Sisters of St. Francis Launch First Annual Festival of the Arts in Syracuse

May 4, 2017

The banner for this weekend's Festival of the Arts
Credit John Smith / WAER News

The Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities are sharing their talents this weekend at the St. Marianne Cope Shrine and Museum in Syracuse.  The first ever Festival of the Arts will have some live teaching demonstrations by the Sisters.  Director Kristin Barrett-Anderson says the event will offer a wide variety.

 “We’re including cuisine, gardening, music, dance, language, besides all the mixed media, and sculpture and graphic art.”

There will be many exhibits of the multi-talented sisters who carry on St. Marianne Cope’s life and legacy.  Some include beautiful water color paintings to photos.  One particular photo features a mosaic created by Sister Francis Agnes who died in 2006.

Examples of some of the glassware prepared by the Sisters.
Credit John Smith / WAER News

 “Every single time we bring up her name to the sisters they hear plates crashing in their head because that’s what they remember about her, that she would always have Syracuse China and be smashing it on the floor to make the pieces to put into her mosaic.”

Anderson describes glass sculpted by Sister Barbara Whelan from Williamsville, New York.

 “When she takes different pieces of glass and bends and molds them to turn them into pieces of art, jewelry. Here we see a candle holder.”

She adds the display of the arts also emphasizes that the sisters have also provided holistic healing for the mind, body and spirit for 150 years.


Director Kristen Barrett-Anderson standing among some of the exhibits from the St. Marianne Cope Museum
Credit John Smith / WAER News

“It’s the things that bring us joy and so much of the time it can be music, or it can be dance or it will be part of the arts that are creating that beauty and optimism. So it can create healing from emotional, physical, mental anything.”

The Festival of the Arts also coincides with the 148th Anniversary of St. Joseph’s Hospital on Saturday.  The event happens from 1 to 5 PM at 601 North Townsend Street. Guests can look forward to being signed in on an authentic ledger dating back to the earliest days of St. Joseph's.  More information can be found at