of the Board of Directors of The Art Legacy League gathered at Amy Nielsen's home on the mighty Mississippi to bid a fond farewell to our globe trotting Canadian web master, Nancy Trottier. Nancy was in the area to lead a workshop for The CATFISH Letter Arts School this week at our Bettendorf home, the Bettendorf Community Center.

Heather, Amy, Nancy
Nancy also conducted research at the SAU Library Archives with Paul Herrera, ALL Chairman, and Amy Nielsen, ALL Board Member.

Nancy had set up the original Catich Correspondence Archive in the Catich Gallery over 20 years ago. This Archive has now been moved into a more permanent location within the SAU Library. Nancy was very happy to find many of her original accession sheets still being used.

Nancy, Paul and Amy met with the SAU Archivist, Heather  Lovewell, about ongoing efforts to preserve important Catich documents and rubbings. Just behind our 'Three Amigos" you can see the Catich Rubbings in their new storage racks, built by Paul Herrera. The ALL volunteers met and rewound all the rubbings carefully and prepared them for their new home in the SAU Archives last year. This is a very good example of the volunteer work undertaken by The Art Legacy League to help honor the memory and works of Father Catich. The ALL also helps organize exhibitions of Father's work during the Summer months in The Catich Gallery at St. Ambrose University in Davenport. The group also met with Leslie A. Grossman, the new Catich Gallery Curator and Art on Campus Curator for St. Ambrose. She is bringing a wealth of experience to SAU, including small gallery management, student staff supervision, and exhibition curation and coordination. The ALL has pledged all cooperation to her and is actively working to help coordinate the next summer exhibition of Catich work at the SAU Catich Gallery.

Nancy's two daughters, Nancy and Paul Gehl
Just after Nancy arrived, she and Paul Herrera, along with Nancy's daughters, met with Paul Gehl, Custodian of the John M. Wing Collection on the History of Printing at The Newberry Library in Chicago. Nancy conducted a good deal of her master's thesis work at The Newberry. During the tour of the library, Paul Gehl was kind enough to bring out the book of hours Nancy worked on during this time to share with the group.

He also was able to provide a lovely look at an original stone by Catich and one by John Howard Benson. Paul Herrera is talking with The Newberry about hosting the ALL traveling Catich exhibition within the coming two years. This exhibit is already framed, and ready to ship to locations interested in seeing original Catich work. If you are interested, please email Paul Herrera at artlegacyleague@gmail.com.


Another highlight of the trip was a visit by some of the ALL Board Members to Bob O'Hare's Woodshop and Studio. As many know, Bob was an apprentice for Father Catich prior to Paul Herrera joining the Catfish Shop.

Nancy and Bob have not seen each other in over 30 years, so it was wonderful to catch up and remember Father.

Amy, George, Nancy, Bob
Amy and George Ohley were along for the visit as well. Great discussions were had about the work the ALL is up to these days, including the courses for The CATFISH Letter Arts School. Bob had some great stories about Father to share with all of us. We are very thankful he had the time to spare from work.



On Thursday  Nancy joined Paul in Iowa City to meet with Professor Wallace Tomasini, The University of Iowa School of Art and Art History. Nancy arranged with the School of Art and Art History for Paul to be able to take detailed photographs of an inscription cut in wood by Father in 1935 for the original Art Building that was heavily damaged in the last flood.   Paul was able to learn that the inscription is over what was the original Art Gallery for the building. Professor Tomasini also indicated there were some records in the main library archives with more details. Paul will be checking this out in the coming weeks.
Catich only known wood inscription, circa 1935.

This inscription was completed PRIOR to Father's first trip to Rome to complete his studies for the priesthood. His exemplar was the poor cast of a cast held in the British Museum in London. His view of Imperial Roman was forever altered when he saw the original in Rome while a seminarian.

The Board of Directors meets monthly to discuss current projects and plan strategies for the future. The next events to be offered by The CATFISH Letter Arts School include two workshops in April, Advanced Calligraphy and Introduction to Brush Writing. Check out this webpage for more information and Registration information.




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