Maysoun Y. Seman has been named People’s Choice Winner with her mixed media artwork titled “Mary and Elizabeth – The Visitation” in the Seventh Juried Catholic Arts Exhibition, part of a multimedia show of religious-themed art at The Saint Vincent Gallery at Saint Vincent College. The People’s Choice Award, which carries a cash prize of $250, is based on ballots cast by visitors to the exhibition during its run from Oct. 28 to Dec. 2.

Seman draws her artistic inspiration from her family’s journey to the United States in 1981 following the persecution and violence of the Iran-Iraq War. Executed in watercolor on wood, “Mary and Elizabeth – The Visitation” explores the relationship of Mary, the mother of Jesus, and Elizabeth, mother of John the Baptist, during the Visitation scene of Luke 1:39–56. Traditionally, Elizabeth is considered Mary’s cousin, but in the Chaldean Rite, she is considered Mary’s aunt. As a child, Seman’s family Rosary was recited in their native tongue of Aramaic, with the second joyful Mystery specifically identifying Elizabeth as Saint Anne’s sister. Seman’s artwork reflects the deep closeness shared between Mary and Elizabeth.

A total of 44 works by artists from 17 states and three countries were included in the unique exhibition where artists worked in mixed media, stainless steel, oil, acrylic, photography, watercolor, cast stone, plaster, fabric and others.

The juror for the exhibition was Dr. Elizabeth Lev, an American-born art historian who specializes in Christian art and architecture, Baroque painting and sculpture and High Renaissance art. She is a professor of art and architecture for the Italian campuses of Christendom College and Duquesne University, and a licensed guide for the city of Rome and the Vatican Museums.

This is the seventh Juried Catholic arts exhibition, which seeks to foster the arts of the Western Christian tradition although other artistic traditions of Christian subject matter are also considered.

The eighth juried Catholic Arts Exhibition will be held in fall 2020.