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March 14, 2012
Violins of Hope Project Includes World Premiere of Not So Still Life, With Music
The Milken Archive of Jewish Music Presents Paintings by Ralph Gilbert

The UNC Charlotte College of Arts + Architecture announces an addition to the Violins of Hope project: Not So Still Life, With Music: The Milken Archive of Jewish Music Presents Paintings by Ralph Gilbert – a world premiere exhibition opening April 9-24, 2012, in conjunction with the premiere of the Violins of Hope at the UNC Charlotte Center City Building in Charlotte, NC.  In exhibition and performance for the first time in North or South America, the Violins of Hope represents 18 violins recovered from the Holocaust by Israeli violinmaker Amnon Weinstein.

Gilbert, former Associate Dean for the Fine Arts and founding Director of the Center for Collaborative and International Arts at Georgia State University, was commissioned by the Santa Monica, California-based Milken Archive of Jewish Music: The American Experience to create the series of 20 oil paintings to complement 20 themed volumes of music, encompassing more than 700 recordings. The works explore a vast repertoire of music reflecting the scope and variety of the Jewish experience in America.

From the outset, Gilbert (see www.ralphgilbert.com) wanted to portray how music conveys emotion on what he calls "a gestural level." He also wanted to strike a balance between honoring the Jewish content of the volumes and attending to the more abstract and formal properties that give a work of art general appeal; between creating paintings that were inherently Jewish in terms of subject matter, and creating paintings that succeeded on a purely aesthetic level. "They had to be appropriate," he says, "but also work as independent works of art."

The Milken Archive seeks to preserve and promote Jewish music. Founded by philanthropist Lowell Milken in 1990, the Milken Archive explores the universality of the Jewish experience for people of all faiths and backgrounds.  The Archive’s virtual museum website (www.milkenarchive.org) is an interactive guide to music, videos, oral histories, photos and essays chronicling over 350 years of Jewish music and culture in a land of freedom.

According to Lowell Milken, “The Violins of Hope and the Milken Archive of Jewish Music share a common purpose – the preservation, dissemination and inspiration of a culture that has not only survived but thrived.”

For more information about the Violins of Hope project, visit www.violinsofhopecharlotte.com.

Click on images to enlarge.


A Garden Eastward: Sephardi and Near Eastern Inspiration, an oil painting by Ralph Gilbert, is one of 20 works commissioned by the Milken Archive of Jewish Music www.milkenarchive.org giving visual voice to 20 themed volumes of music reflecting the Jewish experience in America.  Inspiration for A Garden Eastward stems from the music and poetry of Jewish culture’s “Golden Age” on the pre-16th-century Iberian Peninsula and onward to its more recent influences from refugee and émigré communities in America.


Echoes of Ecstasy: Hassidic Inspiration is one of 20 works featured in Not So Still Life, With Music: The Milken Archive of Jewish Music Presents Paintings by Ralph Gilbert, a world premiere exhibition opening April 9-24, 2012, in conjunction with the premiere of the Violins of Hope.

Echoes of Ecstasy evokes the music of the Hassidic dynasties that developed in Europe beginning in the mid-18th century—some of which relocated to America in the 20th century—in which music and mysticism are an inextricable part of the celebration of life and faith.

Find out more behind the art of Ralph Gilbert in an interview with the Milken Archive.

For more information, please contact:

Meg Freeman Whalen, Director of Communications and External Relations
UNC Charlotte College of Arts + Architecture
meg.whalen@uncc.edu
704-687-0878