Symbols the topic of Las Americas Letters Series

lasamericas_web-200x200_0916Event dedicated to the late Brother Cletus Behlmann

St. Mary’s University will celebrate the power to convey great meaning in a small form at this year’s Las Americas Letters Series in Literature and Arts: “Unfolding Symbol Through Time: The Power of Symbol in Literature and Art.”

Guest speakers will be Rosemary Catacalos, Texas Poet Laureate; Gerry Frost, inter-media installation artist; and Bryce Milligan, publisher. They will each explore from their own discipline the evocative topic of symbols and how they work within our culture to move, shape and inspire us.

The event begins Oct. 21, at 4 p.m. on campus in University Center – Conference Room A. The schedule is as follows:

Friday, Oct. 21
4 p.m.
Opening of inter-media installation, “Still Life Still,” by Gerry Frost
6 p.m. Panel discussion “Symbol in Art, Literature and Religion” with Rosemary Catacalos and Gerry Frost. Readings by Bryce Milligan and Rosemary Catacalos.
Reception to follow.

Saturday, Oct. 22
9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Poetry Workshop led by Rosemary Catacalos (by reservation only); University Center, Conference Room C
9 a.m.-3 p.m. Viewing of inter-media installation in Conference Room B

This year’s Las Americas Letters event is dedicated to Brother Cletus Behlmann, S.M. (1933-2016). Cletus designed the logo and artwork for Las Americas Letters. We remember Cletus as a beloved Marianist brother who made life more meaningful through his vibrant, colorful works of art.

“The power of symbol lies in its ability to convey the greatest amount of meaning in the smallest possible form,” said Gwendolyn Díaz, Ph.D., Director of Las Americas Letters and the Graduate English Literature and Language program at St. Mary’s. “It is a flash of understanding that sparks our imagination. Much of the religious symbolism that we have today began before the earliest days of Christianity. In their work these artists show how symbols, while retaining much of their original essence, are altered as they evolve through time.”

The Las Americas Letters Series in Literature and the Arts is celebrating 15 years of bringing authors, artists, scholars and performers to St. Mary’s University and the San Antonio community. Its mission is to encourage empowerment through creativity and cultural understanding by bridging the Americas through the work of authors, artists, painters, musicians, scholars and educators.

The series has featured a variety of artists – from Tango Argentino at the Empire Theatre to authors such as Joy Harjo, Sandra Cisneros and Gloria Anzaldua. For more information on the series, contact the Department of English and Communication Studies at 210-436-3107.


St. Mary's University, founded in 1852, is the first institution of higher learning in San Antonio and the oldest Catholic university in the Southwest. It offers 75 programs, including doctoral and law programs, and has a diverse student population of about 3,800 of all faiths and backgrounds. Its vision, as a Catholic and Marianist liberal arts institution, is to become one of the finest private universities in the region, a gateway for graduates to professional lives as ethical leaders in Texas, the nation and the world.

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