Artist Dominic Pangborn Honors Blessed Solanus Casey in Detroit

Workers install artwork by Dominic Pangborn at the Solanus Casey Center (Photo courtesy of Dominic Pangborn)

Tens of thousands of people flocked to the Solanus Casey Center the weekend of November 18, and their religious experience became all the more powerful thanks to a striking portrait by artist Dominic Pangborn.

An estimated 65,000 people—including Pangborn—attended the beatification ceremony for the late Blessed Solanus Casey at Detroit’s Ford Field on November 18. It was a rare event held by the Catholic Church, which many see as the precursor to Casey being named the first-ever male Catholic saint from the United States.

Many of those pilgrims also visited Detroit’s Solanus Casey Center, where they were greeted by Pangborn’s Art in Motion work.

“It’s really incredible because when you walk into the center, it’s right at the end of it where people go to see the body of Solanus Casey,” Pangborn says.

Capuchins at the Solanus Casey Center—an order of the Catholic Church—asked Pangborn to create a unique artwork to welcome visitors to the pilgrimage center. The three-dimensional portrait, which depicts Casey with open arms, appears to shift as viewers move, creating the illusion that Casey is walking toward them.

“I want that ‘wow’ factor,” Pangborn says. “It was very interesting how everybody was grabbing the next person like, ‘No, you’ve got to step back, you’ve got to look at it back there and start going up, you see him coming and meeting you.’”

Photo courtesy of Dominic Pangborn

The 10-foot by 10-foot aluminum artwork was installed on October 24 and weighs 400 lbs. As a result, Pangborn had to design a special structure to keep the artwork in place, as well as employ a five-member crew and a hydraulic lifter to install it.

While many of the visitors were awed by Pangborn’s art, the artist found himself stunned while attending the beatification ceremony.

“I was surprised, when I walked in they had my piece of art on the screen as visitors came in,” Pangborn says. “They had it on the video right on the main screen next to [Casey’s] picture and image. I was like, ‘Whoa!’”

 

Portrait of a Saint

Father Solanus Casey (Image courtesy of solanuscenter.org)

Casey was considered a wonderworker by local Catholics in Detroit, revered for his faith, his attention to the sick, and his co-founding of the Capuchin Soup Kitchen in 1929. He passed away in 1957.

Beatification is the official declaration by the pope that Casey led a holy and virtuous life and can intercede for the faithful. Casey can now be publicly venerated in Detroit and Capuchin houses.

Following the beatification, Casey is one step closer to being declared a saint. The church must verify that Casey performed one more miracle before he can achieve sainthood. He would be the first male born in the United States to be declared a Catholic saint.

“It’s going to be a pilgrimage of people from all over the world coming not just because he is a saint, but all the people praying to him for miracles,” Pangborn says.

Artwork featuring Blessed Solanus Casey by Dominic Pangborn

In addition to his Art in Motion, Pangborn created three paintings featuring Casey. Among them is a painting depicting Casey standing in an open doorway, a reference to the Capuchin’s time as a porter (a doorkeeper and receptionist) at St. Bonaventure Monastery from 1924 to 1945. Pangborn plans on using the images to create prayer cards.

To collect the artwork of Pangborn, contact Park West Gallery at (800) 521-9654 ext. 4 during business hours or sales@parkwestgallery.com.

Leave a comment

Prove you\'re human. *

Latest News

  • Art Prodigy Autumn de Forest Named in Teen Vogue’s ’21 Under 21’

    Art prodigy Autumn de Forest had a special message for those attending the 2017 Teen Vogue Summit on December 1 and 2.“When you have something to offer that is ...
    Read More
  • Michael Cheval Finds the Absurd in Surrealism

    Donning a bowler hat, artist Michael Cheval bears a resemblance to artist René Magritte. The similarity is no coincidence, as Cheval’s art is heavily ...
    Read More
  • 5 Easy Ways How to Hang Artwork Without Using Nails

    Collecting art is a lot of fun, but hanging it when you get home is a little more complicated.After all, hanging your newly acquired masterpiece isn’t always an option ...
    Read More
  • 7 Quick Facts to Make You an Art Expert

    Park West Gallery’s mission is to provide individuals with the confidence, knowledge, and means to appreciate fine art.We also understand that art is a complex, diverse, and subjective subject, one ...
    Read More
  • Leonardo da Vinci’s ‘Salvator Mundi’ Heading to Louvre Abu Dhabi

    The most expensive artwork ever sold, Leonardo da Vinci’s “Salvator Mundi” (Savior of the World), is heading to the new Louvre Abu Dhabi.The new museum made the announcement on December ...
    Read More
  • 5 Fascinating Things You May Not Know About Joan Miró

    Few artists have had an impact on Modern Art like Joan Miró.Beginning his career in Spain in the early 20th century, Miró defied the art world with his groundbreaking, ...
    Read More
  • Alexandre Renoir Experiences Family Legacy at DIA’s ‘Monet: Framing Life’

    Last week, when artist Alexandre Renoir walked through the Detroit Institute of Arts’ latest exhibition, “Monet: Framing Life,” one particular feeling kept surfacing: pride.Alexandre is a direct descendant of ...
    Read More
  • 8 Breathtaking Works of Winter Art to Put You in the Holiday Spirit

    Can you believe it’s already December? If you can’t and are struggling to get into the holiday spirit, we recommend spending some quality time with a few exceptional works of ...
    Read More
  • Gift Guide: How to Give the Perfect Art Book as a Holiday Gift

    As we enter the holiday season, are you struggling to find the perfect gift for a loved one? If so, you might want to check out Park ...
    Read More
  • Auctioneer Spotlight: Denys Dixie

    Many of our Park West collectors develop friendships with the art teams over the course of their land or sea vacations. Here’s a chance to get to know one of ...
    Read More
  • Artist Matt Beyrer Sets Auction Records, Makes New Limited-Edition Art

    Artist Matt Beyrer sold all 30 of his unique oil paintings on wood during his debut auction in April, leading VIP Auctioneer Rob Ducat to make a bold prediction:“Get ready ...
    Read More
  • Artist Anatole Krasnyansky Speaks About Life and Art in New Video

    Never forget your culture, traditions, or where you came from—that’s the lesson noted artist Anatole Krasnyansky hopes viewers take away from his art.Last year, ...
    Read More