Art at the JCC Presents: Journeys to Light and Peace, Portraits of Survival Benefit Exhibition
On Thursday, November 2, 2017 from 5:00-8:00 PM,Art at the JCC will host an official 1st Thursday reception for Journeys to Light and Peace, an exhibition and benefit for Portraits of Survival: Life Journeys During the Holocaust and Beyond. The exhibit runs from November 2nd through December, at the Jewish Federation’s Bronfman Family Jewish Community Center (524 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101). Art at the JCC is able to offer this exhibition to the public with the generosity of the Squire Foundation. The reception will include remarks from Lynn M. Holley, resident curator, and other guests and artists of the evening. Also, enjoy appetizers, wine and world class entertainment from local classical pianist, Bryan Tari.
This poignant exhibition celebrates the lives of Holocaust survivors and refugees, with a fresh and artistic approach on life, hope and renewal, rather than focus on the death, destruction and exile, which many experienced. The show features artwork of the late Sofia Guttentag-Davidson, from the Pankowsky Collection, presented by the generosity of the Goldrich Family Foundation. Her art exemplifies life with her Jewish family before, during and after the Holocaust, as she found a new life in Mexico, after living in war-torn Poland. These works bring her family’s history and her legacy to life after a harrowing story of survival.
Additionally, this unique show includes significant and extensive work by local artist and refugee Freddy Caston, on his journey and life in Spain and beyond. There are also the paintings and hand-painted tiles from the collection of the late Evelyn (Cava) Gerlach; and sketches and paintings of the late Suzanne B. Mendelson, who at 75 years of age, walked in the Great Peace March of 1986 across America for nuclear disarmament. Mendelson, a daughter of an early refugee, sketched along the way of her nine-month odyssey for peace. Complimenting these significant collections are the important works of local Holocaust survivors and notable artists: Margaret Singer, Maria Segal, Edith Ostern, Erika Kahn and Ralph Baxter. These particular individuals offer their legacies of endurance and hope; the lessons from their lives teach us about the power of the human spirit in the face of unthinkable evil. A number of these extraordinary local survivors have been life-long professional artists, while others have been art educators, or found their creative talents later in life. Collectively, their works offer insight into the experience of living through one of the darkest chapters in human history.
On Sunday, November 5th, from 1:00-3:00PM, a Commemoration of Kristallnacht will take place in the main gallery at the JCC. The public is invited to participate in this free event, and also tour the art exhibition. Kristallnacht (The Night of Broken Glass), took place on November 9, 1938, and was the first case of organized violence throughout the German Reich against the Jews – and the true beginning of the terrible dark night of the Holocaust which was to come. As we move into the 70th anniversary year of this horrible chapter in human history, we stand together as a community which will pledge to never forget, but will also move forward with light and beauty, with survival and with hope. As we do every year, we will honor our cherished Survivor community of friends, and mourn those in this group who we have lost this year. We have also dedicated ourselves to keeping their stories alive, as we will be filming and preserving the last of their stories this year for a permanent archive to keep here for generations to come.
Proceeds of all sales from this art exhibition will benefit the Portraits of Survival/Upstanders Exhibits and Programs: Courage in the Face of Evil Permanent Exhibits and Educational Programs. This special and permanent installation has welcomed over 20,000 visitors since its inception in November 2003.
1st Thursday Reception - The 1st Thursday Reception is free and open to the public.
Thursday, November 2, 2017 • 5:00-8:00 pm
Kristallnacht Commemoration - The formal program is free and open to the public.
Sunday, November 5, 2017 • 1:00-3:00 pm
For more information, visit our website or call (805) 957-1115.