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The Scanlan Foundation and University of St. Thomas Partner to Celebrate Inspired Catholic Arts

Artist Al Sauls with an art loverThe inaugural Sacred Art Live exhibition, sponsored by Scanlan Foundation, drew over 200 people to the University of St. Thomas-Houston campus on February 19, 2022, to celebrate living artists creating inspired work. Art lovers admired beautiful religious paintings and crafts as they mingled with the artists and enjoyed wine and cheese in a gracious atmosphere of live music that featured performances by UST students under the leadership of Gonzalo Ramos, a 2018 UST Master of Sacred Music graduate.

Four contemporary sacred art painters and iconographers offered their works for sale including: William K. Stidham of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico; Al Sauls '21 of Houston, Texas; Paul Latino ‘03 of Houston, Texas; and Kate Capato of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Twenty-two works of art and a total of more than 50 items were sold, and the artists donated more than $2,000 to benefit the St. Thomas Fund for Art Student Scholarships.

"This exhibition is the beginning of Sacred Art Live supporting future artists in this inspired art form," said Larry W. Massey, Jr., President of Scanlan Foundation. "We are promoting sacred art to strengthen Catholic culture in Houston."

A Legacy of Supporting the Arts

“The idea for this exhibition was inspired by the late Kate Scanlan,” says Massey. “Kate was involved in the early days of the Houston Museum of Fine Arts.” Kate was the older sister of Lillian and Stella Scanlan, the youngest two daughters of civic leader and businessman Tim Scanlan (1832-1906) and the founders of Scanlan Foundation. The foundation now furthers Roman Catholic religious, charitable and educational purposes within the State of Texas. In 2022, the Scanlan Foundation celebrates its 75th birthday, a milestone it shares with the University of St. Thomas.

Scanlan Foundation Supports Catholic Arts

In addition to supporting the visual arts, Scanlan Foundation is a supporter of Catholic literary arts and sacred music. This summer, Catholic Literary Arts, an organization supported by Scanlan Foundation, will host its fourth annual Fearless Catholic Writers Camp for rising third graders through high schoolers at UST. In 2020, UST also launched a 100% online Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing Program.  A June 16-18, 2022, Summer Writer Institute on campus, which is open to the public, 18 and older, is now accepting applications. The program is run by two renowned Catholic writers, James Matthew Wilson and Joshua Hren. UST also offers a Masters of Sacred Music program, which is also supported by Scanlan Foundation.

University of St. Thomas, Future Home for Catholic Arts in Houston

Massey said, “We want the University of St. Thomas to become the home for these three art forms. The platform for future community building of Catholic artists in Houston has now begun. I am very excited to see the growth of sacred music, Catholic Literary Arts and Sacred Art Live. The potential to bring these beautiful, inspired works to all of Houston promotes beauty, truth and goodness.”