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Professor's gift of art marks Pelosi's banner year

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Jan. 4, 2007.  It was Friday at 5:45 p.m., the last day of the fall quarter and Jerald Enos was tying up loose ends before leaving for the holiday break when his office phone rang. It was Stephen Privett, S.J., president of the University of San Francisco. Hearing Privett’s voice on the line captured Enos’ attention immediately, and he listened to the reason for the president’s call. Little did he know that phone call would direct the next several days of his life.

Enos, the resident scenic designer for SCU’s Department of Theatre and Dance, was asked by Privett if he could create two banners for the liturgy and swearing-in ceremony of Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., who made history when she became the first female Speaker of the House on Jan. 4. Pelosi had seen and admired banners Enos had created years before in memory of the six Jesuit priests and two women murdered in El Salvador in 1989. She wanted him to use a similar technique to feature the faces of children she visited in Darfur and New Orleans in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina. Enos, who has a tremendous amount of respect for Pelosi, calling her “the new voice of the voiceless,” agreed to the request without hesitation and immediately got to work.

The timeline was tight. Enos had to have the banners completed and mailed to Washington, D.C., before Jan. 1. In order to do this and not interfere with his holiday plans, he needed to design, create, paint, and ship the banners by Dec. 22—just one week after receiving that late afternoon phone call.

Enos gathered his supplies over the weekend and, with help from student Robert Campbell, fellow scenic artist Shawn Andrei, and colleague Joanne Martin, worked from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. for the next four days. Enos chose the faces of children to incorporate in his banners from images sent by Pelosi’s staff.

“It was like a meditation on the gift of life and the abundance of things we have,” he said, referring to the experience of looking closely at the faces of children in time of need.

The two 36-inch-by-54-inch banners were finished and shipped on time to D.C. and were on display at Trinity (Washington) University, Pelosi’s alma mater, where she attended Mass the day before she was sworn in.

“To me this is an opportunity to tell a story the country—the world needs to be aware of,” said Enos, who declined payment for the project and gave the banners as a gift. “If it raises the conscious of one person, then I’ve been paid.”

Media contact:
Karen Crocker Snell



<p>Associate professor Jerald Enos sits beside artwork he created for Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi.</p>

Tags: Pelosi_banner

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