Previous Exhibit

James Palmigiano: Recent Collages

James Palmigiano: Recent Collages

Work of artist and Trappist monk on view in the Cantor Resource Gallery

The Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Art Gallery, College of the Holy Cross is pleased to present the work of Fr. James Palmigiano, O.C.S.O. in the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Foundation Resource Gallery from September 3 – December 17, 2014. An opening reception will be held on Tuesday, September 23, 5 – 7 p.m.

Fr. James Palmigiano is an artist and member of the Cistercian Order of the Strict Observance, known familiarly as Trappists, residing at Saint Joseph’s Abbey in Spencer, Massachusetts.

Fr. Palmigiano holds a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design, an MFA from Columbia University, and his MDiv, ThM from the Jesuit School of Theology, Berkeley. He was ordained in 1988 and entered Saint Joseph’s Abbey in 1991. He has taught as an assistant professor of fine arts at Boston College. His work has recently been seen in group shows at Anna Maria College and solo exhibitions at Saint Anselm College, Manchester, NH and McGowan Fine Arts, Concord, NH.

His collages reflect his experience of life in the monastery, with the apparent harmony of each piece born of a process of adding and subtracting, organizing and rearranging in a search for balance, order and presence. 

The daily routines of prayer and work within the community appear to offer a seamless, uncluttered beauty and orderliness, but in reality the daily striving for faithfulness in a monk’s duties and devotion to God’s mercy are always present. This is the matrix from which his work emerges, where the struggles of the contemplative life mirrors that of the creative process.

Fr. Palmigiano elaborates, “It is about organizing and then tearing things apart, letting the work of art get ruined and then trying to salvage what I can from the confusion. Things fall to pieces, and then, if I’m lucky with a bit of nudging they coalesce into a whole. I keep watch, trying to make sense of it all.”

Roger Hankins, director of the Cantor Art Gallery, was mindful of the connection between Fr. Palmigiano’s work and the exhibition on view in the main Gallery space, “The Italian Presepe: Cultural Landscapes of the Soul”, co-curated by Margot Balboni and Sarah Stanbury, Murray Professor of the Arts and Humanities at the College of the Holy Cross. According to Hankins, “ I saw a strong complement to the organization, intricacies of detail and craft found in Palmigiano’s contemporary work and that of Presepe constructions – and they are both expressions of devotion in their own way.”


Wednesday, September 3, 10 a.m. Exhibit opens: “James Palmigiano: Recent Colleges”

Tuesday, September 23, 5 - 7 p.m. Opening reception, Cantor Art Gallery

Tuesday, October 21, 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. Gallery Talk by Fr. James Palmigiano, Cantor Art Gallery


James Palmigiano