"If Art’s service is but to imitate Nature, then burn all the picture galleries and let us have instead photographic studios. It is because Art reveals what nature hides, that a small picture is worth more than all the jewels of the millionaires and the treasures of princes."
Patrick Beldio, Ph.D., M.F.A. began Reunion Studios in 1992 with a mission to create contemporary sacred art that celebrates a New Humanity as foretold by World Teachers and other saints in Asia, Europe, and the Americas. Liberated from the bindings of the lower nature, the New Humanity will be free to reunite consciously and completely with the Divine. This reunion doesn't take place in heaven or Liberation (mukti), but uncompromisingly and indiscriminately with each form on earth and with one another, so that we will awake to one united world, one New Creation. This long-awaited reunion is a conscious and universal diapason, upon which a new world culture will be built.
Meher Baba describes it this way: "The new world culture, born from the new humanity and its integral vision, will automatically involve a cultural synthesis. The vision that inspires the new culture will be comprehensive. It will not deny the value of diverse traditions, nor will it merely accord them patronizing tolerance. On the contrary, it will entail active appreciation of the diverse religions and cultures. This vast vision of the truth cannot be limited by any creed, dogma, or sect. It will actively help men to transcend these limitations, not by blind negation of the value of the existing creeds, but by discovering, accentuating, unfolding and cherishing the facets of truth, which are in them."
Patrick seeks to serve the growth and development of individuals and communities towards this integral and comprehensive vision and reunion, leading the way to a new world culture. Whether it's for a religious, spiritual, or humanitarian purpose, the art and services of Reunion Studios seek, in the words of Sri Aurobindo, “to reveal what nature hides.” This revelation is nothing less than the divine beauty and unlimited potential for love and joy in every being––EVERY being.
Teaching others is important to Patrick. In the field of visual art, this is centered in treasuring the creative process while learning and refining artistic skills. He understands the ability of the creative process to be an integral means of growth and change at all levels of one's being: an awakening of the senses in the aesthetic level of experience; of the mind in the intellectual and psychological level; as most comprehensibly, of the intuition at a spiritual or heart level. Patrick's teaching expertise is also in the field of religious studies. He has taught courses in Hindu art and architecture, Catholic art and architecture, world religions, and the introduction of the study of religion. He enjoys the art of teaching and sharing his experience with others to strengthen their ability to critically think, research, and write so as to be of service to others in tangible ways in the world.
Patrick has spoken in both academic and public forums to share his vision of art, beauty, and growth. For a sample see the lecture he gave for the Athenaeum Series at Montgomery College in 2012 on the many relationships between art and religion and the potential now for a new relationship that may produce a "future art," go to the YouTube link here. For his lecture "The New Being: Androgyny and Cultural Transformation" that he gave for a course at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, see this Prezi.
Patrick seeks to use his education and life experience to communicate his vision of art surrendered to beauty as a crucial means of growth and development for all human beings. He earned a BA in philosophy and art and a BFA in sculpture from the University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN; a Masters in Catholic theology from the Washington Theological Union, Washington, DC; an MFA in sculpture from the George Washington University, Washington, DC; and a PhD in Religion and Culture from the Catholic University of America, also in DC. His research has taken him to Italy and India to live and research. See his CV, articles, and dissertation here.
Patrick enjoys sharing in the abundant beauty of life with those whose lives are impoverished. Since 2012, this has taken the form of volunteering for the Francis in the Schools Program, which provides underserved children living in inner cities a dramatic performance and renaissance faire inspired by principles of beauty, love, and joy.