Mary the Colorful One

by Bro. Cletus Behlmann, S.M.
March 15, 1999 through April 30, 1999



About the Artist

Bro. Cletus Behlmann, a Marianist brother at St. Mary's University in San Antonio, was born and raised in Florissant, Missouri. Nothing seemed to predestine him to become an artist. Cletus was one of twelve children, and more familiar in his youth with the numerous chores on the family farm than with brush and chisel. Although always interested in the arts, Cletus studied English and music. Following graduation, he worked for a year and then joined the Brothers, and eventually began a teaching career that spanned nineteen years.

His first opportunity to study art came at age twenty-eight when he was teaching at a parish school in El Paso. As a matter of fact, he ran into trouble trying to draw a simple bean pot. "I was given a paper, a piece of charcoal, and the bean pot," he recollects, "and I had the worst time." Though the results of the first lesson may have been less than encouraging, Brother Cletus continued to take lessons and later studied at the Chicago Institute of Art and Washington University. He settled in San Antonio in 1977 and began operating St. Mary's University Art Center.

Today, Bro. Cletus is chairman of St. Mary's Fine Arts Committee. He runs the Art Center, gives demonstrations, and teaches art. It is thanks to his artistic inventiveness that the gallery, studio and center reflect art and convey beauty. Cletus may seem quiet and unassuming on the surface. Yet, deep down there is a drive that fires both his creative imagination and productivity. He has been called "shockingly productive" - over the years he did literally hundreds of paintings, metal sculptures, and ceramic pieces. He works in a variety of media: metal, acrylics, watercolors, batik, stained glass, pastels, ceramics, and weaving. Although his themes range from religious to folk art to abstract, the overall leitmotif of his work is in "celebration of life," from the wonders of nature to the miracles of God's Redemption. No wonder that Cletus' canvases suggest a joyous symphony of bold and bright colors, so different from the discreet and delicate expression of the message he wants to convey. The deeply spiritual quality of his work, for instance, "is a little more suggestive than it is obvious," as Cletus himself explains. Essentially a religious artist, Cletus wants the beholder to discover the correspondence and ultimate unity between religion and life.

Most recently, Cletus taught art in Japan, traveled to China, Europe and Mexico, and was the artist in residence for the World Council of Churches' San Antonio Conference 1989. Yet his home turf remains the great state of Texas and beautiful bicultural San Antonio. That is where most of his works and clients are, of whom only a modest sampling can be mentioned here:
- Coors Dickshire Distributors, El Paso, Texas.
- Dominican College, New Orleans, Louisiana.
- St. Brigid's Catholic Church, Leon Valley, Texas.
- La Mansion Hotels - Central Office, San Antonio.
- St. Joseph Catholic Church, Dallas, Texas.
- Mount Carmel Convent, New Orleans, Louisiana.
- St. Mary's High School, St. Louis, Missouri.
- Our Lady of the Assumption Church, Harlingen, Texas.
- United Church of Christ, Leisure City, Florida.
- University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio.
- Lord of Life Lutheran Church, Kirby, Texas.
- England AFB, Alexandria, Louisiana.

To learn more of Bro. Cletus Behlman, SM and his works, see his own website at: www.brothercletus.com


Works on Display

1. Mother and Child
acrylic on paper, $65
2. Mother and Child
acrylic on paper, $65
3. Mother and Child
acrylic on paper, $65
4. Mother and Child
acrylic on paper, $65
5. Mother and Child
acrylic on paper, $65
6. Mother and Child
acrylic on paper, $65
7. Mother and Child
acrylic on paper, $65
8. Mother and Child
acrylic on paper, $65
9. Mother and Child
acrylic on paper, $65
10. Mother and Child
acrylic on paper, $65
11. Mother and Child
acrylic on paper, $65
12. Mother and Child
acrylic on paper, $65
13. Holy Family
linoleum cut on handmade paper, $65
14. Mother and Child
linoleum cut on handmade paper, $65
15. Mother and Child
crayola, $50
16. Mother and Child
acrylic on paper, $65
17. Mother and Child
acrylic on paper, $65
18. Mother and Child
acrylic on paper, $65
19. Mother and Child
acrylic on paper, $65
20. Mother and Child
acrylic on paper, $65
21. Mother and Child
acrylic on paper, $65
22. Mother and Child
acrylic on paper, $65
23. Mother and Child
acrylic on paper, $65
24. Mother and Child
acrylic on paper, $65
The Marian Library
International Marian Research Institute
300 College Park Avenue
Dayton, OH 45469-1390
(937) 229-4214
JRoten1@udayton.edu
25. Mother and Child
acrylic on paper, $65
26. Mother and Child
acrylic on paper, $65


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This page, maintained by The Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute, Dayton, Ohio 45469-1390, and created by Varun Gade , was last modified Wednesday, 02/08/2012 13:37:41 EST by Sumithra Kulkarni . Please send any comments to jroten1@udayton.edu.

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