This traveling exhibition features the stories of the innovative, action-oriented Sisters who played a significant role in shaping the nations' social and cultural landscape since they first came to America almost 300 years ago.
It depicts how they built and led schools, hospitals, orphanages, colleges and other social institutions; and how they created these institutions at a time when most women had few, if any, professional opportunities; and how they ministered to Americans during the Civil War, the Depression, the Civil Rights Movement, and through Hurricane Katrina.
The exhibit will be at The National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium in Dubuque through May 22nd. Other stops for the exhibit during the three-year tour to June 3, 2012, include: Cincinnati, OH; Dallas, TX; Washington, DC; Cleveland, OH; Liberty Island, NY; Dubuque, IA; Los Angeles, CA; South Bend, IN; and Sacramento, CA.
As part of the national exhibit, regional congregations of Sisters present a local history component that highlights the roots of their individual congregations. They also present information on their contemporary ministries.
Sister Janice said that she created her piece called "Slice of the Earth" as a reflection on the gifts of nature, especially water. It is a fanciful version of a slice of the earth, including plants, water, topsoil, subsoil, substratum, and bedrock. She used dried plants, fabric, carpet, ribbon, and beads.
Her inspiration for the piece was the Sister Water Project that the Dubuque Franciscan Sisters began in 2006 to help people in Honduras and Tanzania who need clean water. The Project helps install wells, pumps, pipes, and water catchment systems.