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Sister Mary Irenita aka Sister M. Irenita Ecklin, birth name Margaret Katherine Ecklin

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Sister Mary Irenita
(Lancaster, PA, 1908 - 1995, Kensington, MD)

Sister Irenita (Ecklin) CSC was born in Lancaster, PA on December 6, 1908, and named Margaret Katherine Ecklin. She grew up in Lancaster where she received her elementary and secondary education in the Catholic schools. She entered the Congregation of Sisters of the Holy Cross in 1933 and professed her vows in 1939. She graduated from the Moore College of Art in Philadelphia with a Backelor of Fine Arts and received a Master's degree in Fine Arts from the University of Utah. From 1940 to 1955, she taught art in Salt Lake City to elementary and secondary schools. She was a member of Associated Utah Artists, and participated in some shows in Salt Lake, including the Everett Art Guild Exhibition at the Lion House. After her time in Utah, she taught art history and served as art department chairman at Dunbarton before it closed in 1973. She then had her own art studio where she instructed students. In 1989 she returned to the Washington, D.C. area. Sister Mary Irenita was a member of the Washington Watercolor Society and exhibited paintings in Utah, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C. She died of congestive heart failure on June 30, 1995 at her home in St. Angela Hall in Kensington, and is buried in Gate of Heaven Cemetery Silver Springs, Maryland. Her art was described as "a transparent watercolor technique of leaving white paper as a valid part of the design...Harmony and peace rather than the tensions of life are reflected in her work."

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