A Gift in a Garden

Brother Mel's Sculpture Garden

"My commitment as a Marianist artist is a very special vocation. All art is, for me, a religious statement. All creation is a God-like act, and were participate in this universal making." –Brother Mel Meyer, S.M.

In 2013, after the passing of the Marianist brother and artist, Mel Meyer, his art studio asked St. Mary’s University to browse Brother Mel’s career-long collection. After St. Mary’s University was offered first choice of Brother Mel’s collection, an informal selection committee was formed. Brian St. John, Chair of the Art Department at St. Mary’s University, was a member of this committee. He recalls choosing pieces based on the types of lighting required to showcase each piece properly.

After careful selection, brothers from St. Mary’s University headed to St. Louis, Missouri to bring colorful, inviting, and meaningful pieces of Brother Mel’s art to St. Mary’s University.
Students, staff, faculty, and visitors can now enjoy these unique and abstract artworks as they stroll through campus.

Brother Mel Meyer dedicated his life to producing purposeful art that embodied Marianist principles, even in the most abstract formats. He never lost sight of the meanings behind what he was creating. When creating his pieces, he took every color and detail into consideration. The intricacies and ideals behind his artwork generated a large amount of interest, which eventually enabled him to support the Marianist community through his earnings.

The Marianist brothers at St. Mary’s University have deeper ties to Brother Mel beyond selecting these pieces to bring to campus. Brother Brian Zampier was one of the Brother Mel’s artist assistants. Brother Zampier painted many of Brother Mel’s sculptures, including the Statue of St. Francis, which stands by Assumption Chapel and St. Louis Hall. This statue has had a profound impact of students boarding in Chaminade Hall, and notably, it has helped one student overcome family hardship and grief by inspiring her to write poems about the statue’s light reflection on Chaminade Hall.

Brother Mel’s artwork extends beyond the limits of the St. Mary’s University Sculpture Garden. His paintings and murals can be found in many different spaces around campus. Look around and see the gifts that Brother Mel has provided to the campus of St. Mary's University!



Interview with Brian St. John
Brian St. John, chair of the art department at St. Mary's University, speaks about the selection process for the sculptures. ~ Source: Interview with Brian St. John by Nicole Johnson ~ Date: March 21, 2019
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The main sculpture garden is located between Charles Francis Hall and Chaminade Hall. Other sculptures are located on the other side of Chaminade Hall (behind it).