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Holocaust Wall Hangings exhibited at Jorgensen Gallery Sept. 18- Dec. 18 (Released: 9/12/95)

by Sherry Fisher, Office of University Communications.

STORRS, Conn. -- She uses something as delicate as a thread to send a message of defiance.

Judith Weinshall Liberman s Holocaust wall hangings will be on display at the University of Connecticut s Jorgensen Gallery Sept. 18 - Dec. 18. There are 25 pieces in the show.

As a woman, a Jew and an artist, Judith Liberman expresses the horror, the human tragedy of the Holocaust. Her fabric wall hangings map out a visual territory of unforgettable facts and events in world history, says Sal Scalora, associate professor of art.

A reception for the artist will take place Oct. 15 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. in Jorgensen Gallery, just before the performance of Beethoven s 9th Symphony in Jorgensen Auditorium.

The exhibit is in conjunction with the opening of the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center and the year of events that will follow with the theme Fifty Years After Nuremburg: Human Rights and the Rule of Law. It is co-sponsored by the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Foundation, the School of Fine Arts and Jorgensen Auditorium.

Born and raised in Haifa, Israel, Liberman was 10 years old at the onset of World War II. Although she, her parents and immediate family were not physically harmed in the Holocaust, people close to her lost loved ones at the hands of the Nazis. It left an indelible impression on her, she says. The grim news was everywhere: it was in the air we breathed and it became part of us.

Liberman began creating the Holocaust wall hangings in 1988. Before she started them, she had created more than two dozen paintings on canvas about the Holocaust but switched to fabric, she says, because it broadened her means of expression. She paints the fabric, uses block printing, stenciling and calligraphy, as well as applique, embroidery and beading. She uses a palette of red, gray and black: red for blood and fire; gray for suffering and despair; and black for death, she says. The loose-hanging fabric promised to be significant in itself by evoking an image of banners of the Third Reich which flew over Europe during the Holocaust, she says.

What is important is that my Holocaust work, standing on its own independently of its creator, will speak to people's hearts, Liberman says.

Liberman earned four university degrees in social studies and law. She has lived in the Boston area for the past 30 years. She has exhibited her work in one-person and group shows in Boston and New York, and her work is in public and private collections in the United States and Israel.

Jorgensen Gallery is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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