From Jan. 5 through Feb. 4, artists in Bet Alef Meditational Synagogue’s community are joining members of East Shore, University, West Seattle and Edmonds Unitarian Churches in an exhibit of painting, photography, pottery, sculpture and jewelry. “Liberals’ Art” will be on display at the East Shore Gallery, 12700 SE 32nd Street, in the Factoria area of Bellevue.
Meli Solomon, owner of Solomon Fine Art Inc., is the show’s curator. “Bet Alef has been meeting for Shabbat services at East Shore for over a year,” says Solomon, “and I see this first invitation to participate in a gallery show as an important development in the relationship between the two congregations, an additional welcoming by them.” Solomon chose work that reflects a wide range of media and style, as well as experience, from nineteen Bet Alef artists. “All members who wanted to participate were welcome,” she continues. “They range from talented amateurs through seasoned professional artists.”
“There are a surprisingly large number of artists and craftspeople in our community,” says Roger Nachman, who has been working professionally as a glass artist for about 25 years. Predominantly doing commissioned works now, Nachman is including some of his more sculptural, large-scale iridescent glass insects.
“To have my work looked at is a gift for me,” agrees Kathy Ross, a dollmaker and a sculptor in ceramic and bronze who is currently represented by Seattle’s Friesen Gallery and King’s Foot Gallery in Wisconsin. Ross’s figurative sculptures in clay and bronze occasionally incorporate found objects and have a strong flavor of the surreal. “A lot of the imagery that I use comes out of the meditations during the services,” Ross says. “So it’s a really appropriate place for me to show my work.”
Barry Scharf, who has an M.F.A. from Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles and has had his work exhibited at many one-man shows, feels similarly. “For the artist to create his or her work, whatever form it takes, is to be in a state of meditation and prayer,” he says. Currently an instructor at the Art Institute of Seattle, he is including paintings done during a year spent on San Juan Island. “I chose them because of their spiritual feel,” Scharf explains. “While they are basically landscapes and seascapes, they are non-literal interpretations of reality, communicating visually as our rabbi does spiritually. We are a community of creative individuals and art is part of the process of our prayer.”
The gallery is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and during service times. For more information, contact Bet Alef at 206-527-9399 or firstname.lastname@example.org.