The Minnesota JCCs are the home for many wonderful art exhibitions featuring local, national and international artists. The Tychman Shapiro Gallery at the Sabes Center Minneapolis and the newly renovated Herman J. Birnberg Fine Art Gallery at the Capp Center St. Paul, are premier destinations for Jewish arts and culture.
August 23 – Extended Through January
Tychman Shapiro Gallery
Sabes Center Minneapolis
Growing Up Jewish
An exhibition of artwork by Jacqueline Kott-Wolle
Growing Up Jewish – Art & Storytelling traces the story of one North American Jewish family through five generations from 1925 to present. Drawing from family photos, Kott-Wolle captures in her vibrant brush strokes an array of intimate moments through the years. Paired with the artists’ own narration, the exhibition explores a colorful cast of characters and the complexity of Jewish identity in North America over the last century.
“From the ashes of the Holocaust, my family arrived in Canada as refugees and rebuilt their lives in the Jewish community in Montreal and supported themselves in the garment industry. Perhaps that might explain my attraction to fabric, bold patterns and fashion. These were all a part of the landscape of my upbringing. Growing Up Jewish – Art & Storytelling in many ways, pays tribute to the ‘shmata business’.
When you look at each painting, I invite you to see the repeating patterns. The red polka dot motif is a direct connection to my great grandmother, who tragically perished in the forests of Poland in 1942. My dad remarked in his memoir that when she died, she was wearing a red and white polka dotted dress. So, while I have never seen a photo of her, this pattern represents that she is with us, in every generation that came after her.
By contrast to that sadness, the green polka dot motif is a nod to one the best Jewish experiences that my children have enjoyed: Summer camp! Every year I packed up the green and white polka dotted sheets into duffels and they added to a sea of patterns in the bunks at Beber Camp in Wisconsin. Dresses we wore as children, my favorite pajamas, the copy of a lace Dior wedding gown that my mother wore in 1956 when she married my dad – these are all the fabrics of our lives.
I wanted to make the Growing Up Jewish series incredibly personal by incorporating these punches of color and pattern while illuminating the story of one Jewish family, through five generations from 1925 to the present.”
We invite you to experience the power of tactile memory by offering a souvenir cloth pattern showcased in the works. Feel free to take one home.
Growing Up Jewish – Art & Storytelling is split into three separate galleries at the JCC Sabes Center, Capp Center, and Beth El Synagogue. The galleries individually offer their own works, and a separate cloth. By collecting one from each, you have woven your own story into these threads.
Presented by Minnesota JCC and Beth El Synagogue.
With curatorial & archival support provided by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.