I love the buzz in a place right before an event. Yesterday I walked around the AACI with my mini laptop in order to meet (and blog about) the artists who were setting up for the new art exhibit. I watched Zak Yitro, a Dublin-born artist, as he hung his Jewish-themed paintings with much discussion from some of the regular AACI volunteers. (I had no input, in case you’re wondering.)
The gala opening is today, July 7th, at 7pm (yes, 7 7 7) and the art will be up for view until August 22.
A word from and about the artists
From Abba Richman‘s photography it is immediately apparent that he has been blessed with the ability to see what others may not even notice. His photographs are unique images of Israel’s cities.
When I asked Abba if he manipulates his photographs, he emphatically answered: “God forbid.” He says that he tries to make beautiful photographs of ordinary things rather than ordinary photographs of beautiful things.
Check out more of his photographs here.
Zak Yitro is an artist inspired by Jewish themes. He has paintings up in the AACI about Shabbat, Providence, and the Jewish calendar, among other themes. His paintings incorporate sacred geometry and symbolic colour combinations.
Zak says his painting career started as spontaneous doodling but now, considering a lot of his paintings take around six months to plan (I kid you not!), his art is far from spontaneous.
Naomi Katz, a daily volunteer in the AACI library, has seven pieces on display for this exhibit, seven water colours and one large oil painting. While talking to her, I mentioned that I was especially taken by the “huge” painting (you’ll see it on your left as you’re walking through the foyer). She told me a very special story about it.
Her husband was very ill and she was taking care of him in their apartment in Abu Tor, a neighbourhood on the eastern side of Jerusalem. They had the most beautiful view from their mirpeset (balcony) and they would sit looking out together. Naomi, knowing that at some point she would have to move, said to her husband that she wished she could take the view with her. He was very weak but quietly said: “So do.”
Naomi took his words seriously and ordered the large canvass. While taking care of her husband at the end of his life, she painted their view of western Jerusalem, eastern Jerusalem, almost down to the Dead Sea.
That painting is not for sale. Because, as you can probably understand, Naomi has to take it with her. But most of the art on display is for sale and a percentage of the proceeds of the sales will go to the AACI.
There will be a gallery talk on Tuesday, August 3, 2010, at 7:00pm.
We hope you’ll drop by!
P.S. When I go tonight I’m going to try to get some good shots of Naomi’s work to post here on the blog.