MICHIGAN: Alma College will unveil a figurative sculpture that represents the spiritual ideals of the late Bishop Thomas Makarios during a dedication ceremony at 3 p.m. Saturday, May 16 on McIntyre Mall.
Bishop Makarios was a much-beloved professor of religious studies at Alma College who passed away in February 2008. In his 25 years at Alma, he introduced students to Indian philosophy and culture and helped develop the Alma India Program, which has a relationship with the Mathen Mappilai Memorial Public School in the village of Ayroor in the state of Kerala. Many Alma students have performed volunteer work at the school over the years.
In addition, the Bishop was founder and leader of the U.S.-Canada Diocese of the Malankara Orthodox Church of India. His flowing red robes made him a well-recognized and distinguished presence on campus.
Following his passing, a campus committee selected Williamston artist Mark Chatterley to create a campus sculpture that memorializes the Bishop’s impact on the faculty and students of Alma College.
“Mark Chatterley’s figures have a very timeless, universal feeling to them,” says Carrie Parks-Kirby, faculty artist and committee member. “Even though he never knew or met the Bishop, he took our descriptions and came up with a sculpture that is very fitting and descriptive of our former friend and colleague.”
The sculpture depicts a central figure with wings standing, arms raised and palms together in a prayerful gesture. The wings, at close inspection, are made up of figures that get progressively smaller.
“This beautiful work of art provides a fitting and enduring reminder of the Bishop’s legacy at Alma College, in his beloved church, and in the world religious community,” says Alma President Saundra Tracy.
“It’s a beautiful image for a leader of a church and teacher who impacted so many individuals,” says Parks-Kirby. “The sculpture is not a likeness of the Bishop but represents his spiritual wisdom, love and leadership of the people around him.”
The clay sculpture cast in bronze will be located at the center of campus along a sidewalk amidst a grove of evergreen trees.
Chatterley has exhibited his work at galleries throughout Michigan plus Milwaukee, Chicago, Houston, New Orleans, Nashville, San Francisco and elsewhere. He has a bachelor’s and a master of fine arts degrees from Michigan State University.