Wednesday, October 19, 2022
The Tucson Jewish Community Center (the J or the Tucson J) presents “A Celebration of Sculpture,” Sunday, October 23 from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. The free, all-ages annual showcase features a juried outdoor exhibition with eight new sculptures joining the SculptureGarden’s existing collection of over 40 works by local, national and international sculptors, an indoor Fine Art Gallery opening with more than 20 sculptures from 12 local artists, artist talks and live music throughout the duration of the event, dance performances from ZUZU! DanceGroup and Esperanza Dance, activities by Ben’s Bells and Arts for All (a Tucson J program) for all ages and abilities, and delicious kosher pizza for sale from the Kosher Pizza Truck.
Jurors Darlene Kryza, Donna Isaac, and Hirotsune Tashima selected the works for the juried exhibition, which includes sculptures by Pamela Ambrosio, Curt Brill, Gedion Nyanhongo, Hector Ortego, Joan Waters, and Nan Wollman. Artists exhibiting in the Fine Art Gallery show include Pamela Ambrosio, Jesse Berlin, Steve Grater, Candace Greenburg, Jerry W. Harris, Ronald Kalinoski, David Knorr, Andree Richmond, Gerald Rockwell, Ellen Sidor, Ted WadeSpringer, and Nan Wollman.
The three-hour event features live music indoors and outdoors by harpist Rebecca Foreman, pianist Sarah Tolar, guitarists Leila Lopez and Nathaniel Burnside, the Christine Harper FluteDuet, and Stu Mellan and the Birks Works Jazz Quintet.
In 2009, the J established its Sculpture Garden with a four-fold purpose in mind: to craft a public space that celebrates the appreciation of sculpture; to create an atmosphere of tranquility; to promote educational opportunities; and to enhance community fellowship. The convergence of art and audience in the Sonoran Desert region encourages visitors to relax, converse, meditate, and contemplate. The landscaped garden showcases outdoor sculpture, offers views of the surrounding mountain ranges and provides a meditative environment within the city limits.
A dedicated team of volunteers and lay leaders make up the J’s Sculpture Garden Committee, working in tandem with Jennifer Selco, the Director of Jewish Life and Learning, to oversee the planning and logistics of both the space and the annual event.
“I am very proud to be part of bringing new artists and their sculptures each year to the J’sbeautiful and peaceful garden in the heart of Tucson—a splendid public space to showcase 40world class sculptures for the entire year by some of America’s leading artists, a welcoming place where the entire Tucson community can celebrate the art and the artists who create such outstanding sculpture,” says Raymonde Zlotnikoff, sculptor and Chair of the J’s SculptureGarden Committee.
The Tucson J believes that arts and culture are critical means by which its community understands and appreciates itself more deeply and truly, offering experiences through a variety of mediums including visual art to foster conversations rooted in shared understanding, give new perspective to the most important questions of the world today, and promote creativity across the ages.
"I believe the J’s Sculpture Garden is on the cusp of becoming one of the most important cultural destinations in Tucson," added Claire West, Sculpture Garden Committee member.
“I have shown work in galleries for many years. The work I display outside has the same sense of intimacy as my ‘inside’ work; it can feel vulnerable to exhibit in the grand scale of a public garden. I am grateful for the opportunity the J is giving me to make this step with my sculpture, The Green Splitting Tree. I think the placement shows the piece well, giving it scale, and intimacy,” says Nan Wollman, who is exhibiting work in both the Sculpture Garden and Fine ArtGallery.