For decades, award-winning artist Anne Goetze has documented the closed-cloister Visitation Order in Annecy, France. While trying to understand her aunt Soeur Margarite Marie’s faith journey, it organically and ultimately became her own.
Through images, paintings and film, the ‘Pray To Love’ Series evolved. Anne’s art reflects the beauty, simplicity and the importance of the beloved women of the Visitation who dedicate their lives to prayer and to live their motto “To be a gentle presence in a violent world.” Founded by St. Francis de Sales and St. Jane de Chantal in 1610, the Visitation Order was the first order of nuns that was started by a woman, allowing widows and those not in austere health. The Visitation spread with Monasteries all over the world. Their numbers are dwindling in the U.S., but living humbly in the middle of Brooklyn, New York since 1855, the Sisters of the Visitation Monastery and Academy are steadfastly praying for this world.
With text written by the nuns to accompany the paintings, the nun series exhibit offers insights as well as a change in perceptions of the religious and contemplative life. It shares the gift of hope that spreads to all of us and helps us to increase our own faith.
In the artist’s own words, Anne says: “This project started for me in Leiper’s Fork and carried me to France and has now come full circle back home.” She explains that this body of work relates to her overall chosen subject matter and way of life. “Simplicity and finding joy in the small things... as in the ‘Clothesline Series,’ resonates with me personally,” she says. “The inspiration from the beauty of nature that is reflected through paintings, documentation and filming of the landscape has given me purpose to direct and share my work toward the efforts of conservation, and to partake more in what we are all called to do, and that is to be good stewards of the earth.”
The book can be purchased online at annegoetze.com; The Copper Fox Gallery in Leiper’s Fork and Landmark Books in Franklin. Join Anne for a book signing on Sunday, October 15th from 1pm to 3pm, at The Copper Fox Gallery in Leiper’s Fork located at 4136 Old Hillsboro Road.