Black History, in Art and Film, Among February Findings at Sheen Center

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Servant of God Thea Bowman graces paintings in an exhibit opening Wednesday, Feb. 12, in the Gallery at the Sheen Center for Thought and Culture in lower Manhattan.

“Servants of God and Prophets of Joy,” which runs through Wednesday, March 11, is a collection of paintings by Brother Mickey McGrath, O.S.F.S., reflecting his life’s work and a transformative experience inspired by Sister Thea.

The paintings in the Thea Bowman series each have the title of a spiritual, as African-American music was at the heart of her spirit and legacy.

Last year, Sister Thea was declared a Servant of God, opening her cause for canonization. Dorothy Day, Nicholas Black Elk and Augustine Tolton, all candidates for sainthood for their lives of heroic virtue, are also featured in the exhibition.

Other offerings at the Sheen Center this month include a screening of the film “Burden,” starring Oscar award winner Forest Whitaker. The movie will be viewed Sunday, Feb. 16, at 3 p.m. in Loreto Theater. A conversation follows with Andrew Heckler, the film’s writer and director. “Burden” explores pathways to healing amid mounting, racially charged tensions in a small South Carolina town.

CBS returns to the Sheen Center with this season’s exclusive screening of a new episode of the critically acclaimed series “God Friended Me,” featuring leads Brandon Michael Hall and Javicia Leslie for a talkback about the series on Monday, Feb. 10, at 7 p.m. in Loreto Theater. The show features innovative story lines about heartwarming, providential encounters on social media.

Blackfriars Repertory Theatre and The Storm Theatre present “Sister Calling My Name,” a play written by Buzz McLaughlin running in the Blackbox Theater through Sunday, Feb. 16. The award-winning play deals with issues of love and loss, faith and doubt, the strength of family ties and the possibility of personal redemption.

“Portraits of Life in Secret Places,” on display in the Gallery through Monday, Feb. 10, consists of a collection of 13 life-affirming drawings by Andrea K. Schneider that seek to capture the powerful, generative force of the Creator found in the countenance of a child in the womb. The exhibition is inspired, in part, by the photography of Lennart Nilsson, whose work appeared on the 1965 cover of Life magazine, and Psalm 139:13-16. The artist also expands on the theme of the Hand of God that masters Rodin and Michelangelo explored in their own work.

Tickets and reservations for all Sheen Center events are available at SheenCenter.org, (212) 925-2812, in-person at the box office at 18 Bleecker St. or OvationTix.com.

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