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Dominican Sister's Love Of Art Shines In Ossining Show

Dominican Sister Mary Ellen Wisner, an artist in oil, watercolor and stained glass, is exhibiting her work at the Mariandale Retreat and Conference Center in Ossining.
Dominican Sister Mary Ellen Wisner, an artist in oil, watercolor and stained glass, is exhibiting her work at the Mariandale Retreat and Conference Center in Ossining. Photo Credit: Mariandale Retreat and Conference Center
Sister Mary Ellen Wisner's oil painting of a lighthouse will be on exhibit at the Mariandale Mariandale Retreat and Conference Center in Ossining through Friday, Sept. 16.
Sister Mary Ellen Wisner's oil painting of a lighthouse will be on exhibit at the Mariandale Mariandale Retreat and Conference Center in Ossining through Friday, Sept. 16. Photo Credit: Mariandale Retreat and Conference Center
Sister Mary Ellen Wisner captured this Hudson River scene in oils. The painting is part of an exhibit of her artwork now going on at the Mariandale Retreat and Conference Center in Ossining.
Sister Mary Ellen Wisner captured this Hudson River scene in oils. The painting is part of an exhibit of her artwork now going on at the Mariandale Retreat and Conference Center in Ossining. Photo Credit: Mariandale Retreat and Conference Center
Sister Mary Ellen Wisner captured the delicate beauty of a sunflower in bright watercolors.
Sister Mary Ellen Wisner captured the delicate beauty of a sunflower in bright watercolors. Photo Credit: Mariandale Retreat and Conference Center
Bright blue morning glories are rendered in watercolor by Sister Mary Ellen Wisner, a Dominican nun. An exhibit of her artwork is on now through Sept. 16 at the Mariandale Retreat and Conference Center in Ossining.
Bright blue morning glories are rendered in watercolor by Sister Mary Ellen Wisner, a Dominican nun. An exhibit of her artwork is on now through Sept. 16 at the Mariandale Retreat and Conference Center in Ossining. Photo Credit: Mariandale Retreat and Conference Center

OSSINING, N.Y. -- She may not be as prolific as Grandma Moses, but at 91 years old, Sister Mary Ellen Wisner of Ossining is still remarkable for her artistic abilities.

The Dominican Sister of Hope is having a solo exhibit of works rendered in oil and watercolor at the Mariandale Retreat and Conference Center.

Sister Mary Ellen, who just celebrated 70 years in religious life, taught art for many decades, but it wasn’t until she retired that she was able to focus on her own work.

Among the paintings in the exhibit are ones of the Bear Mountain Bridge, stretching across the majestic Hudson River; waves crashing on the shore near a stalwart lighthouse in Maine; and a jewel-toned watercolor rendering of a sunflower.

According to a spokesperson for Mariandale, Sister Mary Ellen developed a love for art when she was a small child.

She and her two sisters used to sit at their kitchen table in the evenings while their mother taught them how to draw and about using color and perspective.

Later, after joining the Dominican Sisters in Newburgh, she earned a master’s degree in art.

After being assigned to a school in Miami, Fla., she taught art to elementary and middle-school students.

On Sundays, she spent her afternoons working with stained glass, oils or watercolors.

Many of her paintings and projects are still in Miami, while others are in Massachusetts, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York.

A photo of one of her stained-glass pieces appeared in Delphi Glass magazine.

The show, "A Life in Colors," runs through Friday, Sept. 16.

A reception for Sister Mary Ellen is set for 4-6 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 28, at the center.

The exhibit will be open to public viewing in the chapel from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.

To attend the reception, RSVP at www.mariandale.org/event/art-reception or call (914) 941-4455, ext. 0.

Mariandale is at 299 N. Highland Ave. There is plenty of parking and the center is handicap accessible.

For more information about the Mariandale Center, facilities and programs visit www.mariandale.org or call (914)-941-4455.

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