JGallery Presents Bits and Pieces: A Celebration of Judaica
Sun Over Jaffa by Marvin Beleck.
By Barbara Waisman
As the High Holidays approach, the JGallery will commemorate Jewish heritage. “Bits and Pieces: A Celebration of Judaica” consists of artwork made of small pieces integrated to achieve the artistic concept in which the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
JGallery is privileged to include in this show the incredible commemorative collection located in the adjacent gallery at Congregation Agudas Achim, which consists of 18 tile mosaics to honor the victims of the October 2018 shooting at Tree of Life Or L'Simcha Congregation in Pittsburgh. Many of these moving and beautiful mosaic contributions were created by talented artists from Austin Mosaic Guild. JGallery will include a reproduction of this exhibit and encourage all to go to CAA to see the original, which will hang in the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh when their building is rebuilt.
Featured in the exhibit will be Judaica themed vinyl mosaics created by Marvin Beleck. Beleck was raised in Tyler, Texas. After serving in the Navy and completing college, he opened a successful business in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area.
Beleck's Jewish heritage remains a central part of his life. He has served as past president of many Jewish organizations and received multiple awards in recognition of his service. His unique art includes the use of various vinyl tiles in a wide array of styles and colors to create designs familiar to Judaism. Production of these mosaics involves selecting a theme, laying it out on a plywood board, hand-cutting each piece, and gluing them onto the board. In addition to this artistic passion and hobby, Beleck has accumulated a vast collection of stamps featuring Jewish people and themes, which he published in 2017 in a book entitled “Noted Jewish People of the World on Stamps."
Ginette Jordan is a member of the Austin Mosaic Guild and a member of the Austin Jewish community. Originally from Morocco, she uses a wide variety of materials to create stunning mosaic Hamsas that represent peace, protection and harmony. She is a very popular artist who has previously exhibited her work.
Susan Ribnick, Austin Mosaic Guild member and president, is exhibiting her beautifully detailed and colorful depiction of the Burning Bush. Ribnick was inspired to use her skills and passion as an artist to help people heal after the Pittsburgh attacks and initiated the mosaic exhibit for the Tree of Life Or L'Simcha Congregation.
A Visual Arts League member, Martha Kull is a self-taught artist who uses her work as her way of expressing joy and appreciation of the world around her. Zentangles are non-representational and unplanned but include structured patterns or tangles. In this case, Kull creates smaller Jewish symbols by drawing intricate shapes in pen and ink which then create a larger Judaic symbol when seen as a whole.
“Bits and Pieces of Judaica: Celebration of Judaica” will be displayed in the JGallery from Sept. 9 through Oct. 28. The opening reception with wine and light refreshments will be held Wednesday, Sept. 18, from 7-9 p.m. and will feature the artists' remarks. ■