Silver Lake College gallery dedicated to two long-time art professors, Sister Mariella Erdmann and Sister Andrée Du Charme

Posted On April 15, 2016



The Silver Lake College Art Hall Gallery was dedicated Thursday to two long-time art professors, Sister Mariella Erdmann and Sister Andrée Du Charme. The hall, located in the main building, will be called the Du Charme Erdmann Gallery.

The Sisters “contributed significantly to the art department and to Silver Lake College,” said Erin LaBonte, assistant professor of art and art department co-chair. “They invested much of their life in preparing future art educators and studio artists. They hosted art summer camps, painted murals in the community and contributed to our permanent collection. Both are fantastic artists, specializing in many mediums, ranging from calligraphy to metal works.”

The dedication took place during the Alumni Artist Exhibit reception. Alumni from 1985-2015 took part in the exhibit and attended the reception to celebrate the work of Sisters Mariella and Andrée. Sister Andrée was unable to attend.

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Sister Mariella Erdmann

Sister Mariella Erdmann retired from Silver Lake College in 2015, after a 38-year affiliation. She began as an art instructor and retired as director of the art program.

She is presently the postulant directress for the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity.

Sister Mariella “was respected by students and faculty. She was invested in the college. Teaching and sharing knowledge with students was a meaningful part of her life,” said Dr. Dionne Landgraf, associate professor of art and art department co-chair. “She had an excellent rapport with students. Our students gained exceptional skills under her guidance. Through her teaching, students became equipped to become some of the best art educators in the state of Wisconsin.”

Sister Mariella’s influence is evident throughout the college. Above the entrance to the Pat and Bob Endries Hall in the Franciscan Center for Music Education and Performance is her colorful painting illustrating the “Canticle of the Sun,” after the poem by St. Francis of Assisi showing love for all of God’s Creation.

Sister Mariella also painted a four-foot San Damiano Cross that hangs near the entrance of the Endries Family Heritage Room in the main building. She designed the impressive layout of the collaged photos for the Heritage Room.  Another of her works is a drawing of St. Clare that is etched on the façade of Chiara Convent.

Most recently, she was instrumental in designing and implementing the college’s new art gallery. It was through her friendship that a donor contributed funds to assist in developing the gallery.

Sister Mariella began studying art at Holy Family College of the Holy Family (now SLC). She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in studio art and English from Alverno College in Milwaukee in 1964 and holds a Master of Fine Arts in sculpture and printmaking from Siena Heights University in Michigan. She also toured Europe for six weeks as part of her graduate work and spent nine weeks in Lima Peru touring and studying the art and culture of that country.

Sister Andrée Du Charme

Sister Andrée Du Charme was head of the Silver Lake College art department for 22 years. Her affiliation with the department began in the 1960s and continued, after retirement, through volunteering until 2013.

She retired at St. Francis Convent, where she continues to share her artistic talents.

“Sister Andrée is a gifted artist and generously shared her gifts as she taught Silver Lake College students in a variety of media,” Landgraf said. “Her handwritten notes are a treasure to receive as she has exceptional skill in calligraphy. She has inspired students to imagine new ways of considering space in three-dimensional form. She consistently has a kind word, an artistic sense of humor and a beautiful smile.”

 Sister Andrée graduated from Holy Family College in 1959 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and in history. She holds a Master of Arts degree from the University of Notre Dame in Indiana.

Sister Andrée was in the very first class that graduated from the current Silver Lake College building.  Her name, along with the names of her fellow graduates, were placed into the building’s cornerstone.

One of the biggest accomplishments of the department through her career was that the program received state certification to offer an art education degree. 

Sister Andrée also established and ran the Children’s Art Program for 35 years, which offered children opportunities to exercise their creativity.