Opening Reception was held on Thursday, October 30, 2014
From October 30th till November 26th
Featured work based on Jewish art, religion, culture and history.
RECEPTION SPONSORED BY SECTRA ADVISORS
Artists included: Suzanne Benton, Binnie Birstein, Camille Eskell, Roxanne Faber Savage, Leona Frank, Roe Halper, Lisa Hess Hesselgrave, Joan Jacobson-Zamore, Hope Lourie Kilcoyne, Hank Paper, Mark Schiff, Arlen Schumer, Larry Silver, Joan Shapiro, Donna Tukel, and Filmmakers: Fran Borres, Dan Makara, Lisa Seidenberg
SPECIAL GUEST MUSICIAN MARK NAFTALIN AT OPENING RECEPTION, 10/30/14
Artists’ Reception was held on Oct. 30, 2014, 5:30-8:30 pm, with Special Guest, Mark Naftalin, a Blues Pianist who provided a soulful keyboard background for noshing and schmoozing, followed by a mini-concert of blues and original compositions where he was joined by percussionist Barry Urich.
Related Discussion and Film Screenings during the Bridgeport Art Trail, Nov. 13-16, 2014.
www.bridgeport-art-trail.org A city-wide open studios event.
“JEWS & COMICS”, Friday, Nov. 14; 6:30 p.m., was preceded by light refreshments at 6:00 p.m. Exhibiting artist, illustrator, author and editor Arlen Schumer, presented a fascinating survey and slideshow of Jewish comic artists, illustrators and editors who have influenced American pop-culture of the 20th century to the present, creating many of our super-heroes including Superman and Captain America.
TWO FILM SCREENINGS AND A NOSH, Sunday, Nov. 16, 4 p.m.
Meet the filmmakers. Suggested donation: $5
4:30 p.m: ‘Ester Street’, documentary by Lisa Seidenberg
6 p.m. IRWIN by Dan Makara and Frank Borres,
Irwin Hasen, comic artist and creator of DONDI, tells his life stories.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS:
Suzanne Benton, from the artist’s statement: Believing that the purpose of art is to explore humanity and that art comes alive as it relates to people’s lives, my art draws upon multicultural themes and engages participation. I consider my work as a bridge between cultures.
Native to New York City, Suzanne Benton has shared her many-faceted art for over 30 years in 29 countries. A trans-culturalist and feminist pioneer based in the States, her venues stretch from New York City to villages in remote parts of Africa, India, and Nepal, and to philosophy and education portals from Calcutta to Cambridge. A former Fulbright Scholar (India), and recipient of many grants, artist residencies and hostings by the cultural arm of US Embassies, she’s traveled worldwide since 1976, sharing her work in Bali, Bangladesh, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Denmark, Egypt, England, Germany, Greece, Holland, India, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Kenya, Korea, Morocco, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Spain, Switzerland, Tanzania, Tunisia, Turkey, and Yugoslavia. Beyond exhibiting widely, she has had 150 solo shows and representation in museum and private collections worldwide.
Harriet G. Caldwell, drawing instructor at the Hartford School of Art, Artist Statement: The conceptual basis of my work explores the complexities and vulnerabilities of the human mind. I am particularly interested in the way the brain processes and stores information, and how experience is translated and memory recalled. The work is informed by my research of inflicting effects upon memory and motor function relevant to the aging adult.
Artist Statement with Reference to this Project:
The Holocaust project was a nine-year involvement that began with genealogical research and an investigation into Jewish history. My earlier work dealt with the contradictions and similarities of the Jewish Middle Ages and the Nazi Period of Authority. I was awarded a resident fellowship that allowed me to further explore this history. This led me to the experiences of children in the Holocaust and their struggle for survival. I began to focus only on these children and how they coped under the most adverse conditions. I received a fellowship from the Connecticut Commission on the Arts and The Puffin Foundation to continue this project creating a number of mixed media two-dimensional and three-dimensional pieces. The work from this project was shown in Connecticut, New York, North Carolina, Michigan, New Jersey and Florida.
SPECIAL GUEST PERFORMANCE BY MARK NAFTALIN AT
OPENING RECEPTION, OCTOBER 30, 2014
“…A brilliant pianist who puts a touch of genius in his blues…” –Joel Selvin, San Francisco Chronicle
Musician, bandleader, producer and radio host Mark Naftalin earned international renown among blues fans in the 1960’s as the original keyboardist with the legendary Paul Butterfield Blues Band.
Since then he has recorded and concertized with some of the top names in blues: John Lee Hooker, Percy Mayfield, Michael Bloomfield, Charlie Musselwhite, Tracy Nelson, Big Joe Turner, Lowell Fulson, Buddy Guy, John Hammond, Brownie McGhee, Otis Rush, James Cotton and many more.
On the pop side of the spectrum, his piano credits include Brewer & Shipley’s top-ten hit “One Toke Over The Line” and Van Morrison’s classic album “St. Domenic’s Preview.”
In Fairfield County, Mark is appreciated for his First Night appearances at the Westport Historical Society, and for his yearly “Mark Naftalin & Friends” live WPKN broadcasts from the Pequot Library winter book sale.
At the Judaica Exhibition opening reception, Mark provided a soulful keyboard background for noshing and schmoozing, followed by a mini-concert of blues and original compositions where he was joined by percussionist Barry Urich.
“Over the years Naftalin [has] fused the best of blues influences from every era… As dedicated as ever to tradition, but forward-looking in his rhythmic drive and harmonic imagination, he remains one of the most vital bluesmen of his generation.” –David White, Chicago Reader
“JEWS & COMICS” and 2 FILM SCREENINGS AND A NOSH:
SPECIAL EVENTS TAKING PLACE DURING THE 6th ANNUAL BRIDGEPORT ART TRAIL, November, 13-16, 2014, A CITY-WIDE OPEN STUDIOS EVENT: www.bridgeport-art-trail.org
“Jews & Comics”
Friday, November 14; 6:30 p.m., preceded by light refreshments at 6:00 p.m. Exhibiting artist, illustrator, author, and editor Arlen Schumer presents a fascinating talk and slide-show. Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, and The Avengers are names recognized by the American public as the leading Marvel Comics superheroes who have become billion-dollar Hollywood film franchises—with no end in sight. (Such films are planned out for the next 20 years!) Most people wouldn’t recognize the names of those who created the popular iconic superheroes…or that they were Jewish. Superman, the creation of Jerry Siegel, reflects the tragic death of his father, a Jewish immigrant from Lithuania who was killed during a robbery in his second-hand clothes store. The team at Marvel Comics, originators of Captain America and the Fantastic Four, anglicized their names: writer/editor Stan Lee was Stanley Lieber and artist/storyteller Jack Kirby was Ya’akov Kurtzberg. Schumer comments: “How an uneducated, first-generation, American-born son of European Jewish immigrants named Ya’akov Kurtzberg, growing up in the Lower East Side of New York City, became Jack “King” Kirby—“King” as in the acknowledged master of the superhero comic book genre—is one of the most compelling Jewish/American stories presented in “Jews & Comics”.
2 FILM SCREENINGS AND A NOSH SUNDAY NOV. 16, 4-7:30 P.M.:
Produced and directed by Dan Makara and Frank Borres, running time: 55 minutes. Irwin, now 96, began his career at the outset of the comic book industry in 1939. In 1955, he began a 30-year stint on the news- paper strip “Dondi.” The son of Russian Jewish immigrants, Irwin’s many irreverent stories are for “mature audiences.” Also featured are Paul Levitz, former president of DC Comics, Daily News sports cartoonist Bill Gallo, and cartoonist/screenwriter Jules Feiffer.
A film by Lisa Seidenberg
‘Ester Street’ (running time 46 minutes) takes its name from a street in Kazimierz, the old Jewish Section of Krakow, Poland. As with most of the country, it once had a thriving Jewish community which ended with the Holocaust.
The film is a first person journey which explores the unlikely occasion of a Jewish Culture Festival in Krakow, an annual event held in part because of the lifting of Communism as much as it is to be a cultural celebration, a notion that is questionable.
The documentary explores the idea of remembrances. What is appropriate? And whom does it benefit? Does history depend on memory that may not be accurate? These are the questions that are raised, if not totally answered.
Includes a visit to Roman Polanski’s boyhood house, commentary by author Michael Wex, and music by acclaimed Klezmer groups Veretski Pass and Beyond The Pale.
A review of this film may be found here: