FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich.
The Holocaust Memorial Center will host an opening program for its newest exhibit, A la Mémoire des Enfants Déportés, Wednesday, Jan. 27 at 7 p.m. The exhibition, which includes calligraphic artwork honoring the 11,400 French Jewish children deported and, for many, murdered from 1942 to 1944, will be open through Sunday, May 15.
The event will begin with a wine and dessert reception with the exhibit's artist, Eleanor Winters, followed by an artist talk and presentation at 7:30 p.m. Sponsored by PNC Wealth Management, the evening's music will be generously provided by Detroit Chamber Winds and Strings. The cost to attend is free to members and $10 for nonmembers.
Inspired by plaques erected throughout France, the poetic phrasing of the exhibit reflects an almost unbearable sorrow of what occurred, as well as the shame of the Vichy Government's complicity, through which the artist's message shines: Ne les oublions jamais (We must never forget them). Approximately 300 of the plaques in Paris have been placed on the facades of schools the children had attended throughout the city.
Repeated on Winter's panels are the number of children deported in each arrondissement (district), as well as words such as "complicité," "la barbarie nazie" and "déportés et assassinés" or complicity, Nazi barbarity and deported and assassinated.
Winters is a calligraphic artist who divides her time between Paris and New York. Upon viewing the plaques around Paris, she began work on the calligraphic paintings using their text as inspiration. Expressed through calligraphy, color and texture, the artwork was created on watercolor paper using layers of paint and ink, writing and rewriting in a variety of styles. It ranges in size from approximately 9-inches-by-12-inches to 18-inches-by-24-inches and its media includes gouache, watercolor, acrylic paint and a variety of inks.
"My goal as an artist has been to take these words off the walls of old school buildings and convert them into works of art that focus the attention of the viewer once again on this devestating chapter of history," said Winters. " I am pleased to bring this exhibit to metropolitan Detroit and the Holocaust Memorial Center."
The exhibit, which is free with museum admission, is sponsored by Janice and Chris Billmeyer, Pamela and Kenneth Bloom, Rozanne and Bernard Friedman, Sue and Nelson Hersh, Michael Liebowitz and Anita and Kenneth Volk.
About the Holocaust Memorial Center Zekelman Family Campus
The Holocaust Memorial Center Zekelman Family Campus is a 55,000 square foot museum and Library Archive in Farmington Hills that teaches about the senseless murder of millions and why each of us must respect and stand up for the rights of others if we are to prevent future genocide and hate crimes. The lessons of history are used to create a call to action, teaching visitors through the examples of those who risked their lives to save others, and asking our guests to react to contemporary challenges such as racism, bullying and prejudice. Exhibits include artifacts such as an authentic WWII-era boxcar, text panels, photos, video testimonies, films, paintings, sculpture, and a sapling from the tree located outside Anne Frank's hiding place window that is described in her diary. A daily guided tour at 1 pm is often followed by a live presentation by a Holocaust survivor. Located on the second floor above the museum, the Library Archive is an important resource for academics, the media and families researching their heritage.
Hours: Sunday-Thursday 9:30 am to 5 pm (last admission at 3:30 pm) and Friday 9:30 am to 3 pm (last admission 1:30 pm). Wheelchair accessible. Free parking. For additional information, visit www.holocaustcenter.org
or call 248.553.2400.