Janet McKenzie



The Inspiration of Saint Monica
Oil on

Statement: A couple of years ago I received a request from a school in Detroit seeking an image of St. Monica, which I did not have. As a result, I was inspired to paint an interpretation of St. Augustine's mother, one reflecting her belief in and commitment to prayer. Dr. Janet Moses (the perfect subject for this work), pediatrician at MIT, mother of four and wife of 60's Freedom Fighter Robert Moses, was the model for this painting, for which I am eternally grateful. Saint Monica faithfully loved her wayward son and wept for him every night. She believed with a full heart that her prayers would lead him to God, because hope is the essence of prayer. In stillness, her prayers reached out to eternity—to God—just as ours do.


Bio: Contemporary American artist Janet McKenzie has committed her life and art to celebrating women's lives and gifts. Best known for her "Jesus of the People," the controversial winner of National Catholic Reporter's Jesus 2000 international competition, McKenzie's work boldly confronts and confounds stereotypical thinking with luminous and haunting imagery. Her art was featured in book form in Holiness and the Feminine Spirit — The Art of Janet McKenzie and The Way of the Cross — The Path to New Life (written by Sr. Joan Chittister, OSB), published by Orbis Books. Her art has been exhibited at the Haggerty Museum of Art in Milwaukee and the Loyola University Museum of Art in Chicago, among other venues throughout the country. Janet McKenzie was the 2013 William Belden Noble Lecturer at the Memorial Church, Harvard University.



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