Upcoming ISM exhibit to focus on threatened and endangered species

April 5, 2023

An upcoming exhibit at the Yale Institute of Sacred Music by artist and iconographer Angela Manno will focus on threatened and endangered species. Sacred Biodiversity: Icons of Threatened and Endangered Species will feature species in all seven genera—fish, mammals, birds, plants, reptiles, amphibians, insects and other invertebrates.  The selected works will elevate our other than human relatives to foster a biocentric sensibility, or in the words of Pope Francis, an “ecological conversion.” The exhibit is sponsored by ISM’s new Religion, Ecology and Expressive Culture Initiative.

The public will be able to visit the exhibit from April 12-May 8 on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 12-4 p.m.

All are invited to the opening reception on Wednesday, April 12 from 5-7 p.m. which will include an artist talk and panel discussion. Light refreshments will be served.  Angela Manno will speak at 5:30 p.m. about her work, followed by the guest panel discussion featuring Mary Evelyn Tucker, Robert Nelson, and Walter Jetz. ISM fellow Ryan Darr will moderate the event. The event will also be livestreamed here.

The method of iconography in Angela Manno’s icons stems from the tradition originating in the monasteries of 14th-16th century Russia. Icons are meant to give glory to God. These contemporary icons do so by expanding the canon of traditional iconographic imagery to include the natural world, so that Creation can be glorified in its fullness. This is also done through the use of all natural and non-synthetic materials including egg tempera, pigments made from earth ochres and ground up semi-precious stones, marble dust and clay.

Award-winning artist Angela Manno has made it her life’s work to apply her iconographic training to a contemporary exploration of the environmental crisis and mass extinction. She is a graduate of Bard College and studied art at the San Francisco Art Institute, Parsons School of Design, l’Ecole des Arts in Lacoste, France through Sarah Lawrence College, and trained with a master iconographer from Russia in the ancient liturgical art of Byzantine-Russian iconography.

Her work has been featured in both solo and group exhibitions including the American Museum of Natural History, and is in distinguished public collections including the Smithsonian Institution and at the Kennedy Space Center. NASA commissioned her to commemorate the launch of Discovery, the first space flight after the Challenger accident. The artist was also commissioned by the Vatican Dicastery on Integral Human Development to create an audio-visual program based on her contemporary icons to open Laudato Si’ Week 2022, the 7th anniversary of Pope Francis’ groundbreaking encyclical.

Manno’s works reside in many private collections throughout the Americas, the Middle East, Europe. She makes sizable donations from each sale to organizations such as the Center for Biological Diversity and the Half Earth Project. Her work has been noted in numerous publications including Smithsonian Magazine, National Catholic Reporter’s Earthbeat, Sojourners, Treehugger, The Progressive, and the prominent art website, Hyperallergic.

Manno’s current publishing projects include a book with Inner Traditions Publishing and accompanying card deck featuring her contemporary icons, and her visual memoir entitled, The Art of Evolution: A Vision of the Ecological Age. View Angela Manno’s website.

Image: The Emperor Penguin, © Angela Manno 2023, 9” x 7” x 1” Egg Tempera & Gold Leaf on Wood