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The Jewish Press of Tampa and the Jewish Press of Pinellas County are Independently- owned biweekly Jewish community newspapers published in cooperation with and supported by the Tampa JCC & Federation and the Jewish Federation of Pinellas & Pasco Counties, respectively. Copyright © 2009-2018 The Jewish Press Group of Tampa Bay, Inc., All Rights Reserved.


 

January 27, 2017  RSS feed
Front Page

Text: T T T

Despite hasty search, artwork adds to charm of Tampa’s new JCC

By BOB FRYER Jewish Press


Among the 30 pieces of art that adorn the walls of the new Bryan Glazer Family JCC are: (L-R) “Paris Opera Ceiling” by Marc Chagall, and “The Israel Flag at the Speed of Light,” by James Rosenquist. Among the 30 pieces of art that adorn the walls of the new Bryan Glazer Family JCC are: (L-R) “Paris Opera Ceiling” by Marc Chagall, and “The Israel Flag at the Speed of Light,” by James Rosenquist. Maybe it would not make for an episode of Mission Impossible, but when Sara Scher and Heidi Shimberg were asked, with the grand opening only four weeks away, to decorate the walls of the Bryan Glazer Family JCC with art, it felt like an impossible task to complete.

“It was a very rushed job to come up with the art that quickly,” Scher said, adding that despite the looming deadline, the effort resulted in “some beautiful works.”

Scher and Shimberg, who is chief operating officer of the JCCs, quickly assembled an art acquisition committee and all hands began reaching out to find artists willing to donate art – not just any art, but quality pieces either by a Jewish artist or with a Jewish theme.


Tampa artist Ron Francis stands with his work titled “Listen to the surfaces” near the entrance to the new Bryan Glazer Family JCC in Tampa. As the historic Fort Homer Hesterly Armory was transformed into the new JCC, Francis made molds of textured surfaces at the site, such as where President John F. Kennedy spoke four days before his assassination, where Elvis Presley and Buddy Holley played, and where the Great Malenko wrestled. For those impressions, he made imprints of their names and the longitude and latitude coordinates for where the molds were made. The JFK tile is shown in inset. Francis assembled the plaster-like textured impressions into a large, three-dimensional installation, forming some of the pieces into the shape of the Star of David. Francis, who has artwork in 37 states and four countries including many pieces made for Fortune 500 companies, donated this piece to the JCC. Tampa artist Ron Francis stands with his work titled “Listen to the surfaces” near the entrance to the new Bryan Glazer Family JCC in Tampa. As the historic Fort Homer Hesterly Armory was transformed into the new JCC, Francis made molds of textured surfaces at the site, such as where President John F. Kennedy spoke four days before his assassination, where Elvis Presley and Buddy Holley played, and where the Great Malenko wrestled. For those impressions, he made imprints of their names and the longitude and latitude coordinates for where the molds were made. The JFK tile is shown in inset. Francis assembled the plaster-like textured impressions into a large, three-dimensional installation, forming some of the pieces into the shape of the Star of David. Francis, who has artwork in 37 states and four countries including many pieces made for Fortune 500 companies, donated this piece to the JCC. One invaluable aid was Graphicstudio at the University of South Florida, a well-respected studio that creates limited edition prints and sculptures by emerging and acclaimed artists from around the world.

Scher said Graphicstudio was a “tried and true” source in helping the committee locate folks willing to donate some of the artworks they had obtained through Graphicstudio.

The first artist invited to work at Graphicstudio was Philip Pearlstein. A limited edition print of his work “Jerusalem, Temple Mount,” primarily in rich earth tones, depicting the Western Wall, Temple Mount and the hills of the city, is on display.

Another one of the earliest artists at Graphicstudio, and one of its best known, was Robert Rauschenberg, a painter, graphic artist, sculptor and recipient of the National Medal of Arts and the Leonardo a Vinci Word Award of Arts. Several of his works are displayed at the new JCC: two prints of his abstract pieces in rich red hues and another print, “Study for Chinese Summerhall,” which despite its title conjures up Bar Mitzvah boy images.


Sara Scher, left, and Heidi Shimberg flank a work by Philip Pearlstein titled “Jerusalem, Temple Mount.” Sara Scher, left, and Heidi Shimberg flank a work by Philip Pearlstein titled “Jerusalem, Temple Mount.” Yet another artist who spent time at Graphicstudio, is James Rosenquist. His impressive “The Israel Flag at the Speed of Light” recently went on display in the lobby at the base of the grand stairwell.

A striking work in greens, yellows, reds and blues in the JCC’s café is by Theo Tobiasse of Israel and France, titled “Grande Dame au Chapeau.”

A colorful Marc Chagall print, “Paris Opera Ceiling,” was recently framed and just days ago put on display.


A triptych of photographic images by Amy Martz, taken from the construction site of the Glazer JCC, loosely forms the shape of a Star of David. A triptych of photographic images by Amy Martz, taken from the construction site of the Glazer JCC, loosely forms the shape of a Star of David. Some artwork from the Cohn Campus JCC, which had plenty of art to spare, is also on display at the Glazer JCC, including four prints by Henri Silberstein, all with deeply Jewish themes.

Silberstein was the only one, out of his extended family of 54 relatives, who survived the Holocaust, according to the website, furtherglory.wordpress.com, which preserves records of that time. The website said Silberstein was a prisoner at several camps and was selected to live by Dr. Josef Mengele. He was liberated on April 15, 1945, which happened to be his 15th birthday.

Other art donations have come unsolicite, such as four pastel prints of works by Israeli artist Hanna Dilian, given to the JCC by a local woman.

Both Scher and Shimberg said that there is still plenty of space to display more art in the 100,000 square-foot JCC so they and the selection committee still welcome more offers. The donations are tax deductible.


An untitled print by Henri Silberstein shows men at the Western Wall. An untitled print by Henri Silberstein shows men at the Western Wall. Near the original entrance to the Fort Homer Hesterly Armory on opposite walls are triptych panels of images made from photographs taken by Amy Martz of Tampa as the original roof of the armory was being removed and a new one installed. She arranged the images, full of sharp architectural angles, to loosely form the shape of the Star of David in each set of images. On one wall, three panels are called “Iris of Homer” and on the opposite wall, three similar panels are called “Iris of Hesterly.”

Scher was a natural selection to help with the art search because both she and husband David are art enthusiasts. They provided a $1 million donation to establish the Roberta M. Golding Visual Arts Center at the JCC, a gesture to honor Sara’s late mother.


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