Boulder JCC Planning “Messinger Gallery” Dedication

Alice Messinger is a painter, curator, teacher, and collector. Originally from Scarsdale, NY, Alice and her family moved to Boulder in 2004 and became immediately involved in the local Jewish community and art scene. Surrounded by art her whole life, Alice found an opportunity to bring this passion to Boulder.

On May 16, we will be dedicating the Boulder JCC’s art space, the newly named “Messinger Gallery.” Alice notes, “This is my way of bridging the Jewish community with the larger community in an art-oriented way.”

Alice Messinger

A named gallery has many benefits for both the community and the artists. Primarily among them, a named gallery provides a certain level of gravitas for the artist when they list their showings in their portfolio. It also allows the Boulder JCC to list the space amongst other art galleries, providing an additional venue for the community to learn about where to find fantastic art locally. Galleries in turn are able to reach a larger audience, especially those looking to expand their reach in Boulder.

Because of the unique space in which it lives, the Messinger Gallery has a wider reach than most galleries. The Boulder JCC includes an early childhood center, runs multigenerational programming, and is one of the premiere rental spaces in Boulder County. With over 22,000 visitors per year, the Messinger Gallery provides exposure to the fine arts to thousands of people. While there is no way to measure the impact of these encounters, it is clear that exposure to the arts leaves impactful memories.

Alice’s first memorable art class was at the age of 10 at her local Westchester JCC. After that, there was no stopping her passion for art and desire to develop her skills. She has a BFA in Graphic Design and Art History from Parsons School of Design, a Master’s in Early Childhood Education from Bank Street School in New York City, and has taken part in additional studies at The Art Students League of New York, the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan, the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, The Art Center Highland Park, the Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Snowmass Village, CO, as well as various plein air classes.

While her skills were inherent, her passion for curating and collecting can be traced back to her parents, Marty and Joan Messinger, avid art collectors and philanthropists. Now living in Miami, FL, Marty gifted many pieces from his collection after Joan’s passing in 2011, whom Alice credits with having “the eye for art.” Those gifts have been made to the University of Rochester, the Lowe Art Museum at the University of Miami, and the Boulder JCC itself, decorating many of the spaces and meeting rooms. The collection included glass, indoor and outdoor sculptures, and 2-dimensional art.

It is no surprise that the diversity of this collection is now reflected in the work being curated at the Messinger Gallery. Since it began showing in 2016, the Messinger Gallery has been host to sculptures, oil and acrylic paintings, encaustic paintings, and photography. The Messinger Gallery currently shows 4 exhibits a year and is looking at ways to highlight more art forms and artists. Each exhibit includes an art opening, a conversation between the artist and the community, and viewing of the artwork.

The Messinger Gallery brings in high-end, established, and emergent Colorado artists by working in collaboration with the artists’ gallery representatives, often in partnership with local art galleries. This collaboration helps the artists and galleries gain more exposure, gives space for the artists to show more of their work at once, and a portion of all art sales benefit the Boulder JCC. The Art Curatorial Committee of the Messinger Gallery strives to create a beautiful environment for the Boulder JCC through a Jewish lens. They hope to expand understanding and conversations about art and culture to broaden minds and deepen knowledge of what it is to be human.

Alice currently works as a painter in North Boulder focusing on abstracts and landscapes in oil. Pieces that she is currently working on will be shown at the Messinger Gallery in 2020. For Alice, there’s a chemistry about meeting artists, gallery owners, and people who are passionate about art. Art is a welcoming, inclusive hobby and space to create.

The Messinger Gallery and the Boulder JCC are looking forward to the future of art at the J. Along with continuing to bring in local artists working in a variety of mediums, the Boulder JCC has started offering visual art classes, including a landscape painting class taught by Sara Sanderson, who had a show at the Messinger Gallery in the Fall of 2018, creative art journaling, and beginning drawing. Alice has been assisting in producing these art programs and holding teaching engagements herself.

Upcoming Messinger Gallery Exhibits

Messinger Gallery Dedication & Chloe Hedden Exhibit Opening
May 16, 2019
5:30 – 7:30 pm
Learn more and register here

Michael Hedges Exhibit Opening
September 11, 2019
5:30 – 7:30 pm

About Kai Murga Canales

Kai Murga-Canales is the Director of Marketing and Communications at the Boulder JCC. Originally from Miami, Kai moved to Boulder from Atlanta, where he worked for the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta and Limmud Atlanta + Southeast.

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