Art Exhibitions

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Our new Cultural Arts Wing, is a premier destination for Jewish arts and culture. The newly renovated Herman J. Birnberg Fine Art Gallery, will continue to be the home of many wonderful art exhibitions featuring local, national and international artists.

 

 

 

REMEMBERED AS A BLESSING:
MEMORIAL STONES IN JEWISH CEMETERIES: PHOTOGRAPHS BY VINCE LEO
APRIL 8 – MAY 10

RECEPTION
SUNDAY, APRIL 14 • 2 – 4 PM

Vince Leo has been making photographs for over 40 years and photographing stones for most of that time. These particular images arose in response to the death of several loved ones over a relatively short period of time. While placing a stone at an unveiling, he was struck by the power and simplicity of the ritual: every time someone leaves a stone, they are remembering their departed loved one as a blessing and, at the same time, traversing the distance between everyday reality and spiritual experience.

“These photographs are about death and mourning and remembrance as I have experienced them. But they do not represent specific individuals. I photograph the stones where I find them and leave a stone of my own at the gravesites I photograph. In the end, my goal is to suggest to viewers that simple rocks might be something else, something more: objects that mark great mystery, sadness, and love.”

Stones of all varieties lie at the center of this tradition. Small and unassuming, the stones placed on grave markers—transformed by the memories and actions of the people leaving them—become powerful ritual objects. Leo is interested in making this remarkable transformation visible. Each photograph fuses light, focus, viewpoint, reflection, and magnification into a moment in which the ordinary and the symbolic coexist. The point is to photographically transform the stones in ways that suggest the spiritual nature of the ritual without ever losing sight of the fact that they are essentially and always ordinary stones as well.

 

 

For more information, contact Robyn Awend, Twin Cities Jewish Cultural Arts Director
robyna@stpauljcc.org or call 651-255-4745