Tag Archive | "Vered Gallery"

Art on the Edge Returns to Vered Gallery


SWOON  Ice Queen  (detail)

Ice Queen by Swoon, courtesy of Vered Gallery

The “Art on the Edge” exhibition will return to the Vered Gallery in East Hampton for its fifth year with a cocktail reception for the artists on Friday, July 11, from 9 to 11 p.m.

“Art on the Edge,” which runs until August 4, is an annual survey of new contemporary art and features the most provocative new painters, sculptors and photographers.

This year, Vered Gallery will partner once again with artMRKT Hamptons, which will also showcase artists from the “Art on the Edge” exhibit. Located at the Bridgehampton Museum, artMRKT Hamptons opens Thursday, July 10, at 7 p.m. and will run until July 13.

Artists participating in the exhibit include Ray Caesar, Steven Klein, Colin Christian, Mary Larsen, Tim Conlon, Jesica Lichtenstein, Sam Wolfe Connelly, Francesco Lo Castro, Michael Cuffe, Adam Miller, Gentleman’s Game, Ashley Maxwell, Jessica Hess, Taylor Pilote, Jason Shelowitz, Swoon, Mark Jenkins, Scott Teplin and Elektra KB.

Vered Gallery aims to provide an environment dedicated to recognizing and supporting new contemporary art and showcasing the works of relevant new artists from around the world.

For more information, visit www.veredcontemporary.com.

Provoking Memories Personal and Painful

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"Past & Future In Our Hands" by Karen Gillerman-Haren

"Past & Future In Our Hands" by Karen Gillerman-Haren

By Emily J. Weitz

Art is some people’s religion, and religion is the inspiration for a great deal of art. In the current exhibit at Vered Gallery in East Hampton, the powerful intersection between these two worlds is evident. Dozens of artists from all over the world, from a wide spectrum of ages and religious backgrounds, have contributed to “A Stitch in Jewish Time, ” but one thing that all the pieces have in common is the painstaking attention to every little detail that only true passion and devotion can inspire. The exhibit takes on an additional poignancy as we approach the high holy days of Rosh Hashana this week and Yom Kippur on October 8.

Each piece tells a story, accessing a well of memory, whether it’s personal or collective memory. Because of the common thread of Judaism that weaves its way through each piece, there is a feeling of shared history in each. For example, in “Women of the Balcony I” by Jane Trigere, a German-Jewish woman is depicted in fabric. At first glance, it’s just a woman gazing into the distance in a beautiful woven cloth. But the cloth is made from the fabric of cushions of a synagogue, where women identified their seats by their personally tailored cushions. The woman stands between two tracks made of panels of these fabrics, each representing an individual. These tracks represent the railroad tracks that carried Jews to their deaths during the Holocaust. Upon careful examination, the layers in the piece reveal themselves.

“It’s all about life and death,” explains Janet Lehr, curator of the exhibit and co-owner of Vered. “This exhibit accesses the deepest emotions we have.”

It’s this depth and truth that has moved visitors to this exhibit to tears. While there’s a great deal of symbolism, there’s also a simplicity in the pieces. You can see what it’s about, and it’s about being human. You won’t find too many sharp angles or oblique references here.

In “Revealed Portraits I and II,” the photographer had just gone home to Israel to sit Shiva for her mother’s passing. There was a window in the home where she saw passers-by obscured by the glass. She started taking photos of these blurry images, and Lehr says “In this way she became my mother and your mother.”

The artist, Lili Almog, explained in a statement that “I preserve her image through the inner projection of close family members that link between roots, culture, and memory.”

It captures, in something deeply personal, something universal.

In Doug Beube’s disturbing piece, “Vest for the New World,” he displays a clear plastic vest packed tight with what looks like explosives. Upon closer inspection the viewer will see that the “explosive” canisters are actually shredded up pages of the The New World Atlas, as if asking “Is this what the new world has come to?”

Perhaps the piece that best sums up the exhibition, the piece that stops you dead in your tracks at first glance, is “Past and Future in Our Hands,” a photograph taken by Karen Gillerman-Harel. The smooth skin of a baby’s arm is clutched by the wrinkled fingers of her great-grandmother, whose arm is tattooed with the numbers she was given at Auschwitz. Beneath their entangled arms is an Israeli flag. This image was selected as the photograph for the 60th Anniversary of Israel in 2008.

“It was an expression of enormous pride for the Jewish people to have celebrated their 60th Anniversary,” says Lehr. “It hasn’t been an easy sixty years, and it will never be easy.”

While all pieces in the exhibit are for sale, selected pieces are donated by the gallery, with 100% of the proceeds going to the Sderot Teen Theater Therapy Program. In Sderot, a small town less than a mile from Gaza, rockets land every single day. Children must always know where the nearest bomb shelter is, and they spend a significant portion of their lives running and hiding. The Sderot Teen Theatre Therapy Program was developed by a professional theatre company in conjunction with a psychologist as a way for teenagers to explore the trauma they experience growing up in Sderot.

“I was lucky enough to go to a performance of the Sderot Teen Theater Therapy Program,” says Lehr. After a moving performance, she recalls, there was a Q&A. “Someone in the audience asked a young actress, ‘What do you want for your family?’” Lehr says. “And she said she wanted her children to grow up in Sderot.” Lehr believes that sums up how much this theatre program has done for these children.

As the Jewish holidays come upon us, it’s the perfect time to reflect.

“We’re talking about remembrance,” says Lehr. “About dividing the year, about new hope… This period is so tied in with memory. You visit the cemeteries, you settle up with your neighbors.”

Because of the theme of memory that comes up in each piece, Lehr says that “This time of year is most appropriate for this moving exhibition.”

Legs Put Windows on Hold

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web legs

A request to allow Vered, also known as Ruth Vered, and Janet Lehr to replace rotted wood, broken windows and repaint the exterior of their home at 161 Madison Street, formerly the Bethel Baptist Church, evolved into a heated discussion about art at Monday’s Sag Harbor Historic Preservation and Architectural Review Board (ARB) meeting.

Tom Horn Sr., one of just three board members at the meeting, announced he would abstain from voting in favor of the maintenance work because he didn’t care for a 15-foot sculpture of legs, by renowned artist Larry Rivers, which Vered and Lehr put up directly adjacent to the residence two years ago.

After hearing the details of the needed work at the property, the three sitting members of the board – chairman Cee Scott Brown, Diane Schiavoni and Horn appeared in favor of approving the application when Horn announced he would not vote. With board members Bethany Deyermond and Michael Mensch absent, even with the support of Brown and Schiavoni, any approval was at a stalemate.

“The only problem I have with this is those legs on the side of the house,” said Horn, who argued that Lehr and Vered promised the ARB when they restored and renovated the church that they would not hang artwork on the side of the house.

“I think it’s a separate issue,” said Schiavoni.

“This town is the most magnificent town and I love it,” said Vered, noting the sculpture was not a permanent fixture and can be removed.

“If it can be removed, I have no problem,” replied Horn.

“I think it adds to the character of the town,” said Vered. “It doesn’t hurt anyone.”

Vered added she believed that what was promised to the ARB was that the residence would not become a gallery.

“Larry Rivers is one of our famous artists,” she said. “We should be very proud to have this in our village.”

Brown suggested that Vered come back at the next meeting and try her hand with a full board or, if she chooses, remove the sculpture at issue.

The issue of the legs was first raised in June of 2008, when then-building inspector Al Daniels sent a letter to the couple informing them the sculpture was in violation of the village code in that it needed a building permit.

According to a memo issued by Sag Harbor Village Attorney Fred W. Thiele, Jr. in 2008, any structure on a property, including artwork, is subject to a building permit and the New York State Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of municipalities on that very issue.

On Tuesday, Thiele confirmed that remains his legal opinion. According to files in the Village of Sag Harbor Building Department, a permit has never been issued for the Rivers sculpture.

In other ARB news, Susan Herman was approved to restore water-damaged portions of her home at 93 Suffolk Street and to restore windows, gutters and paint the exterior of the historic home. The board is allowing Herman to use Azek, a synthetic material not often approved for use in the historic district, on a piece of an arbor that connects to the house due to significant water damage in the area. Barbara Lawson, with Double Jay Reality, was also permitted to change the shape of an awning at their 83 Main Street location and David Alpern and Sylvia Clark were given permission to construct a pool and hot tub at their 91 Franklin Avenue abode. Lyle Pike and George Monticello were also approved, for a new awning for La Maison bistro at 16 Main Street.

Lastly, the former Black Buoy will no longer be black. Michael Cinque and Edward Burke, Jr. received permission from the board to paint the exterior of the Main Street building white for their new restaurant LT Burger.

Cans Take on Religious Meaning at Hanukkah

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On Saturday evening inside Vered Gallery in East Hampton, Rabbi Leibel Baumgarten of Chabad East Hampton led a large gathering through the Havdalah ceremony, which marks the conclusion of the Jewish Sabbath. And with this being the second night of Hanukkah, candles were lit to mark that occasion as well. But rather than sitting in a traditional Menorah, these candles were burning atop a Canorah, a carefully stacked collection of food cans built into the shape of a Menorah.

In fact, there were seven Canorahs of varying shape and design scattered throughout Vered, each one built by a different shul, synagogue or temple on the East End — the Jewish Center of the Hamptons, Chabad of Southampton, Chabad of East Hampton, Temple Adas Israel, The Conservative Synagogue of the Hamptons, Temple Israel of Riverhead and The Hampton Synagogue of Westhampton.

The Canorah project was organized by Rabbi Baumgarten and his wife, Goldie, as a way to support local food pantries during Hanukkah — the season of light.

“We decided it’s one way to help,” says Rabbi Baumgarten. “Hanukkah represents light — freedom from oppression. One little light dispels darkness. We felt through Hanukkah we can add light and feed the hungry.”

Rabbi Baumgarten notes that he has witnessed first hand the need for help on the East End. Since the financial meltdown, he says he has received many calls from people who are struggling to make ends meet, but often ashamed to admit their circumstances.

Over 500 cans of food were incorporated into Chabad East Hampton’s Canorah — and that food will help stock the shelves at the East Hampton Food Pantry when the Canorahs come down this Sunday at the conclusion of Hanukkah.

Though helping to feed the hungry is not a new mission for the East End Jewish organizations, what is new this time around is the fact that the Orthodox, Conservative and Reform organizations all collaborated.

“We all do food drives all the time, but there hasn’t been a movement wide project together,” says Leah Oppenheimer, director of the Hebrew School at Temple Adas Israel in Sag Harbor. “All the movements coming together is unheard of.”

Oppenheimer and her students worked together to create the temple’s Canorah and she explains that helping others is a key component in her curriculum.

“We don’t use books, we learn through doing,” says Oppenheimer. “Any time I can get kids to think about other people, that’s a good thing.”

Oppenheimer adds that she often talks to her students about the need to take care of others in the community, regardless of their faith or ethnic background.

“The kids know this quite well and have heard it a hundred times,” says Oppenheimer. “Being a stranger in a new community is a terrible thing and we are obligated to take care of our neighbors.”

 “Everybody’s aware there are a lot of people struggling right now,” adds Oppenheimer. “Some at the temple are also volunteers at food pantry, and they can’t believe the need they see going through the door right now.’

Kids are always more aware of what’s going on around them than adults give them credit for, and Oppenheimer notes that they are not immune to noticing the difficult financial issues that are currently facing many in the community. She adds that when the Hebrew School collected coats for the Southampton Tire Center soup kitchen, near the 7-Eleven on North Main Street where day laborers gather in search of work, the kids were keenly aware of who they were helping.

 “Every kid in school has ridden past that intersection and seen the tire center soup kitchen,” says Oppenheimer. “They see those people out there are cold. It’s very personal to all of them.”

“We’re reminding kids to imagine what its like to be others.”

What the kids have learned through building the Canorah is not only the need to help those in the community who are hungry, but a little Hebrew as well. Instead of opting for a traditional menorah design, Oppenheimer and her students, who will give their food to the Sag Harbor Food Pantry come Sunday, decided to send a message for the season through their Canorah.

“We spelled ‘Shalom’ in Hebrew — which means both peace and hello,” explains Oppenheimer.

The Canorah also has a special portion that was constructed with Campbell Chicken Noodle Soup cans and inspired by the temple’s associate board member Mindy Cantor.

“She’s an art historian, and she wanted to do a tribute to Andy Warhol,” explains Oppenheimer.

The Canorahs will be remain on view at Vered Gallery (68 Park Place Passage, East Hampton) through Sunday, December 20. A special reception will be held this Saturday, December 19 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the gallery and visitors are asked to bring along a donation for the food pantries.