Glows On and On

A unique exhibit displaying the art of Susan Lowenthal z”l is on display at the AACI Max and Gianna Glassman Family Center in Jerusalem from March 14 to April 14. A special opening of the exhibit, entitled “Glows” took place on March 14 and commemorated Sue’s first yahrtzeit in the presence of family, friends and the AACI community.

Sue Lowenthal z”l was an active member and volunteer in AACI since making aliyah from Chicago in August 1969 with her husband Gene z”l and three daughters, Stephanie, Margit and Jessica. After spending time in the merkaz klitah in Netanya, the Lowenthals moved to Jerusalem where they became active members of the community.

Professionally over the years Sue worked for the Israeli Law Review at Hebrew University, was a partner in a catering company and worked in event planning at the Plaza Hotel. In 1979, Gene was asked to become a shaliach for Federation in Johannesburg and the family moved to South Africa for two years. When the Lowenthals returned to Jerusalem, Sue continued her job at the Plaza Hotel.

Sue had an important influence on AACI and its future. She served on the National AACI board and also was a member of a special task force whose role was to define the core mission of AACI and its affect on the development of the organization. In addition, she was active with the Tamar Chapter of Hadassah Israel, the Israel Museum, and JEST (Jerusalem English Speaking Theater) where she worked on scenery. She also volunteered for “Dig for a Day” in Beit Guvrin.  Sue was an avid bridge player, enjoyed her book club, loved concerts and traveling.

Art was an integral part of Sue’s life. She first began studying art in Chicago and learned for two years before coming to Israel. During periods when her life was filled juggling aliyah, family, work and other commitments she didn’t paint. But she continued to take classes from time to time with each teacher helping to advance her skills and develop her talents.

Sue and Gene loved to travel and Sue always took a sketch book along with her on their trips. Her daughter Margit explains, “It was her camera. Sketching was her way to take in and absorb the life around her.” Sue’s unique sketchbooks will be on display as part of the exhibit.

In addition to her pen and pencil sketches, Sue painted in acrylics and oils. Although she began with traditional still life paintings, she moved on to painting abstracts as well. One of her teachers described Sue as someone “with passion, very alive, spontaneous, creative…”. Her last works were three dimensional and include a Chicago skyline as well as a clothesline with clothes attached.

Until this current AACI exhibit, Sue’s work had only been displayed at end of the year class shows and in community centers, including a show at Bet Hanoar Ha’ivri in Jerusalem. Her numerous paintings created over the years were stored in her house, but have now been divided among the homes of her daughters: Stephanie Lowenthal Dagan in Modi’in, Margit Lowenthal Shevach in Anatot and Jessica Barsheshet in Boston. The family decided to photograph all of Sue’s works and is now in the process of compiling a book of her art so that each one of Sue’s nine grandchildren will receive a true family treasure– a complete set of their grandmother’s work.

At the opening of the exhibit at 7 pm on March 14, family and friends of Sue Lowenthal will have the opportunity to share fond memories. Please join us in commemorating the first yahrtzeit of this dynamic, creative woman who gave so much of herself to others during her life and continues to inspire us and radiate beauty even after her death.
Yehi zichra baruch–may her memory be a blessing to us all.

“Glows” – March 14 – April 14, 2011

Opening hours: Sunday-Thursday 8:30 am – 4:30 pm; some evenings

AACI Dr. Max and Gianna Glassman Family Center, 37 Pierre Koenig /2 Poalei Tedek, 4th floor, Talpiot, Jerusalem

For further information about hours and for directions, please phone 02-566-1188.

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