Menorah: Arts, Culture and Education at the Boulder JCC celebrates Jewish Arts Month in March with a series of programs focusing on Jewish involvement in visual arts. The month-long celebration is part of Movers: Art and Conscience, a community-wide exploration of visual culture through a Jewish lens.
Jewish Arts Month includes a film series on four Tuesday nights in March at 7:00 pm at the Boedecker Theater in the Dairy Center for the Arts. Each film features a discussion with an expert following the screening, and the last film includes a pre-show lecture on Jewish Comic Book Artists.
“The Rape of Europa” on March 6
This stunning 2006 documentary tells the epic story of the systematic theft, deliberate destruction and miraculous survival of Europe’s art treasures during the Third Reich and WW II. The film takes the audience on a journey through seven countries into a violent whirlwind of fanaticism, greed and warfare that threatened to wipe out the artistic heritage of Europe. Joan Allen narrates this breathtaking chronicle about the battle over the very survival of centuries of western culture. The extraordinary true story of “The Rape of Europa” is soon to be a feature film from writer/director/star George Clooney!
“Modigliani” on March 13
Set in Paris in 1919 when the city’s bohemian community was in full flower, this feature film stars Andy Garcia as the Jewish Italian artist Amedeo Modigliani. An honest portrait of the uniquely gifted painter and sculptor, the film focuses on the troubled artist’s last days, depicting his rivalry with Pablo Picasso and his tragic romance with Jeanne Hebuterne (Elsa Zylberstein), who was disowned by her wealthy family for falling in love with a Jew.
“Herb and Dorothy” on March 20
Herb and Dorothy Vogel redefine what it means to be an art collector, as this 2008 documentary so astonishingly attests. Herbert Vogel, the son of a Russian Jewish garment worker, spent his life working as a clerk at the post office. Dorothy Faye Hoffmann, the daughter of an Orthodox stationary merchant, worked as a librarian. Herb and Dorothy married in 1962 and in their cramped one bedroom apartment amassed one of the world’s most important collections of Minimalist and Conceptual art.
“American Splendor” on March 27
“Jewish Comic Book Creators: From Superman, Batman, Spiderman and X-Men to R. Crumb’s underground commix”
Paul Giamatti plays cult comic book creator Harvey Pekar in this 2003 biographical comedy-drama about a morose artist who shares the sad monotony of everyday life with his fans. When he meets fellow neurotic Joyce Brabner (Hope Davis), he finds his depressive soul mate. The deadly funny film employs a combination of live-action film, video, and animation, including narration and commentary from the real-life Harvey Pekar.
Movies about artist’s lives are usually deadly and diminishing. This cubistic approach, blurring the line between the man and his work, gives us the impression we’re seeing the world from inside Pekar’s head. It’s as if the filmmakers let themselves be invaded by their subject’s quirky, cranky spirit.” – David Ansen, Newsweek
Triple Feature Art Shows on March 18
On Sunday, March 18, the Boulder JCC hosts three fabulous art events, beginning at 4:30 pm with ArtRageous: Intergenerational Art Workshop in which participants are guided to create a work in the style of Chagall.
At 6:00 pm, there will be a wine and cheese art show opening for J-Art, showcasing the work of nine Colorado artists.
Following the meet the artist reception, audiences will get a glimpse behind the art world with the 7:00 pm panel, “Curious Curators: Arbiters of Art.” Join us to find out how curators make the decisions they make and how they shape the art world. Our panelists will talk about what they do at their respective museums and answer questions about the art of curating. Speakers include Georgina Kolber, Curator of Exhibits, Programs and Collections at the Mizel Museum; Lisa Tamiris Becker, Director of the CU Art Museum; and Jane Saltzman, Director of Open Studios.
Hadassah’s 100th on March 22
Finally, on Thursday, March 22, as thousands gather across the country to toast Hadassah’s 100th anniversary, Boulder celebrates with a party that includes champagne and cake, and a screening of a 60-minute documentary about Marc Chagall, the legendary and quintessentially Jewish artist.
The film and celebration honor Chagall’s stained glass windows at the Hadassah hospital in Jerusalem, created and donated for Hadassah’s 50th anniversary, which are among the artist’s most beloved and well-known works. Hadassah is blessed with many works of art which convey the message that soothing the soul is as important as healing the body, and Chagall’s spiritual and spirited works are testaments to that faith in the healing power of art.