Art Exhibit Re-Examines Holocaust


Ner Tamid (Eternal Light)," 2003, Helene FischmanThe opening reception for Art from the Ashes: Finding Light in the Shadow of the Shoah will be held in the Fourth Floor Exhibition Gallery of the Golda Meir Library on Wednesday, February 19, 2014, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.

The exhibit features the work of visual artist Helene Fischman, a noted Bay-area artist and educator, and currently an MFA candidate in the UWM Department of Art & Design, who established "artist residencies" for herself in former Nazi territory, making former concentration camps her studio.

In Terezín/Terezinstadt, Czech Republic, she created an artist studio in a crumbling, former Nazi Barrack.  In Oświęcim/Auschwitz, Poland, she spent two months painting in an old storage room formerly used for munitions at the Auschwitz Jewish Center/Chevra Lomdei Mishnayot, the town's only surviving synagogue.

In "Art from the Ashes," Fischman's artwork is an homage to those lives lost in the Shoah, to the towns and shtetls that disappeared, and also a tribute to an undying optimism inherent in those who held on to life in the face of unfathomable horrors.

The exhibition will pair Fischman’s production from these residencies in Europe with original WWII-era publications preserved in the UWM Libraries’ Special Collections as a physical manifestation of art rising from the remnants of the past.

Fischman will also present an artist’s talk in The Scholar and The Library Series on Friday, May 2, 2014, 2:00-3:00 p.m., Room E281, Golda Meir Library.

The exhibit, jointly sponsored by the UWM Libraries and the UWM Stahl Center for Jewish Studies, runs from February 17 – May 30, 2014. Gallery hours are 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Monday - Friday, or by appointment (414-229-4345 or libspecial@uwm.edu)

The exhibit is co-sponsored by UWM Center for 21st Century Studies, UWM Center for International Education, UWM Cultures & Communities Program, UWM Department of History, UWM Peck School of the Arts, UWM College of Letters & Science, the Coalition for Jewish Learning, Harry and Rose Samson Family Jewish Community Center, Hillel Milwaukee, Jewish Community Relations Council, Jewish Museum Milwaukee, and Milwaukee Jewish Federation.

Image: “Ner Tamid (Eternal Light),” 2003, Helene Fischman.

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