Faculty Artwork & Research
Sculpture at Saint Joseph's
Before I began teaching at Saint Joseph’s, I was teaching Sculpture in the first-year program at Parsons School of Design, the Sculpture Program and Art Education Program at the State University of New York at New Paltz and in the Art Department at Westchester Community College. My own creative practice is an interdisciplinary one, and I often work between drawing, painting, photo collage and sculpture techniques — focusing on relationships between social systems of organization and the spaces that our physical bodies exist within.
In one series, titled the Reciprocal Ladder series, I am working primarily with wood, while using the physical form of a ladder to metaphorically and physically visualize social progress as a collective effort. By creating structures that disrupt the vertical and linear nature of how we understand a ladder to be used, and by implication, destabilizing the familiar metaphor of the “ladder of success” and the implied social hierarchies that go along with this understanding, my intention is to undermine these engrained notions of social inequality and focus instead on visualizing networks of mutual cooperation and egalitarian social values suggested through the altered forms of this otherwise utilitarian object.
My plans for the sculpture program at Saint Joseph's involve developing a diverse array of introductory through advanced level classes, expanding into digital fabrication through the use of 3D printing and laser cutting and facilitating the growth of a maker space, that with increased technical staffing, could begin to meet the needs of the entire campus — not just the students enrolled in sculpture courses.
Some of the new equipment that I am excited to be incorporating into the Sculpture curriculum include a 17-inch band-saw, Saw-Stop table saw, a sliding compound miter saw and a FormLabs Form 3 3D printer.
Father Dennis McNally
About Fr. Dennis McNally (1944-2020)
New York born and bred, McNally received his B.A. from Fordham University, M.A. from New York University, M.Div from Weston Jesuit School of Theology and Ph.D. from New York University. He studied for a year in Italy, an experience that has infused his work with Renaissance influences. His Jesuit training in the Spiritual Exercises puts the use of imagination in the attempt to connect with God at the very center of his prayer life and his work. He was Saint Joseph’s University’s first full-time studio professor, hired in 1976, and was instrumental in the creation and development of the Department of Fine and Performing Arts where he served as chairman for 22 years.
Fr. McNally established the Saint Joseph’s University Gallery, formerly Galleria Poggeschi, and curated over 200 exhibits. Over the past 40 years at Saint Joseph’s, he served on over 100 committees, for many of which he was chairman. Twenty-eight of his years on campus were spent living among the student body as a faculty resident in the dormitories.
Popular among the SJU community, students filled the Chapel of Saint Joseph every Sunday night to be present for McNally’s two-hour-long mass. McNally presided over this 10 p.m. mass for 10 consecutive years, often bringing his own paintings to reference in his homilies. He has also married over 200 graduates, faculty and staff.
When not teaching, McNally created over 500 paintings and sculptures. His work has been exhibited around the world and he has published five books. Additionally, McNally has received numerous awards as an artist and educator. He received the 2020 Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching posthumously.
Those wishing to honor him may contribute to The Corpus Christi Scholarship Fund, which was established in 1993 through the generosity of the Jesuit Community and Dennis McNally, S.J., Ph.D. The scholarship was created to assist art students who demonstrate financial need.
Fr. McNally's Artwork
Inquiries regarding purchasing Fr. McNally's artwork should be directed to Fr. Eugene Geinzer (firstname.lastname@example.org). Proceeds from sales will go to the Corpus Christi Schoalrship Fund.