(PITTSFIELD, Mass.) – The Lichtenstein Center for the Arts Gallery presents “Hands, Hearts, and the Sacred,” an exhibition of Judaic art by Barbara Barron and Wendy A. Rabinowitz, from August 27 to October 8, 2011. An opening reception will be held on Saturday, August 27, from 3 to 5, with Jewish and Yiddish music and song with Arlene Symons.
Barron and Rabinowitz met in the summer of 2010 and felt an instant rapport and commonality in their lives and their artwork. The creation of sacred beauty, hiddur mitvah in Hebrew, impels these two artists to come together to remember, express and reconnect to their ancient Jewish heritage and beyond. The exhibit will include ceremonial objects, collages, and assemblages.
Barbara Barron is a fiber artist who specializes in Judaica and works with quilted machine applique, using photo transfer techniques, hand dyed batiks, Dupioni silks and metallic threads. She lives in East Otis, Mass. and Delray Beach, Fla., and received her BA from Hunter College, her MA from Teacher’s College at Columbia University, and studied fibre and ecclesiastical embroidery at Oxford University and the Royal School of
Needlework in London, England. She operated Barron Designs, a fiber art gallery in Deer Park, N.Y., for twenty-four years, creating commissioned wall hangings for commercial and residential interiors. Her clients included AT&T, Rye, N.Y.; Trump Plaza in Palm Beach, Fla.; and the Fuji Film Corp. in Tarrytown, N.Y.; and Mr. & Mrs. Ezer Weizman, Presidential Home, Israel.
Working in the tradition of her faith, she has created over fifty Judaic curtains, torah covers and wall hangings. Her torah cover won the prestigious Avis Lee & Abraham Neiman Judaica Prize Competition by the Jewish Museum of Florida in Miami Beach and was purchased for its permanent collection. In addition, Barron has had numerous one-person and group exhibits though out the United States and Japan, including Pindar Gallery in Soho, N.Y. She and her husband are members of Congregation Ahavath Shalom in Great Barrington, Mass.
Wendy A. Rabinowitz, a weaver/mixed-media artist, works out of her studio, Living Threads Judaica, in Pittsfield, Mass. Her one-of-a-kind Judaic artwork of silk, wool, metallic fibers and surface embellishment is included in home, synagogue, museum, organization and gallery collections throughout the United States and Israel. Her newest artwork, Shattering of the Vessels, Gathering of the Sparks…, drawing from Kabbalistic Creation concepts, will be included in the exhibit.
Rabinowitz’s creations combine her love of bold color, texture, and reflect her deep commitment to the environment, peace, healing and women’s issues found in the Torah, Psalms and blessings. Her artwork was shown in the Miracles of Peace exhibit at the United Nations, and she recently had a solo exhibition at The Chabad Gallery in New York City. She was the recipient of the Anshe Chesed Purchase Prize Award.
Rabinowitz’s commissioned work includes a newly-finished Presentation Plaque for the outgoing president of Hadassah; the Jewish Women’s International Research Center at Brandeis University; Westchester Reform Temple, White Plains, N.Y.; and The Jewish Center in Haifa, Israel.
Born in Chicago, Rabinowitz studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and with Rabbis Zalman Schacter-Shalomi, Alan Berg, Gershon Winkler and Everett Gendler. Rabinowitz and her husband are members of Hevreh of Southern Berkshires, and she is dedicating her exhibit to the late Rabbi Jack Stern, who greatly admired and encouraged her work.
Arlene Symons has spent a lifetime both performing and teaching music. An accomplished classical pianist, she has performed extensively on radio and with orchestra halls in New York. She then turned to singing as well. Symons comes from a family of Yiddish theater entertainers and has a deep love and extensive repertoire of the music of her heritage, as well as folk music of other cultures. Arlene and her husband are members of Hevreh of Southern Berkshire and she is the founder and director of Berkshira Chorus at Hevreh.