The “Creation” exhibit will be opening at the Kanner-Kurzon Museum of Beth El Synagogue in New Rochelle, from September 9 through October 15. Two previous exhibitors at Beth El had solo exhibits in the museum and are the curators of this exhibit: H. David Stein, a retired surgeon who became a well-recognized photographer, and Fred Spinowitz, a professional artist who produces paintings on Jewish religious themes and other types of Judaica. Fred had curated an exhibit entitled “Psalms,” which was shown at the Brother Kenneth Chapman Gallery at Iona College in New Rochelle. In that exhibit he paired artists with photographers and asked each pair to produce something to illustrate a given psalm from the biblical book. People were surprised at how closely the versions of many of the psalms were to each other. The success of that exhibit led Fred and David to join forces and to approach us with the idea of Beth El’s hosting an exhibit on the theme of “creation,” since both had already produced a series based upon the descriptions of creation day by day as described in Genesis. They invited many artists, sculptors, photographers and ceramicists to submit work to display. They then chose the best of the submissions for this exhibit.
It is not a surprise that many of the other exhibitors were also inspired by the Genesis description. Some of the artwork is abstract, as might be expected for the earliest day(s) before various flora and fauna were produced. The later days become more representational. There are also some representations of the earliest physics such as chaos, the Big Bang and the making of a planet. A cartoonist showed the evolution of a human. A photographer showed the development of a sense of the self within the world. The ceramicist created a series of plates illustrating creation myths produced by many different cultures (this work was submitted by a daughter for her late father).
Various media were used in the artwork: oil or acrylic on canvas, oil on Bristol board, a print, watercolor, ink on paper, photography (including some photomontage, some digital manipulation with Photoshop), encaustic, mixed media and clay.
The exhibit can be visited daily when the synagogue is open. If the museum is locked, you can get the key from the Beth El office or from the greeter at the front door. Beth El Synagogue Center is located at 1324 North Avenue, New Rochelle (telephone 914-235-2700).
Everyone is invited to the Artists’ Reception on Sunday, September 10, 3-5 p.m.