Fieldtrip: St. Bernard de Clairvaux

Time to step back into time… to St. Bernard de Clairvaux Episcopal Church in North Miami Beach.

St. Bernard//

B found out about it, and did a little research. The building of the Monastery of Our Lady, Queen of Angels  began in Sacramenia, Spain in 1133 and it was completed in 1141. When Bernard of Clairvaux was canonized, the monastery was renamed after him. Cistercian monks occupied it for almost 700 years.

In the 1830s, the monastery was converted into a granary and stable.

Enter William Randolph Hearst. In 1925, he purchased the cloisters and the out buildings, had them dismantled, packed in hay in 11,000 crates, carefully numbered them and sent them to the United States.

Around that time Hoof and Mouth disease was running rampant, so when the shipment arrived, the crates were unpacked and the hay was burned to ensure that the hay was not carrying the disease.

The stones were recrated; alas, they were not renumbered. Also, Hearst had financial difficulties and the stones were sold at auction.

Eventually, in 1952, they were purchased to use as a tourist attraction, and it took $1.5 million and 19 months to figure out how to get the stones in place.

In 1964, Robert Pentland, Jr., purchased the structure to be used as a church…

Notes from B:

Way back when, when some monks’ views were considered a little heretical, there was a major exchange between Abelard and Bernard. Abelard withdrew and Bernard made the Cistercian Order successful under the rules of St. Benedict (ascetics were what we think of as the “typical” deprived monk life).

The Cistercians, by the way, were advocates of the Virgin Mary (so, perhaps that accounts for the renaming tie-in?) Also, B notes, “Maybe that’s why Dante chose Bernard (to guide him to heaven). Bernard espoused the Virgin Mary and Beatrice and Mary were the symbols of purity. Then there was the whole chivalry issue.  (That pedestal is surely double edged — when made into saints, no real woman benefits.)

Bernard is connected to the Second Crusade and also with the Knights Templar, for which he was a major patron. He was a nephew of one of the original nine of these warrior monks.

This day, were lucky to talk to Church Greeter, Myrtle Ford, who pointed out to us that each stone was signed with a symbol that represented the stone mason who made them. That’s how the mason collected his pay… We saw the Jewish star, a cross, two crosses, backwards E, as examples…

Address: 16711 West Dixie Highway, North Miami Beach. (305) 954-1461.



Discover Local Artists: Justin Lambert and Dennis Tishkowsky

Nature is the underlying theme for “Passages,” an exhibition by two Palm Beach State College art faculty, Justin Lambert and Dennis Tishkowsky at The Art Gallery at Eissey Campus, Sept. 13 through Oct. 13. An artists’ reception on Tuesday, Sept. 13 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Each artist will have approximately 30 pieces on display, and all work is available for sale, with prices ranging from $25 to $300.

Justin Lambert

Justin Lambert of Jupiter teaches ceramics. He creates pottery influenced by Asian and African cultures.

The firing process he chooses provides a direct interaction between the clay and the user.  His work is not covered with any glaze, rather the firing itself glazes the work, enriches the surface and brings out intrinsic color from the clay.

“It is the interaction of my pots that lead to certain scenarios alluding to the ideas of companionship and solitude,” Lambert said. “Groupings of bottles or cups are about inviting myself, and the viewer to slow down and take notice of the subtle diversities in form and the infinite variety of surface texture and color attainable through wood and soda firing.  The scale of my work brings the viewer in close to examine the subtleties of form and surface, and creates a more intimate experience through its utilitarian qualities.”

Three Piece Place Setting by Justine Lambert is priced at $125.
Dennis Tishkowsky

Dennis Tishkowsky of West Palm Beach teaches photography.

“I still see myself as a painter, but my brush is my camera,” he said. “Composition is not accidental and patience is a key factor in my work.” Using a digital 35mm camera, Tishkowsky photographs landscapes and still life images in the American Southwest, Florida and Michigan, often returning to a location many times to get the lighting he desires.

The” Scarf” by Dennis Tishkowsky. $150 each framed piece. $75.00 for 12×18 prints, $25.00 11.5 x14 prints.
















The Art Gallery at Eissey Campus is located in the BB building, 3160 PGA Blvd. Gallery hours are Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Tuesday 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. For more information, contact Karla Walter, art gallery specialist, at 561-207-5015 or visit