Art Exhibit Takes Viewers Beyond The Individual: “When We See Further” Offers Unique Perspective Of Four Artists

The Wasmer Art Gallery at Florida Gulf Coast University (Fort Myers, FL) is offering viewers a unique experience.  Gallery Director, John Loscuito, has connected four disparate artists to pull together this deep-thinking exhibit, “When We See Further”.  Heather Couch, Marina Font, Renée Rey and Terre Rybovich offer four distinct ways of looking, feeling and thinking about the body. Each of their perspectives offers a unique tactile and psychological experience. The Rickie Report invites our readers to see the exhibit and urges you to listen to the Gallery Talk which are available online.  See beyond the individual and how those differences expand the definition of being human!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gallery Talk interviews are also available on our website 
or the FGCU Arts YouTube channel

 

 

“Beyond the Individual”

 

Essay by John Loscuito, Gallery Director

 

The physical condition is a subject that artists have been reflecting on throughout history. While the human body is something that joins us, it is also something that divides us, or at the very least separates us. “When We See Further” is an exhibition about seeing beyond the individual and how those differences expand the definition of being human.

 

The artists in this exhibition, Heather Couch, Marina Font, Renée Rey and Terre Rybovich, offer four distinct ways of looking, feeling and thinking about the body. Each of their perspectives offers a unique tactile and psychological experience. They do this through their varied mediums that present the limits and potentials of the body’s physical and psychological state.  For these artists, depicting the body is just the beginning of a journey to something else. The works reveal many themes including impermanence, transformation, and resilience. Approaching their work for the first time is similar to encountering each other in life, it begins with a surface understanding of each piece that deepens through repeated encounters, and from the associations derived between the works.

 

 

John goes on to say”,The variety of approaches depicting the human body was the impetus for the exhibition, but through studio visits and group conversations, the artists revealed a different purpose. It became clear that a larger work was being created as each artist found connections and overlaps between the pieces they were creating for the exhibition. This was also during the first six months of the Covid-19 outbreak and the protests over racial inequities. It is impossible to separate the exhibition from the context in which it was created. The artists themselves see their work in new ways based on these events and through their collaboration. The human condition is clearly only limited by the context in which we choose to imagine it to exist. These artists provide ever-expanding hopes for that condition”.

 

 

 

“WHEN   WE   SEE   FURTHER”

 

 

 

 

Heather Couch uses clay, fibers and wood to create stand-alone objects and installations. Her ceramic forms range in size from a few inches to a few feet, but they all share evidence of her hands and fingers. Rather than smoothing the clay surface, Couch is purposely revealing her process and her body in the work. The bulbous forms of her sculptures are opened as though they once were occupied. They suggest the presence of a body while recording the body’s act of making. Couch also creates organic ladder structures with handles immersed in bundles of wool. They hang from the ceiling implying movement to another place. The combination of these elements creates a landscape of possibilities open to interpretation that we find repeated in the other artists as well.

 

 

 

 

Marina Font is explicit in her use of the human body in a different way. Photography is the basis of her work and an entry point for the viewer. The model she photographs can be seen as a representation of “any woman”. This model is used repeatedly throughout her work, but is always positioned in the same pose. Font then layers the photograph of the life-size nude with explosive patterns that recall star systems, energy and past generations.

 

These patterns are made using thread, fabric, and ceramics, creating a visceral juxtaposition against the photographic image. The abstract patterns exist in our physical space, more real and active than the photographic image itself, suggesting a static body that is in the process of exposing the emotional, spiritual and psychological being.

 

 

 

 

 

The large-scale paintings by Renée Rey are figurative and depict fantastical landscapes. Her paintings allude to an ethereal space of atmospheric beings that float and merge with each other and their surroundings. The physical laws break in a multitude of ways. The bodies themselves are fluid in gender, age and size. They intersect with each other, becoming one, as the sky and landscapes create symbolic forms celebrating this state of flux. Much like the abstract patterns in Font’s works, Rey’s bodies become the patterns, fragmenting into possibilities beyond the static form. Rey also describes her figures as self-portraits. They are interpretations of herself over the course of her life.

 

 

 

 

 

Self-portraiture is seen again in Terre Rybovich’s process. She begins with placing her body directly onto the drawings. It is a performative act that creates a literal imprint or tracing of her physical self within the work. This ghost of her body begins the drawing.

 

From there, Rybovich generates infinite possibilities for her drawings, from formal investigations to morphological evolutions with animals. Birds are a recent addition to her work. Their larger than life depictions are gridded over her body print, morphing and transforming it. The body’s scale and form change in relationship to both the birds as well as her other additions. Out of this process new structures are defined that map out the body’s relationship to itself, to nature, and mythic narratives.

 

 

 

HEATHER COUCH

 

Heather Couch is an emerging south Florida artist working primarily in installation with ceramic forms, fiber, and raw construction materials. Her work plays with fragility in a way that brings liveliness and nonchalance through materials that are both timeless and ephemeral. The seemingly irrational ways in which we move and make decisions are echoed in the process of this work. Nurturing, caretaking, risk, and transformation are themes that repeat themselves in her work, informed by emotional, spiritual, and ideological tension. The forms inform each other in a dialogue of growth and discovery, responding to experiences in the artist’s life and in empathy to stories that resonate with her own.

 

Raw materials actively respond to the maker, as the artist indulges in the character of the material. The repetition of finger marks in wet clay, the warmth of billowed wool, the grittiness and raw presence of concrete and wood… these serve as grounding consistencies that allow for continued exploration and the expression of intuitive gestures. In this process is found comfort, fear and metaphor in repetitively approaching a dynamic precariousness. There is an underlying strength that sits beneath any fragility.

 

 

Heather Couch is an Assistant Professor of Art at Palm Beach Atlantic University. She earned a BA in Sculpture at Union University in 2007, and an MFA in Ceramics at Arizona State University in 2015. She also studied ceramics and sculpture at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, the Chautauqua Institute of Art in upstate New York, Hong-Ik University in Seoul, South Korea, and Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Tennessee. She has been a resident artist at the International Ceramics Studio in Kecskemet, Hungary, the Mesa Arts Center in Mesa, Arizona, and the Armory Art Center in West Palm Beach, Florida.

 

 

 

 

MARINA FONT

 

 

 

Marina Font was born in Argentina in 1970. She studied design at the Martin Malharro School of Visual Arts, Mar del Plata, Argentina. In 1998 she studied Photography at the Speos Ecole de la Photographie, Paris. She earned an MFA in Photography from Barry University, Miami in 2009. She has exhibited extensively at galleries, museums and cultural institutions in the US and abroad.

 

Her work is present in various public collections such as the MDC Museum of Art+Design, Miami, the Boca Raton Museum of Art, the Frost Art Museum at FIU, the LOWE Art Museum at The University of Miami, FoLA, Buenos Aires, Argentina, The Bunnen Collection in Atlanta, the Girls’ Club collection in Fort Lauderdale and various private collections throughout the world.

 

She is a multidisciplinary artist working in photography, mixed media, installation and video. Her studio practice explores ideas about identity, gender, territory, language, memory and the forces of the unconscious. Her visceral and intuitive works, strongly influenced by psychoanalysis, often focuses on women and the domestic sphere.

 

Her first monograph “Anatomy is Destiny” in collaboration with Minor Matters Books + Dina Mitrani Gallery was selected for the Photo Book Spotlight by Aperture at aipad The Photography Show, NY, 2019. Marina is also part of the multidisciplinary collaborative RPM Projects, as well as the Instagram-based collaboration “Instacorrespondences”. She currently lives in Miami Beach and works at her studio at The Collective 62, located in Liberty City, Miami.

 

 

 

 

RENÉE REY

 

Renée Rey is an award-winning painter and mixed media artist working in Southwest Florida and New York City. In large and intimate-scaled artwork, Rey challenges traditional landscape and human figuration. In alternate universes and transformative self-portrait, she explores movement, metamorphosis and the sublime. Existential and societal narratives of age/gender/cultural identity, cross-cultural connections, environmental sustainability, inclusiveness and equality flow through her artwork. As she intuitively applies, wipes, scratches and manipulates traditional and non-traditional materials, Rey investigates intersections between abstraction and realism, two and three dimension, and intensity and delicacy of materiality by the artist’s hand.

 

Rey’s artwork has been selected for numerous national exhibitions by museum curators and gallery directors including the exhibition Gateway to Imagination, Farmington Museum, Farmington, NM and Florida Contemporary Exhibition, Baker Museum, Artist-Naples, Naples, FL  Awards include Best of Show, Art Encounters National Competition by Alejo Benedetti, Curatorial Assistant, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AK, Jade Dellinger, Director of Exhibits & Collections, Bob Rauschenberg Gallery at Florida Southwestern State College, Fort Myers, FL, and Mallory O’Connor, Professor of Art History Emerita (Santa Fe College, Gainesville,FL).

 

Rey was invited to the School of Visual Arts Summer Painting Residency, New York, NY in 2019 and Sun Peak Center for Art and Sustainability, Colorado Springs, CO in 2016. She has taught painting, drawing and creative thinking to adults and children for 8 years. The artist studied drawing, painting, 3D design, film, performance art, computer art and art history on the undergraduate and graduate levels in New York and Florida. Rey holds an MBA in Management, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY, an AAS in Interior Design, Parsons School of Design, New York, NY, an MA in Jewish Education, Jewish Theological Seminary, New York, NY and a BA in Judaic Studies, University at Albany, Albany, NY.

 

 

 

 

TERRE RYBOVICH

 

A third-generation native of West Palm Beach, Terre is a daughter of Tommie Rybovich, the noted sports-fishing boat designer/builder. Like her father, Terre opts to work at the edge of what she knows, in a process of continual questioning.

 

Her drawing technique came to her years ago, while delirious with the flu. “Drawing backward” was the initial idea. In other words, creating an image by removing charcoal from paper, instead of making marks on a clean page. Since that day, Terre has been drawing backward. She staples a large piece of paper to a sheet of plywood, then scrubs the entire surface with a thick stick of charcoal. Next, she works spontaneously to imprint her hands, limbs and torso in the charcoal. Her aim is to start the drawing with random marks.

 

 

Ultimately it is those marks that determine the outcome of the drawing. Spending as much time looking as she does drawing, Terre relies on her intuition and her drawing skills to find the final image in the spontaneous marks. Working without preconceived results allows her to draw imagery she never could have imagined.  Since becoming a serious birder, Terre also makes drawings of birds based on photos she takes. Increasingly, birds also appear in her figurative works.

 

 

Terre has her Bachelors in Politics and Economics from New York University. She has a Masters in Rural Sociology from Wisconsin-Madison. Her first career was in grassroots activism and grant-making. That experience forged an enduring commitment to this world. It also instilled a courageous drive that Terre now channels into art-making.

 

Terre now lives in Homestead, Florida with her husband Jon Ward. Her drawings have been exhibited widely in South Florida; they are in a number of private collections. Terre’s drawings have been part of the Viewing Program of the Drawing Center in New York City since 2004.

 

 

 

 

For more information about this exhibit:

Wasmer Art Gallery is located on the campus of Florida Gulf Coast University

10501 FGCU Blvd S, Fort Myers, FL 33965

Phone: (239) 590-7199

Website:  fgcu.edu

 

 

 

 

 

 

For coverage of your events, to place an advertisement, or speak to Rickie about appearing in The Rickie Report, contact:

Rickie Leiter, Publisher

Rickie@therickiereport.com   561-537-0291

17019 SW Sapri Way   Port St. Lucie, FL 34986

 

 

Arts Council Of Martin County Presents Annual “All Florida” Contemporary Juried Arts Show. Opening On September 21st, It Highlights 67 Best Working Florida Artists And Offers Gallery Talk In Stuart

The Arts Council of Martin County presents the 28th Annual All-Florida Juried Arts Show focusing on contemporary artworks.  The Opening Reception takes place on Friday, September 21st and continues through Thursday, November 15, 2018.  The public is welcome to the exhibition which is on display at the Court House Cultural Center Gallery in Stuart, Florida.  Angelica Arbelaez, who served as the juror, is a curator and arts administrator based in Miami, FL.  The Rickie Report shares the details and a sneak peek.  This promises to be an energetic exhibit that you won’t want to miss!

 

 

 

 

The Arts Council of Martin County

 Presents:

 

28th Annual All Florida Juried Arts Show

OPENING RECEPTION:

 

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 2018 | 5:30-7PM

EXHIBIT DATES:   SEPTEMBER 21 – NOVEMBER 15, 2018

Juror’s  Talk  Led  By  Angelica  Arbelaez

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 22 | 11AM

Gallery hours:

 10 am to 4 pm Tuesday – Friday

 Saturday 11 am – 2 pm

Court House Cultural Center

80 E. Ocean Blvd., Stuart, FL

 

 

 

Photo by Liz McKinley

 

The Arts Council of Martin County presents the 28th Annual All-Florida Juried Arts Show.  The opening reception is Friday, September 21, 2018.  The exhibition continues through Thursday, November 15, 2018.     The exhibition will be on display at the Court House Cultural Center Gallery in Stuart, Florida.  “Kicking off our season with the juried show featuring Florida artists is an annual highlight for us as the exhibition highlights some of the best artists working in Florida today. The challenge of selecting artworks was embraced by our juror Angelica Arbelaez as she curated a show from the over 300 entries to make the final selection of 67 pieces, ” Nancy K Turrell, executive director, tells The Rickie Report.

 

Miami-based curator Angelica Arbelaez will host a Juror’s Talk on Saturday, September 22 at 11:00 a.m. to discuss her most recent curatorial project Between a view and a milestone and revisit some of the research that informed the conceptual framework of the exhibition. During her talk she will focus on notions of place in contemporary art and how this topic relates to the artwork selected for the 28th Annual All Florida Juried Arts Show.

 

Exhibit Artists:

 

JAMES ALLEN, JUDITH ANDERSON, LINDA APRILETTI, PAMELA AYRES, RICHARD BARONE, K. BOTET, NATALIE CARLTON, MARY CATELLO, PAUL CHANGPANHUO, CARL CLARK, CONNIE COMMETTE, KATE CUMMINS, MJ DICUS, GABRIELE DITOTA, PATRICIA EDDINGTON, HEATHER FORSTER, JOHN FRAZEE, PAMELA GIARRATANA, GARY GRESKO, JAY HATFIELD, KAREN HELMERS, MARC HILTON, DAVE ISENBERG, JULIA KELLY, MARK KIRBY, WENDY KORNFIELD, TINA KRAFT, ALVARO LABANINO, ANITA LAMB, SHAW LANE, SANDY LILLIS, FRANCES LYNN, PATRICIA MAGUIRE, MAURICE MATES, LORETTA MCCARTHY, ERIN MCCULLOUGH , DAWN MILLER, JUDITH MISTOR, JOACHIM PEREZ, JONNA POLSKY, JUDY POLSTRA, MARY LOU PULTS, LINDA REYMORE, MIGUEL SALUDES, FABIANO SANTOS, KATHRYN ADELE SCHUMACHER, BONNIE SHAPIRO, NORMAN SILVA, ROBIN STABLEY, JOHN STAMOS, NANCY TART, MANDAYAM THIRUNARAYANAN, KATE WOOD

The Arts Council provides services to visual, literary and performing artists, arts organizations, students and the public and strives to instill a passion for and participation in the arts.

For more information about this exhibit and upcoming events:

website: http://www.martinarts.org/programs/cultural_center_gallery/currentupcoming-exhibitions.html

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/721883388165129/

Call 772-287-6676 or visit www.martinarts.org

 

 

 

Thank you to our Sponsors!

 

 

 

For coverage of your events, to place an advertisement, or speak to Rickie about appearing in The Rickie Report, contact:

Rickie Leiter, Publisher

Rickie@therickiereport.com   561-537-0291

17019 SW Sapri Way   Port St. Lucie, FL 34986

Whitespace Collection Opens with New Tours and Exciting Exhibits November 20th

The excitement builds as Whitespace Collection opens for the 2014/15 Season with an abundance of new exhibits, special docent-led small-group tours, limited editions, and a FREE Max Toth poster!  The Rickie Report shares the details and suggests you not delay in planning to stop by this contemporary art venue that leads the way in Palm Beach County. Save the date: Thursday, November 20th!  What a great venue to share the celebration of overcoming adversity, as we commemorate the 25th Anniversary of the Berlin Wall being dismantled!

 

 

Whitespace

 

SEASON OPENING!

 

***Thursday, November 20th      6:30 – 9:30 pm***

 

Friday, November 21st             11am – 4 pm

 

***Saturday, November 22nd       11am – 4 pm***

 

Sunday, November 23rd           11am – 4 pm

 

***Meet artist, Leland Rice***

Book signing and Gallery Talk

about the Berlin Wall series

 

 

NEW this season…. open every sat. & sun. 1-4 from nov. 20 to march 22, 2015

 

NEW this season…. small group tours on Sat. and Sun with a docent

 

NEW this season….whitespace editions a limited edition artwork signed and numbered affordable to begin your collection and for that perfect original gift

 

Kristen Miller Hopkins is our first artist with a unique collage each one of a kind in an edition of 10

 

small tours

 

Commemorate the Destruction of the Berlin Wall:

An International Group Exhibition

Celebrating the Human Spirit!

Whitespace2015 whitespace back

 

 

"Dark City"

“Dark City”

 

 

 Free to all visitors:  format 18×24 from Max Toth

Max Toth "Whitespace"

Max Toth “Whitespace”

 

For more information:

2805 N. Australian Avenue     West Palm Beach, Florida 33407
T:561.842.4131      F:561.842.4132
E: 2805@mordes.net
www.whitespacecollection.com

 

 

For coverage of your events, to place an advertisement, or speak to Rickie about appearing in The Rickie Report, contact The Rickie Report at:

Rickie Leiter, Publisher

The Rickie Report

P.O.Box 33423

Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33420

Rickie@therickiereport.com

561-537-0291

Thelma Dorfman Shares Her Love of Asian Art at Griffin Gallery Lecture

Thelma Dorfman is widely acclaimed for her lectures at the Institute of Asian Studies, International Christian University in Tokyo, Hermitage in St. Petersburg, Jewish Lecture Bureau and the Life Long Learning Society at FAU.  She will be giving a gallery talk about the magnificent art of China at the Griffin Gallery on February 14th.  The Rickie Report was honored to interview Mrs. Dorfman for this article and we know that anyone who has been married for 65 years must have some good advice to share on Valentine’s Day! We look forward to being at her lecture and seeing her in costume.

Griffin Gallery Ancient Art

Presents  Guest Lecturer

Thelma Dorfman

Formerly of the Metropolitan Museum

 Art Far East Department

Thursday, February 14, 2013, 5 P.M.

Gallery Center608 Banyan Trail   Boca Raton, FL 33431

561.994.0811

Qing Vase

Qing Vase
This Picture Greets Visitors as They Leave the Elevator

This Mixed Media Piece by Thelma Greets Visitors Leaving the Elevator to Enter The Dorfman’s Home

Getting off the elevator in a condominium, The Rickie Report staff was immediately transported to another world.  Spending the afternoon with Thelma and Jack Dorfman was more than an educational experience.  It was a delight!  Objects d’art from their travels around the world populate their home, each with a special story that would keep anyone mesmerized.  We urge you to go and listen to Thelma’s lecture at the Griffin Gallery because we don’t want you to miss this opportunity!

Recent Sculpture by Thelma

Recent Sculpture by Thelma

Thelma Dorfman is not only an art collector, but a true artist herself.  As she showed us the large bust she sculpted, she expressed her frustration with getting the piece smooth enough to her liking.  From the outset, it is clear that Thelma has high standards.  She is mostly self-taught because her mother thought being an artist was “nonsense” and wanted Thelma to be a teacher and play the piano.  Thelma followed that track, teaching all ages from kindergarten to college.  She is especially proud of creating innovative programs in music and art for gifted students.
IMG_0703
A stained glass window hanging, the hand painted breakfast table which matches the Mottahedeh platters on display, the paintings and the sculptures all caught our attention.  Thelma Dorfman continues to let the artistry in her being emerge into everything she touches!  Noticing her lovely top, we could see it was originally a Asian scarf which she transformed into a one-of-a-kind blouse.  “I’m a crafter”, she tells us, “I’m always into everything!”
Thelma with one of her first sculptures

Thelma with one of her first sculptures

Married for 65 years, The Dorfmans have traveled the world!  Seeking out small villages, towns, and little known areas to the general public.  They regaled us with stories over tea, some of which we will share here.
From the Dorfman's Travels

From the Dorfman’s Travels

 

When foreigner visitors were few and far between, The Dorfmans explored China’s Gobi Desert and Buddhist Caves in Mongolia. With no modern hotels available, they mingled with the people of each country they visited. She explains, “This area was the last great hurdle before Marco Polo entered China.  Dunhuang, the city of “The Singing Sands” was the last terminus of the Silk Road before entering ancient China in the West-East connection.  In addition, from the North-South connection, Buddhism arrived from India to Dunhuang, then turning east to China.  For two thousand years, this outpost with its fabulous grottos and Buddhist art, was hidden in the desert sands…and rediscovered in 1900!”

Painting from Thelma's memory

Painting from Thelma’s memory

As we looked at various paintings, Thelma would tell us what country they had visited. Sometimes she paints from photographs but she usually paints from memory!  The details included in these pieces of art are often intricate.  The faces of the people are captured brilliantly.
Thelma and Nien Cheng

Thelma and Nien Cheng

Thelma shared stories about her friendship with Nien Cheng, author of “Life and Death in Shanghai”. The Dorfmans played a major role in safekeeping Thelma and Nien’s 10 year long written correspondence. Jack Dorfman is a retired trial attorney who immersed himself on the Board of Directors of Florida Atlantic University’s Life Long Learning Society.
Thelma's Office, with Newspaper Clippings, Files and Montages

Thelma’s Office, with Newspaper Clippings, Files and Montages

How does this couple keep track of their travels?  Thelma makes montages from each trip, including museum passes, tour tickets, a coaster from a local restaurant and more memorabilia.  These collages are framed and decorate their home, especially Thelma’s study, where she has neatly categorized boxes for each topic she lectures about.
Thelma has a graduate degree from Columbia University and was on the staff of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. When the King Tut exhibit came to the Museum, she engrossed herself in everything she could find about Egypt. Eventually Thelma led her first art and archeology tour from the Museum to Egypt in 1979/80, returning three more times.
Working originally in the Far East Department, Thelma began planning the Japan exhibit.  The Dorfmans became friendly with a family from Japan who was in the U.S. through the United Nations. In the 1980’s they first went to Japan, traveled to China and then to India. With this background, Thelma was a prized employee for the Museum, as no one had been to China at that time.  She helped  the interns with their research, since she had actually been there and they were working only from books!
IMG_0683
Thelma gave lectures about their travels not only through institutions of higher education, but she showed us a newspaper clipping that announced her lecture at B. Altman & Co!  She spoke about “Buddhism and its role in the arts; bronze, jade, sculpture, calligraphy, woodcuts, lacquer and their influence in Chinese art and Western culture”.  Before her lecture, there was a Farberware demonstration on “Cooking Chinese Food in the Electric Wok”!
According to www.metmuseum.org, “The Museum’s Chinese Garden Court is based on a small seventeenth-century courtyard that is part of an actual garden, known as Wangshi Yuan or the Garden of the Master of the Fishing Nets, in Suzhou. In 1980, using this existing garden as a model, Chinese craftsmen created a replica in the Museum using man-made and natural elements crafted or found in China and assembled with traditional construction tools and methods. The building of the garden court was the first permanent cultural exchange between the United States and the People’s Republic of China and was the first of a number of Chinese gardens to be built in North America.”
Painting by Thelma

Painting by Thelma

Thelma oversaw this effort due to her vast first-hand knowledge.   She explained that ” everything is built using not one nail! The joints are dovetailed so everything can breathe and the wood won’t crack”. She went on to tell us how the Museum supplied the plumbers and electricians working easily with the Chinese craftsmen.  They were housed at a hotel on 81st Street and on weekends, Thelma oversaw cultural exchange activities, taking the Chinese craftsmen went bowling or touring New York City.
The Asian Art Galleries were built in much the same way, with all of the materials, craftsmen and plans coming from the “mother country”, Japan.  A year later, the Topkaki exhibit was ready to be built, with small alcoves for silversmiths, rug makers and other craftsmen.  A snafu with the workers resulted in having no native demonstrators and only pieces of literature. Perhaps, when you meet Thelma at the Griffin Gallery she will give you the details!
Jack built this box to protect this art piece

Jack built this box to protect the art piece

The Dorfman’s travels since the 1950’s have taken them to more than cities, buildings, sites and countries.  Going on the Orient Express, taking their children to Greece, Israel, Egypt and exploring on their own around the world has enriched this couple beyond measure.  While they have brought back quite a few keepsakes that decorate their home, their most precious souvenirs are the people they encountered and the relationships that were built and still exist.
She lectured at the Heritage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia.  When she arrived, the paintings were stacked against the walls and lying on the floor, “It was not what is is today”, she says.  The focus of her lectures was French Impressionism, as the Hermitage has one of the largest collections in the world.  She tells us that the Czarina had a man stationed in Paris, who would buy every piece of art he could.
Table Set for tea. Far right is vase of Thelma's Hand made flowers with glass seed beads

Table Set for tea. Far right is vase of Thelma’s Hand made flowers with glass seed beads

At the time, the Impressionist painters were not admired by their peers or the public, so these pieces of art were relatively inexpensive and plentiful. That is how the Hermitage came to own them all.  Thelma knew all about French Impressionism through the Japanese print.  She explains,”The Impressionists were so overwhelmed and awestruck by the Japanese concepts! They used the flat color, the strong diagonal and cropped images to create their own work in a new way.”  She titles her French Impressionism lecture, “That Parisian moment of magic that created a language of art that ignited all that came after”.
Thelma shows us the photo of Mrs. Lee, the last person of the five Jewish clans living in China.  She goes into a number of theories of how these kosher, practicing Jews came to China.  The Protestant missionaries tried to help the clans survive by purchasing their wares and their relationship with the Moslem community was so friendly, that the local mosque is built from timbers purchased from these Jews.
Painting of Mongolian Child

Painting of Mongolian Child, Daggers from Morrocco

As we wait for the water to heat for tea, Thelma shows us the numerous Japanese dolls that were given to her as gifts.  Some are ceramic, others glass, a few more precious ones are ceramic and were made by doll makers.  Thelma is not the only creative person in the household.  Jack beams with pride as he shows off the Grandmother clock and bookcases he put together himself.  And we noticed a clarinet on the porch, which Jack practices.  He enjoys delving into scientific research and appreciates all eras of history. Some of the lamps in their residence are vases or statues bought during their world adventures which Jack made into functional lighting pieces.
Part of Thelma's Asian Doll Collection

Part of Thelma’s Asian Doll Collection

She is particularly fond of her Buddha sculpture, which she made herself. A photo of her taking part in the Tea Ceremony brings more stories and fond memories of their visits in Japan. As we wend our way through their home, anecdotes are recalled and shared with humor. Their most recent trip to China was in 2000.
Close-up of Thelma's Sculpture

Close-up of Thelma’s Sculpture

As she shows us her first sculpture, she emphasizes that she did it for her own enjoyment.  You can see how she used the grains of the stone to emphasize the movement of the clothing’s drape.  We see their wedding photo, taken at B’nai Jeshurun in New York City.  The portrait of her teacher, who posed once a year, for his students of the New York Art League is prominent. She could only attend one night a week, as she had young children at home.  The teacher, Dickinson, made an impression on Thelma.  
Thelma's Rock Garden

Thelma’s Rock Garden

Thelma continues to paint and has a massive collection of sea shells from all over the world which she makes into dioramas and rockeries incorporating statues and other objects. As we prepare to sit down to tea (savories and sweets with dainty cups and floral napkins), Jack points out the floral arrangement on the table.  We’re fascinated to learn that Thelma made these glass beaded flowers herself when she was part of a Japanese women’s handcrafts organization!
Thelma is available for lectures to groups and organizations.  She welcomes invitations to share her stories and plans these educational talks meticulously. After Thelma’s presentation at the Griffin gallery, she will have special balloons situated around the Gallery and walk the guests through so they can see art and artifacts about which she has spoken.
For more information about The Griffin Gallery or Thelma’s upcoming lecture, please visit: www.griffingallery.net  or email griffingallery18@yahoo.com.  The exhibit is sponsored by: Beiner,Inkeles & Horvitz, P.A. 2000 Glades Road, Suite 110, Boca Raton, FL, 33431  (561) 750-1800

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Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33420

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561-537-0291