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  • Call for Art – 12th Annual “Seascapes” Online Art Competition

    Location: Santa Fe, NM

    Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery announces an art call for the..
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  • 8th Annual Leaves & Petals Art Competition

    Location: Santa Fe, NM

    Fusion Art invites submissions for the 8th Annual Leaves & Petals art competition..
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  • Art Show:

    Location: Truro, NS

    Visual Voice Fine Art presents 'SUMMER' June 20- July 16, 2022. Open Monday, Wednesday,..
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  • Art instructors needed in Calgary

    Location: Calgary, AB

    Calling for Calgary based artists. Become our hosting artists to gain exposure, income..
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  • Art of Zhen Shan Ren International Exhibition

    Location: Toronto, ON

    The Art of Zhen Shan Ren International Exhibition consists of works from internationally..
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  • Old & New: A Solo Exhibit by Robert Crosby

    Location: Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON

    The paintings of Robert Crosby will be on display in the Joyner Gallery..
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  • ASA Presents

    Location: Calgary, AB

    The Alberta Society of Artists is proud to present “Asian Roots Trio”, a..
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  • ASA Presents

    Location: Calgary, AB

    The Alberta Society of Artists is proud to present “Meditation”, a solo show..
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  • Gallery Ring ARTISTS OF THE MONTH Contest

    Location: , ON

    Gallery Ring announces the ARTISTS OF THE MONTH contest. A RUBY, SAPPHIRE, EMERALD..
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  • “Summer” International Call - Art & Literature Journal - Deadline August 31, 2022

    Location: Toronto, ON

    | Theme: Summer of the soul, summer thunder, summer wine, summer fling, summer..
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  • John Lennard - Exhibition opening June 17, 2022

    Location: Haliburton, ON

    John Lennard is known for his vivid landscape paintings. A serene summer sunset,..
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  • Exhibition: Common Ground

    Location: North Vancouver, BC

    In this exhibition, Sara-Jeanne Bourget, Robin Gleason and Mark Johnsen explore the layers..
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  • New Edition – online art exhibition

    Location: Brooklyn, NY

    Applications are now open for our online exhibition “New Edition”- an investigation into..
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  • Beacon Original Art Call for Submissions

    Location: Calgary, AB

    Painters, sculptors, photographers, ceramic, glass, jewelry and textile artists are encouraged to APPLY..
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  • Landscape Reflections: Solo Exhibit by Marilyn Cochrane

    Location: Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON

    The Niagara-on-the-Lake artist, Marilyn Cochrane, celebrates the natural world in a more encompassing..
    View notice

  • Repair Landmark

    Location: Fredericton, NB

    Hello, Looking for a skilled artisan able to repair our farming community's landmark. ..
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  • Call for artworks: Canada-China-Australia exchange

    Location: ,

    Led by Luxun Academy of Fine Arts in collaboration with the Sino-Canada Alliance..
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  • STILL WITH US: Floyd Kuptana at Gallery Arcturus

    Location: Toronto, ON

    STILL WITH US: Celebrating the artist Floyd Kuptana, 1964 -2021. Works in stone, paint,..
    View notice

  • Looking for hosting artists, Calgary based

    Location: Calgary, AB

    If you are a Calgary-based artist who is interested to gain exposure to..
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  • Commonwealth Artists' Prize

    Location: ,

    In Brief We are calling for entries from artists who are: 1) A..
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  • Check Jooble for Art related Jobs

    Location: Ottawa, ON

    Looking for a job in the ARTS in Canada? We have thousands of..
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Phyllis Serota: Memory, Prayer, Celebration

By Robert Amos November 29, 2004

} Phyllis Serota: Memory, Prayer, Celebration - 20 years of Jewish Art By Robert Amos at the Wings of Peace Gallery, 1461 Blanshard Street, 382-0615. The exhibition is open Monday to Friday, 10 am to 1 pm until November 20. In this age when the definition of art embraces out-of-focus video loops created for a institutional audiences, Phyllis Serota finds satisfaction in an old strategy. She paints narrative pictures for an audience which knows her personally. Her art delves into themes of her personal experience, her family’s history and the life of the Jewish community of which she is part. Simchat Torah, 2003, acrylic on canvas Serota has developed al oyal following in 30 years of work in Victoria. Solo exhibitions of her work have drawn acclaim at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, the University of Victoria and Open Space. Her fans anticipate the annual Valentine’s Day show in her studio in James Bay. Currently the Wings of Peace Gallery at Temple Emmanu-El (... Blanshard Street) presents a collection of old and new work specifically and profoundly relating to Serota’s Jewish heritage and faith. “Memory, prayer and celebration:” Serota told me, “one of the purest places that I come from is my heritage. It seems to be quite a pure and easy place.” Her view of Jewish life is not dogmatic, nor is it didactic. Her goal is to share with us some of her most meaningful experiences. Hebrew School, 2002-04, acrylic on canvas Serota’s family came from the Ukraine and settled in Chicago. The core of this show depicts her young life. Her parents made a loving home life, which the artist represents as a dinner table with wine, candles and the holy book. All is illuminated by starlight and moonlight pouring through the window. A large portrait of Serota’s father presents him bound with the bands of tephilim, preparing himself for prayer. We looked at a recent painting of children in Hebrew school, in which an unkempt and distracted teacher smoked and held forth. Rabbi Harry Brechner stopped by and reminded us that, when Serota was a student in the late 1940’s, it was often concentration camp survivors who were given jobs in the Hebrew schools. Rabbi Brechner himself is not at all “old school”. He’s a dynamic and open-minded leader who has brought new vitality to Victoria’s oldest Jewish congregation. The next painting shows the Simchat Torah ceremony. This takes place in a darkened synagogue in which young girls parade with candles, apples and flags. This was the one day of the year when the women were permitted into the “family synagogue” of Serota’s youth. Aside from the history encoded in the image, it is a painting of striking colour and composition. A dominant motif in this exhibit is dancing. Men with long sidelocks wear the special regalia of the Chassidic Jews, for whom dancing in ecstasy is part of the religious observation. “It’s part of their relationship to God and prayer,” Serota informed me. In other images, lines of men and women join with arms on one another’s shoulders. The music of Fiddler On the Roof comes to my mind. On the Table, 1999, acrylic on paper “My family loved to dance,” she continued. “I’ve probably told you about my Aunt Molly. She’s in every one of my paintings of dancers. At a Bar Mitzvah party maybe three musicians would be playing quietly in the background while everyone ate dinner. All of a sudden, Aunt Molly would get up and dance - by herself - dance all around the room. She was a big woman, and she held herself proudly. It happened a number of times and it was just about the most thrilling thing about my childhood.” A defining feature of the Serota style is her careful graduation of tone from light to dark which creates a luminous effect. I suggested to her that this light, which pervades her world of memory, is a metaphor for the divine spirit - moonlight, starlight, candlelight or simply the light which shines from within each believer. Serota thought this over and seemed to agree. “My first memories are about light,” she replied. “Light streaming through a window with the dust motes dancing; a patch of sunshine on a wall.” She continued to muse. “Light and love,” she murmured - the subject matter of her art. The consummation of these explorations is a large self-portrait. Serota, with running shoes and wristwatch, strides purposefully forward. She seems oblivious to the four protecting angels which surround her. Rabbi Brechner had mentioned the angels to Serota when she was facing a personal challenge. She thought that if she took these words and made a visual image of them, then she would come closer to understanding the teaching. Four Angels, 2004, acrylic on canvas It looks like a picture of joy and strength, but that’s not how the artist sees it. “I have a real sadness, because I’m not aware of these protectors 99.99 % of the time,” she said. Of course, the angels don’t mind. Perhaps this visualization will help the artist to realize their presence more frequently in the future. The exhibit doesn’t evangelize - “Jews don’t believe in that,” Serota pointed out. And while it offers insight, it doesn’t explain the details of Jewish ceremony. These paintings simply witness a life of love and sharing, an offering from an artist to her community. (You can views the show on-line at www.congregation-emanu-el.org/about/gallery.php and visit the artist’s site at www.phyllisserota.com) ___________________________________________ Copyright © 2004Robert Amos Robert Amos is an artist and art writer who lives in Victoria, B.C.. He can be contacted by e-mail and you can view his paintings at www.robertamos.com

Notice Board

SUBMIT View

Current notices

There are no notices at this time.

Today's notices

  • Call for Art – 12th Annual “Seascapes” Online Art Competition

    Location: Santa Fe, NM

    Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery announces an art call for the..
    View notice

  • 8th Annual Leaves & Petals Art Competition

    Location: Santa Fe, NM

    Fusion Art invites submissions for the 8th Annual Leaves & Petals art competition..
    View notice

  • Art Show:

    Location: Truro, NS

    Visual Voice Fine Art presents 'SUMMER' June 20- July 16, 2022. Open Monday, Wednesday,..
    View notice

  • Art instructors needed in Calgary

    Location: Calgary, AB

    Calling for Calgary based artists. Become our hosting artists to gain exposure, income..
    View notice

  • Art of Zhen Shan Ren International Exhibition

    Location: Toronto, ON

    The Art of Zhen Shan Ren International Exhibition consists of works from internationally..
    View notice

  • Old & New: A Solo Exhibit by Robert Crosby

    Location: Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON

    The paintings of Robert Crosby will be on display in the Joyner Gallery..
    View notice

  • ASA Presents

    Location: Calgary, AB

    The Alberta Society of Artists is proud to present “Asian Roots Trio”, a..
    View notice

  • ASA Presents

    Location: Calgary, AB

    The Alberta Society of Artists is proud to present “Meditation”, a solo show..
    View notice

  • Gallery Ring ARTISTS OF THE MONTH Contest

    Location: , ON

    Gallery Ring announces the ARTISTS OF THE MONTH contest. A RUBY, SAPPHIRE, EMERALD..
    View notice

  • “Summer” International Call - Art & Literature Journal - Deadline August 31, 2022

    Location: Toronto, ON

    | Theme: Summer of the soul, summer thunder, summer wine, summer fling, summer..
    View notice

  • John Lennard - Exhibition opening June 17, 2022

    Location: Haliburton, ON

    John Lennard is known for his vivid landscape paintings. A serene summer sunset,..
    View notice

  • Exhibition: Common Ground

    Location: North Vancouver, BC

    In this exhibition, Sara-Jeanne Bourget, Robin Gleason and Mark Johnsen explore the layers..
    View notice

  • New Edition – online art exhibition

    Location: Brooklyn, NY

    Applications are now open for our online exhibition “New Edition”- an investigation into..
    View notice

  • Beacon Original Art Call for Submissions

    Location: Calgary, AB

    Painters, sculptors, photographers, ceramic, glass, jewelry and textile artists are encouraged to APPLY..
    View notice

  • Landscape Reflections: Solo Exhibit by Marilyn Cochrane

    Location: Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON

    The Niagara-on-the-Lake artist, Marilyn Cochrane, celebrates the natural world in a more encompassing..
    View notice

  • Repair Landmark

    Location: Fredericton, NB

    Hello, Looking for a skilled artisan able to repair our farming community's landmark. ..
    View notice

  • Call for artworks: Canada-China-Australia exchange

    Location: ,

    Led by Luxun Academy of Fine Arts in collaboration with the Sino-Canada Alliance..
    View notice

  • STILL WITH US: Floyd Kuptana at Gallery Arcturus

    Location: Toronto, ON

    STILL WITH US: Celebrating the artist Floyd Kuptana, 1964 -2021. Works in stone, paint,..
    View notice

  • Looking for hosting artists, Calgary based

    Location: Calgary, AB

    If you are a Calgary-based artist who is interested to gain exposure to..
    View notice

  • Commonwealth Artists' Prize

    Location: ,

    In Brief We are calling for entries from artists who are: 1) A..
    View notice

  • Check Jooble for Art related Jobs

    Location: Ottawa, ON

    Looking for a job in the ARTS in Canada? We have thousands of..
    View notice

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