Neve Shalom Gallery

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

by Rabbi James Stone Goodman

Art is essential. We created an art gallery at Neve Shalom to display art that might not be seen anywhere else, also essential. The artists we feature are not ordinarily featured in galleries; our shows are also accompanied by original creations in other forms, such as poetry, music, and story.

The photographs in our present exhibition, the sixth exhibition we have hosted at the gallery at Neve Shalom, is a story in pictures and poetry of a summer vacation taken in Iowa, summer of 2004.

The poetry is hung on the walls with the images. The images are photographs by Ellen Fein Rosenbaum, and the poetry was created by me, James Stone Goodman. The poetry and the photography are a kind of dialogue, but independent of each other. For example, this is a stanza from the opening poem:

In the summer of 2004,
Norm and Ellen took a vacation.
Norm, I am sure, was eager
to share with Ellen
his Iowa.
Iowa: dependable, exterior calm, interior varied,
full of quirky American stories,
long vista-ed, tall corn-ed, big story-ed, small tale-d

As in all our shows at the Neve Shalom gallery, there is a mixture of image and text and music. There is a story told on texts also hung among the pictures. At our openings and showings, there is also music, live and recorded, to accompany the show, a kind of context in which to engage the art more seriously. Our exhibitions are not schmoozes with wine and cheese, they are hybrid art forms integrating a variety of creative efforts, designed to bring art and audience into closer contact than they are accustomed to in a casual walk around a gallery.

We are picky at Neve Shalom about the art that qualifies for our gallery space. I want new art, experimental art, visionary art. I want outsider art, fringe art, art that might never find its way onto the walls of another gallery or museum. I want to display the artist who is burning for his art form but has no idea how to get her work known. Or I want the artist who has never been seen, because life intervenes and changes our best intentions.

The public is invited to view our newest show: What I Did On My Summer Vacation,” by Ellen Fein Rosenbaum. You can call Neve Shalom at 314-863-4366 to get times for viewing. It is free to the public.

Congregation Neve Shalom is in the Rainbow Village, 1240 Dautel. Dautel is one mile west of Spoede off of Olive, turn north at the Walgreens, travel 1/2 mile to Dautel Lane, turn in, park in the lot in back, follow the signs to the synagogue by the woods.

For more information, you may call Neve Shalom at 314-863-4366.