Gallery Opening at Boulder JCC Celebrates First Night of Chanukah

Gallery Opening at Boulder JCC Celebrates First Night of Chanukah

Since its opening in 2016, the Messinger Gallery at the Boulder JCC has been a coveted exhibition space for artistic mediums of all forms.  The Boulder JCC building itself, designed with high ceilings, natural light, and award-winning architecture, is a natural complement to the sculptures, oil and acrylic paintings, encaustic paintings, and photography from a diverse and impressive roster of local and global artists.  

The new exhibition, of works by metalsmith Paula Newman Pollachek, opened on Thursday, December 7. Thursday was the first night of Chanukah and the program began with the lighting of one of Paula’s stunning menorahs. 

Originally from Akron, Ohio; Paula and her family moved out to Colorado 18 years ago.   She was introduced to metalsmithing when she was 13 years old at Interlochen Center for the Arts Camp in Michigan. She fell in love with the torch and never looked back. 

Much of Paula’s work in this show is Jewish ritual items.  “In college, I had a wonderful Jewish metalsmithing professor, Fred Fenster, who encouraged me to do Judaica. I did not think I had the gravitas of a Jewish student to make the work, but he convinced me that I could bring excellence as a metalsmith to the tradition,” said Paula when asked why she focused on Judaica.  

“There is a term called Hiddur Mitzvah which is the principle of enhancing a mitzvah through aesthetics to enrich and glorify the ritual. This has become my life’s work. I believe we should be surrounded by beauty for ritual and everyday life.”

Paula is very involved with the Boulder JCC community. She served for 9 years on the Board of the JCC including a term as President of the Board when the new building opened. Paula created 65 mezuzahs for the new Boulder JCC. 

Paula’s work is a part of the permanent collections of the Jüdisches Museum Berlin, Germany, and The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life, Berkeley, California. She is part of private collections in North America, Europe, and the Middle East.

The exhibition will be on display at the Messinger Gallery through March 2024.  This is a free program.  Advance registration is always encouraged for programs at the Boulder JCC.  Using a computer rather than your mobile device will make the registration process easier for you. For registration support call 303-998-1900 or contact Acy Jackson acy.jackson@boulderjcc.org

About Jill Lowitz

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