published Sunday, March 25th, 2012

Beginning Monday, miniature artworks will be showcased at Jewish Cultural Center Gallery

By Ann Nichols

Staff Writer

Big isn't necessarily better. A small piece of art can have a large voice or a quiet intimate demeanor. Like a jewel, a small artwork can be gaudy, brilliant, dark or mystical.

"With this concept in mind, I chose to select pieces for a group exhibit that exemplify the diversity of small images," said Ann Treadwell, curator of the show and director of programs for the Jewish Cultural Center. "I also chose, not unlike the collection in a jewelry box, to gather images and artists that were well known and pair them with those that may have escaped recent notice."

"Jewels" goes on display Monday at the Jewish Cultural Center Gallery. The 46 pieces that will be on view were created by 24 artists who work in the mediums of photography, metal, ceramics, paper, jewelry, oil, watercolor and mixed media.

The pieces in "Jewels" are no larger than 8 inches in any direction.

For example, Cindy Procious will be represented by a 5-inch by 7-inch oil painting of a red Tootsie Pop.

"Several months ago, I was commissioned by my friend Linda Friberg to paint a Tootsie Pop," said Procious. "When Linda visits her father in the nursing home, they have a ritual of eating Tootsie Pops together, and she wanted a painting to remind her of this special time they share during this period of his life."

Procious said that, after posting a photo of the painting on Facebook, she received so many positive comments that she decided to paint another one for "Jewels."

Deborah Tepper makes papercuts based on an Old World folk art tradition. She uses paper and very sharp X-acto knife blades to create what she describes as visual poetry.

"My Springtime Series in the show is composed of four pieces representing transition and renewal -- the butterfly, the dragonfly, the hummingbird and the pomegranate," she said.

Irv Ginsberg took his photograph in the show at a surprise birthday party for six boyhood friends in New York City, including him, who all turned 75 years old within a month of each other.

Kem Alexander's concrete medal "Strange But True" was initially constructed for an anti-war exhibit at Thomas Mann's gallery in New Orleans.

"I had wanted to use the younger George Bush's image, who I feel was basically the strangest president we've ever had, but I could only find a ceramic plate with his father's image," said Alexander. "So the elder George had to stand in for George Jr."

"Jewels" will continue through May 11. A reception will be held Thursday at 5:30 p.m.

JCC, 5461 North Terrace, is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and by appointment. Call 493-0270 for more information.

Email Ann Nichols at annsnichols@aol.com.

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