DSPT Events

Blackfriars Gallery Overview

Blackfriars Gallery: Art Exhibits and Performances

DSPT Blackfriars Gallery

As a locus where the Catholic tradition engages contemporary culture, DSPT makes intentional use of open space throughout its campus – both inside and outside – as a means to foster conversations. The chapel has glass doors which open up onto the "great lawn," reminding participants that prayer and worship are intended to "spill out" into the community and to "open us up" to share the fruits of our contemplation (contemplare et contemplata aliis tradere). Similarly, the largest of the three DSPT classrooms is equipped as a multimedia environment allowing faculty and students to reach out beyond the physical parameters to connect with those around the world, whether through viewing of a movie, artwork, or online conferencing.

Originally a worship space for a local Jewish community, the upper level of the west building possesses an expansiveness ideally suited to foster gatherings. While the lobby provides a horizontal venue, high-ceilinged walls allow for the possibility of a vertical meeting place, where visitors may engage works of art not simply as objects on display but as a catalysts for conversation – between artist and viewer; between the subject matter and the academy; and between the Human and the Divine.

St. Peter Martyr Altar Piece - Fra Angelico 1427-28Creating an open space for the fine arts is not a unique or casual interest of DSPT. Almost from its inception, the Dominican Order has committed itself to the interplay between religion and the arts as a means of training for and advancing its preaching mission. Many Dominicans have also made significant contributions to the fine arts: from Fra Angelico (patron of Christian artists) and Fra Bartolommeo of 15th century Europe to contemporary Dominicans such as California poet, William Everson (Brother Antoninus); mid-West sculptor, Thomas McGlynn, OP; Canadian painter, Gaston Petit, OP; and California photographer Adele Rowland, OP, to name a few.

The Western Dominican Province has continued this tradition in various ways throughout its own history: Metropolitan Summer Theater, Blackfriars of the West, the Priory Players, the Pilgrim Friars, the Santa Fe Institute, and here at DSPT, Blackfriars Gallery.

Blackfriars Gallery is committed to the presentation of quality art as a means to generate dialogue between our DSPT community and contemporary culture. While preference is given to qualified Dominicans and members of DSPT, any artist is welcome to submit a proposal.

DSPT Blackfriars Gallery - Sword and Sandal Exhibit


The Blackfriars Gallery Review Committee receives proposals in an ongoing manner. All proposals must be in writing and should be directed to the Committee Chair, Fr. Chris Renz, OP. The location and length of the exhibit will depend upon galleria scheduling as determined by the Committee.

Artists must submit either slides or a DVD demonstrating their work along with a one-page summary which must include the artist's name; title of the exhibit; type of medium; proposed dates for the exhibit; and its relevance to the mission and goals of DSPT. Proposals are reviewed in an ongoing manner by the Gallery Committee. Once the proposal has been accepted for showing at DSPT, the artist must sign the statement of liability.

DSPT Blackfriars Gallery Statement of Limited Liability pdf

Support DSPT and help DSPT continue to present quality art in Blackfriars Gallery and generate conversations between Philosophy, Theology, and the Arts.

See the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology Calendar and Upcoming Events Page for all current events. For more events in the area, visit the Graduate Theological Union events calendar external link and the University of California, Berkeley events calendar external link.