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Cosmic Art From 87-Year-Old Nun To Be Displayed Here

Last year, in the wake of all they’d been through with the pandemic, Tower Lofts residents introduced a colorful and thought-provoking new initiative in their building: the Tower Lofts Gallery of Art, with creative new displays from local artists rotating every three or four months.

It was fitting, considering their building’s history as one of the original artist studios, before the North Loop started transitioning into a residential community.

Now, they’re about to welcome abstract work from another unique artist, Sister Mary Frances Judge, an activist nun who has been painting professionally since the 1970s and has sold to private and public collections from as far away as Italy, Sweden and Japan.

“I have to do it. It’s sort of like a vision,” she said. “Right now, the cosmic stuff is really into my head so I’m painting about it. I started looking to the stars, the great mystery beyond. Sort of gets into my consciousness.”

Tower Lofts resident Shelley Plunkett, who heads up the art gallery committee, heard about Mary Frances’ work from a neighbor, went to see some of her work in storage and bought two pieces. Now Shelley’s excited to welcome her to the gallery, with an opening Saturday, November 12th from 7-9pm.

It will include work from across several decades and several different phases of inspiration.

“I am so excited to have Mary Frances,” she said. “We’ve never done a solo, and that’s how excited we are. Everybody is very, very excited at the residence.”

The public is invited to attend on the 12th and is asked to enter through the doors in the Tower Tunnel off Washington Avenue. Those who are interested but can’t make it on the 12th can arrange a private visit by emailing Shelley at Mary Frances’ art–which is for sale–will be displayed in the Tower Lofts gallery for the next few months.

By Mike Binkley, North Loop volunteer

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