Hailey Oppenlander | April 21, 2019
The Grotto is one of the most beloved places on campus for many students, but for junior Anja Renkes, it’s where her passions and purpose combine.
“An important part of my identity that I bring here is my love of the outdoors and God's creation,” she said.
The open-air, prayerful environment of the Grotto captures her desire to stay active — she enjoys hiking and backpacking and is a member of the women’s rowing team — while its significance as an outdoor Catholic shrine, set in the landscape, represents her academic interests in theology, landscape art, and Irish culture.
Renkes will bring those three disciplines together in an international research experience this summer at the Dublin Global Gateway in the Irish Internship Program. She plans to create paintings of Ireland’s holy wells — small springs with devotional significance — that capture the area’s landscape as pure gift from God.
Advised by Irish language and literature assistant teaching professor Mary O’Callaghan and Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies visiting fellow Mícheál Mac Craith, among others, Renkes will conduct research on the holy wells for six weeks, then spend two weeks creating paintings based on her visual and academic research of the wells, and Irish theological aesthetics.
Read more here.