On January 17th, 2010, Bishop Dennis Sullivan, Vicar General of the New York Archdiocese, presided over the mass to commemorate the centennial of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church and to bless the newly installed altarpiece painting of the Crucifixion, commissioned by Reverend Fr. Peter Kihm and the parish, to replace the lost original altarpiece painting that existed at the Old Mt. Carmel Church. Conceived and painted by local artist and teacher, Keith Gunderson, this grand undertaking required a year of study and execution to complete. Measuring almost 25’ in height and width, the iconic image of the Passion at Calvary contains 17 life sized figures and is complemented by the beautiful restoration of the interior, sumptuous marbled columns and striking ceiling details, newly gilded and painted. The entire effect evokes the magnificence of baroque churches of Italy, which had sent its sons and daughters to this enclave of Poughkeepsie for over a hundred years and has created for this parish a link to its heritage.
Keith Gunderson’s work encompasses all subject matter from figurative murals to landscape, portraiture and still life. He has studied painting and drawing with many notable painters in Chicago, Pasadena. Florida, and New York. His work is reminiscent of the romantic realists, with its facile brushwork, sureness of drawing, and emphasis on the psychological aspects of light and mood.
Mr. Gunderson currently teaches popular classes in Plein-Aire Painting, Still Life Painting and Artistic Anatomy at the Barrett Art Center in Poughkeepsie and at the Woods