Marianist artist Brother Cletus dies

Long Ceremony/Brother Cletus painting
Brother Cletus Behlmann, S.M.
Brother Cletus Behlmann, S.M.

Beloved San Antonio artist Brother Cletus Behlmann, S.M., died July 12 in San Antonio at age 82. He leaves behind a trove of truly unique art and countless fans and friends, including many at the Health Science Center.

His colorful paintings are displayed in schools, offices, hospitals, chapels and homes around the country.

In 2008, as the Health Science Center prepared for the naming ceremony for the Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long Campus, Brother Cletus was commissioned to do a special painting that captured the vibrancy, color and flavor of the Health Science Center. The image, A Health Science Center Morning in May, was included in the invitation to the naming ceremony and the painting now hangs in the office of President William L. Henrich, M.D., MACP, with a large print in the lobby of the Academic and Administration Building.

A Marianist brother and artist-in-residence at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Brother Cletus began studying art in the late 1950s. He taught at schools in Texas and Missouri, and studied at the Chicago Institute of Art and Washington University in St. Louis.

His art came in metal, acrylics, watercolor, batik, pastels, stained glass, ceramics, handmade paper, linoleum prints, crayon and other media. The themes are mostly religious, but overall, his work is a “celebration of life,” according to the website for his 36th Street studio, which he closed in December because of his health.

“God Bless Brother Cletus for the many ways in which men and women experienced God’s grace, joy and sense of humor through his art,” said St. Mary’s University President Thomas Mengler, J.D.

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