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Volume 26, Number 5 — May 2019

Rose Marie Burriss’ faith led to a collection

Rose Marie Burriss
Rose Marie Burriss
Additional photos below »

By Leslie Grace | A! Magazine for the Arts | March 28, 2018

Rose Marie Burriss’ interest in religious icons began at a young age.

“When I was 7 years old, I received my first communion, and the priest gave me a small statue of the sacred heart of Jesus. I still have that and treasure it. I’ve just always loved religious articles and statues and paintings that remind me of Christ and his blessed mother and the saints,” she says.

Since that day she has continued to expand her collection, which includes crucifixes, prayer books, prints, statues, paintings and more. She has representations of saints, Christ, Moses, Mary, drawings of cathedrals and more. Her artwork comes from around the world including Italy, the Philippines, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Croatia, Russia, Estonia and Belgium.

Her faith sustains her, and she says she collects “because I’m Catholic, and I’ve always loved the church, but more importantly I’ve always loved the Lord.”

“I just love all of the art. They may not mean anything to anyone else, but because of my faith, love of God and love of church they are important to me. If I go to an antique shop, and I see a statue or religious article I think I’m supposed to rescue it because of whom it represents.

“I was reading something recently in one of my prayer books, and it said that people who love God should always be close to the arts because of who created music and paintings and the ability to execute images of God and his family. I thought that was a nice thing; it made me feel good because I love the arts,” Burriss says.

She has been active on the Symphony of the Mountains board for nearly 20 years. She also has served on the William King Museum of Art board. She’s served on the Paramount Center for the Arts board and is active at St. Anne’s Catholic Church..

She has loaned several of her pieces to the William King Museum of Art for its “Touching the Sacred” exhibit. They include a replica of the Pieta, a door to a tabernacle, a painting of the good shepherd, a statue of Moses and a Bible.

Her faith imbues Burriss’ home and spirit. “I always love to have people in our home. Every time I have an event at my house — a function for the symphony or the museum — I always pray that people will feel the presence, feel God’s spirit. I feel like God blessed us, and I feel it’s important to share,” Burriss says.

>> Mary Jane Miller creates new icons

Topics: Art

An image of Mother Mary from Rose Marie Burriss’ collection.