The Holocaust Center of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh opened its first fully self-curated exhibit, “3 Perspectives: An Attempt to Understand,” Thursday, Dec. 5 at Bar Marco/Union Hall in the city’s Strip District.
The exhibition features the poetry of Judith Robinson and the artwork of Kara Ruth Snyder.
“Bar Marco was chosen by us because it is outside of the box and somewhere where the young, hip people of Pittsburgh go,” said Shani Pelled, member of the Holocaust Center Programming Committee and an event attendee, said in a prepared statement. “Bar Marco affords the center the chance to have this exhibition viewed by a larger, diverse cross-section of Pittsburghers.”
“3 Perspectives” is intended to help to explain the events of the Holocaust through art, narrative and history and features the creative works of Robinson and Snyder.
It also features quotes by local Holocaust survivors, superimposed onto a historical timeline showcasing the war years of 1933 to 1945 — with major events highlighted.
“We all approach the events of the Holocaust from unique perspectives,” said Dr. Joel Schuman, chair of the Holocaust Center’s programming committee, in a prepared statement. “It is through these perspectives that we try to make sense of this world that we live in.”
More than 150 people attended the opening, including Holocaust Center Board Chair Hilary Tyson, Dr. Cyril Wecht, Sandy and Edgar Snyder and Holocaust Center Education Chair, Barbara Burstin. Robinson and Sandy Snyder spoke about the impact the exhibition had on them.
Robinson also read two of her featured poems “Death Music” and “Israel Iwler and His Peaceful Cow.” All of the poems featured in the exhibition are taken directly from Robinson’s latest compilation of poetry, “The Blue Heart,” which is dedicated to the Holocaust Center and in memory of two local survivors, Dora and Israel Iwler.
Robinson is an editor, teacher, fiction writer and poet. She is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh and has had her work published in numerous magazines, newspapers and anthologies. She currently teaches poetry at Carnegie Mellon University and is the editor of “Only the Sea Keeps: Poetry of Tsunami” and is the co-editor, with Michael Wurster, of “Along These Rivers: Poetry and Photography from Pittsburgh.”
Snyder is an expressionist painter who primarily works in an abstract style. Her favored media are acrylics, charcoal, ink and pastel, as well as textural elements such as sand, pumice and fiber. What is most important to her in her work is examining the meditative aspect of the creation of art.
The exhibit will be on display at Bar Marco/Union Hall through Dec. 30. It will then move to the Edward and Rose Berman Hillel Jewish University Center in Oakland for the month of January 2014 and then on to the Jewish Community Center in Squirrel Hill from Feb. 3 to March 2, 2014.