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Maddalena per Noreen by Julia Zell

Maddalena per Noreen by Julia Zell
Maddalena per Noreen by Julia Zell

Julia Zell's sweet interpretation of Mary Magdalene incorporates her personal style, family roots and an invitation to smile as well as to dig into the spiritual symbolism of rabbits. We don't often stop to think about why bunnies are everywhere at Easter, but in Christianity, rabbits represent rebirth and resurrection, fertility and new life because of their ability to reproduce rapidly.

In other contexts, rabbits symbolize humbly, kindness, compassion, intuition good luck, and creativity.

By using the symbol of the rabbit in a representation of Mary Magdalene, we are invited to explore these qualities in Mary Magdalene and ourselves.

This artwork is part of the collective art exhibition dedicated to Mary Magdalene titled Blossoming, July 18-22 in El Barrio Art Space Art Gallery, with a reception on July 22, 2023, during The Mary Magdalene Celebration.

In her artist's statement, Julia expresses:

"I dedicate this piece to my grandmother, coyly nicknamed by her family and community “Saint Noreen”. Her deep devotion and connection to her faith led her to dedicate much of her life to serving those from her hometown of Syracuse, New York all the way to yearly pilgrimages to Lourdes. We lost my grandmother abruptly and without warning one night in February 2021, a devastating loss for far more than I could have possibly imagined. Through grief and reflection on my grandmother’s tremendous life lived, I have searched for ways to honor her legacy in a manner that rings true and authentic to me. In this, I have found Mary Magdalene as a medium for connection. She embodies a spirituality and power that embraces duality, creation, love, and a rebellious spirit. “Maddalena per Noreen” nods to the Catholic traditions of the Magdalene holding the red egg, a symbol of death and rebirth, through a mystical and playful lens. "

See more of Julia's art at


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Tanya Torres  
Art for Love, Peace and Joy

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