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New St. Mary's University Sculpture Garden Features Works By "Brother Mel"

Some of the Marianist Brothers from St. Mary’s University are headed out next month for a scavenger hunt of sorts -- to fill the school’s new sculpture garden -- and a particular art studio in St. Louis may have just what the school is looking for.

St. Mary’s is the oldest and largest Catholic university in Texas. Steeped in history and boasting excellent law and business programs, now the university is adding a sculpture garden to honor the memory of a beloved leader.

"Brother Mel passed away just a couple of months ago," said Janet Dizinno, Dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Dizinno said Brother Melvin Meyer, who once taught art at Central Catholic High School, passed away in October in St. Louis. He studied and created art for 40 years, working in metal, paper and textiles, watercolors, stained glass, frescoes and acrylic paintings.

Dizinno said St. Mary’s President Thomas Mengler had the idea for the sculpture garden and has helped the school acquire some pieces.

"The students love his pieces," Dizinno said. "They’re creative and interesting. You saw the one piece that’s just a pile of stools, brightly colored."

In December, two Marianist Brothers will head to St. Louis to comb through Brother Mel’s studio, and Dizinno said they will hopefully bring back more whimsical sculptures for the university’s Chaminade Field.

"A lot of students use this to play soccer and to do intramurals and to throw Frisbees  and just relax and enjoy the sunshine," Dizinno said. "So we already have a lot of traffic here and for them to see art in the distance will be a wonderful thing."

It is estimated that in his lifetime, Brother Mel created more than 10,000 works of art that adorn churches, parks, corporate headquarters, hospitals, and schools around the U.S. and internationally.

Eileen Pace is a veteran radio and print journalist with a long history of investigative and feature reporting in San Antonio and Houston, earning more than 50 awards for investigative reporting, documentaries, long-form series, features, sports stories, outstanding anchoring and best use of sound.