As the visual artist part of a collaboration for Hungry for Yiddish; a Mitzvah Project (organized by fabulous singer Heather Klein), I was honored to be included with musical artists Heather, Anthony Russell, and the Saul Goodman’s Klezmer Orkestar.
It was so wonderful to see 13 of my paintings hung on the gallery walls of the Subterranean Arthouse in Berkeley.
My fiddler said, “I live with these images while you’re painting them, and they’re alive, but I’ve never seen them have so much presence as they had when they were all on the gallery walls.”
Normally I paint, finish, and file my paintings in the flat file. If they get framed, they are briefly displayed on a dining room chair, then they’re off to their new home. It was amazing to see that on the gallery walls the portraits came to life in a way they never do in my dining room.
The painting above at left is, yes, a bowl of potatoes. Since this show was about feeding people (a benefit for the Berkeley Food Pantry) I thought a few paintings of potatoes would be appropriate. After all, potatoes have fed the world for over 500 centuries, haven’t they?
Many thanks to Nicole Rodriguez and Katherine MacElhiney of the Subterranean Arthouse for helping hang the show, and especially to Katherine, who, despite a dreadful cold, stayed around after we hung the show so that a friend of mine could come in the afternoon and view the paintings.
And this is me with the painting Desert Rat. I am not normally a smiley kind of person, but on seeing all my paintings looking back at me, I couldn’t stop beaming.
But it wasn’t all paintings and portraits. We heard Heather and Anthony (both magnificent performers) sing, and then we danced to joyous Klezmer music.
The dancing was led by dance teacher Bruce Bierman.
The band was terrific! In the photo below, blazing through a tune, are Jim Rebhan on keyboard accordion, Illana Sherer on violin, and Dave Rosenfeld on mandolin. Also in the band was Gerry Tenney on guitar and voice, Stu Brotman on poyk (a bass drum), and Aharon Bolsta on snare drum.
And show curator and clarinet player, Mike Perlmutter.
Thanks to Heather (on left, below) for organizing this wonderful evening!
A sheynem dank!