HOUSTON, TX (Dec. 28, 2010) – Houston-area Holocaust survivor Chaja Verveer and artist Nancy Patz will join together this coming January for a fascinating presentation and discussion on the creation of “18 Stones,” part of a new exhibit at Holocaust Museum Houston that photos from the Verveer family collection served to inspire.
Verveer and Patz will speak from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2011 as part of the Museum’s “Art of Dialogue” series in the Museum’s Albert and Ethel Herzstein Theater at the Museum’s Morgan Family Center, 5401 Caroline St., in Houston’s Museum District. Admission is free, but seating is limited and advance registration is required. Visit http://www.hmh.org/registerevent.aspx to RSVP online.
The segment “18 Stones” is one component of the Museum’s current exhibition “Fragile Fragments: Expressions of Memory,” which runs through June 5, 2011. Admission is free.
For “18 Stones,” Patz created a series of drawings, each of which is accompanied by a prose poem written by nationally recognized author Susan Roth. Patz’s paintings and Roth’s poems were inspired by 18 photographs from the Verveer collection at Holocaust Museum Houston. Patz and Roth offer what they call their small stones – 18 prose poems and 18 drawings – to the people represented in the photographs, in an effort to pay tribute to a family of people whose histories were involuntarily, abruptly and dramatically changed or stopped short.
Verveer’s father was executed in 1944 for his activities with the resistance. She spent much of her young life in hiding after being given a new identity by a family that cared for her when her mother could not. She spent time in both Bergen Belsen and the Theresienstadt camps.
Verveer and Patz will interweave their discussion with information about Verveer’s family and her Holocaust experiences, glimpses of the photos which inspired the exhibition and a discussion of Patz’s work within the gallery space. Visitors will be joined in the discussion by Syracuse University students attending the Museum’s annual Spector/Warren Fellowship for Future Educators, which is hosting the discussion.
The Spector/Warren Fellowship for Future Educators, supported by The Solomon Spector Foundation, is designed to bring the lessons of the Holocaust into the classroom.
The complete exhibition, “Fragile Fragments: Expressions of Memory,” attempts to address an intriguing question: How is the Holocaust memorialized in the visual arts and how will it be remembered by future generations? Through a variety of works, the exhibit examines the complex relationship between art and loss as seen from the perspectives of several different female artists – Patz, Roth, Thea Weiss, Roz Jacobs, and Ziva Eisenberg.
The exhibit shows the unique power in blending art and personal history, using both as a doorway to the past. Each of the artists worked directly with a Holocaust survivor to create their body of work highlighted in the exhibition.
Patz is an accomplished artist and author of children’s literature.
Weiss is an Australian artist whose series of paintings entitled “2065 – A Healed Memory” recounts the life of her mother-in-law and Holocaust survivor, Lotte Weiss, the only survivor of a close-knit family of eight Czechoslovakian Jews who were decimated by the Nazis during the Holocaust.
Jacobs, is a New York City artist who has been exhibiting her paintings and drawings in galleries and museums in the United States, Canada, Europe, Russia, Israel and Japan since 1987. In “The Memory Project,” she focuses on her own family’s history to explore the convergence of memory, loss and the creative process. The subject is her mother’s brother, a young boy, Kalman, who was last seen in Poland during World War II.
Eisenberg is an Israeli-born artist currently living in England. Her husband, Joe (Yossi) Eisenberg, is a Polish-born Holocaust survivor born in 1939. The inspiration for the “Holocaust Project” was sparked by listening to Houston Holocaust survivor and her husband Joe’s aunt, Celina Fein, speak of her personal experience during that time. Fein’s brother put his son Joe into hiding when he was three years old.
The complete exhibition is generously underwritten by Frost, H-E-B, the Morgan Family Foundation, Carol Desenberg, Beth Wolff Realtors, Ilene Allen, H. Fred and Velva G. Levine, and Mr. and Mrs. Bruce Stein, and is presented with special thanks to Continental Airlines, official airline of Holocaust Museum Houston.
Holocaust Museum Houston is dedicated to educating people about the Holocaust, remembering the 6 million Jews and other innocent victims and honoring the survivors' legacy. Using the lessons of the Holocaust and other genocides, the Museum teaches the dangers of hatred, prejudice and apathy.
Holocaust Museum Houston’s Morgan Family Center is free and open to the public and is located in Houston’s Museum District at 5401 Caroline St., Houston, TX 77004. For more information about the Museum, call 713-942-8000 or visit www.hmh.org.