2020 – 2021 Arts Fellow
Carol Mealer is currently pursuing her Master of Arts degree at the Montana State University School of Art. A long-time Bozeman resident, Mealer received her Bachelor of Arts in Art History with a Museum Studies Minor from MSU in Spring 2019. She has extensive volunteer experience in the arts community, including serving on the board of the Bozeman Symphony Orchestra (with four years as president), as Museum Liaison to the Community for the Museum of the Rockies, and as a board member with the Dorland Mountain Arts Colony in California.
Mealer’s master’s research is on a tomb in the Vatican necropolis, near the site of the discovery of St. Peter’s bones. Located 115 feet below the altar of St. Peter’s basilica, the tomb has mosaics that depict biblical themes, as well as an adaptation of the Roman sun god, Sol Invictus (“Unconquered Sun”), which appears to have a modification to the radiating crown that implies a cross. That, coupled with the surrounding Christian mosaics, implies that this is an image of Christ, possibly the earliest known depiction in a mosaic, dating from no later than about 320CE. The Yellowstone Fellowship is enabling Mealer’s research in this area to proceed.
Mealer presented a 5-part lecture on Early Christian Art in the Roman Empire as part of YTI’s 2019 Summer Session.