By Alberto Lopez, Staff Writer
Our Lady of Guadalupe is an important figure to millions of Latin people around the world. She is widely seen as the Mother of God, but to Latin people, she is seen as a symbol of love, hope, and prosperity.
At the onset of Hispanic Heritage Month both Fr. Steven Privett, SJ, Verbum Dei High School President, and Brother Fred Gianelli, SJ, Christian Service Coordinator and Assistant Campus Minister, approached teacher Allison Kennedy, and requested that she repaint the newly donated Our Lady of Guadalupe statue located in the VDHS chapel. This was a perfect task for Kennedy as she is the visual art teacher for Verbum Dei High School.
When asked why she was asked to paint this statue, Kennedy said, “I was the most convenient choice, but I was very happy and honored to be asked.”
Kennedy’s work took place in her classroom on the upper floor of the MPR Building; that is where she requested that the statue to be delivered. She was asked to paint this statue because it lacked the traditional appearance of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
“This task was important because being a person of faith and color, I felt honored to make Our Lady of Guadalupe look like me,” said Kennedy.
“Having her in the class impacted the students because some of them were drawn to her in some way, ” said Kennedy. This statue served as a way to open the eyes of students to the tradition of Hispanic Heritage Month.
The painting of Our Lady of Guadalupe has transformed some students in Kennedy’s class. The painting also made Kennedy feel proud of herself as an artist and as a person of color.