Visual Arts

Brightly colored paintings, hand-crafted quilts, stunning sculptures and intriguing photographs are just examples of the beautiful pieces of art on display throughout the year in the JCC’s Goldberg Gallery, located in the building’s lobby. Exhibits are free and open to the entire community.

Exhibits and artists are selected by the JCC’s Visual Arts Committee, chaired by Stacy Leeman and 4 -5 exhibitions are presented annually.  Most exhibits are mounted for a minimum of 1 month.  Exhibits are selected based on Jewish content and/or to highlight a Jewish artist.  Each new exhibition includes an artist reception to kick off the exhibit, allowing JCC members and interested community arts patrons the opportunity to meet the artist and learn more about their artistic process and creative goals.  Additionally, for some exhibiting artists, workshops, presentations to schools and synagogues, and interactive classes are included.

Contact Melanie Butter, Program Director, at mbutter@columbusjcc.org for more information about this exhibit or future displays in the Goldberg Gallery of the JCC.

Current Exhibit

Paul Palnik’s The Art of Prayer

paul palnik - mikes camera2

Our newest gallery exhibit features paintings by world-renowned artist and cartoonist Paul Palnik. The collection, on display through January, comes from Palnik’s personal meditations on verses in the Torah.

Each painting began as part of Palnik’s deeply spiritual and mystical approach to Judaism. These inspired pieces illustrating scenes from the Torah, such as the creation of the universe and the story of Noah, come from Palnik’s unique approach to Torah study. “Inevitably, I’ll come to a line or a passage that is so profound and deep that I can spend two hours just meditating on that,” Palnik explained.

“G-d helped to create these, absolutely,” said Palnik. The creative expression you’ll see in our lobby—everything from the calm and soulful eyes to the swirling colors Palnik uses—comes out of his conversation with G-d, he added. Palnik hopes this collection will help his fellow Jews to remember their connection to G-d, too. “G-d is not some far away thing. G-d is in the same room, closer than their next heartbeat.”

Each of these paintings comes from Palnik’s heart and soul. One of the most distinct aspects of Palnik’s painted work is the way he paints bright, smiling eyes. There is meaning behind every brush stroke in Palnik’s work, including the captivating eyes. “I practice a face mysticism—it’s a kabbalistic thing. You can see people’s souls. Everything is written on the face. And the eyes are the window to the soul,” he explained.

For the many children who walk through the JCC lobby each day, Palnik encouraged them to look at these beautiful paintings, too. “Enjoy the colors, the meaning will come later,” he said. For the adults interested in purchasing Palnik’s work, six years in the making, most of the canvas paintings are for sale. Each piece is also available as a print from 1’x1’ to 3’x3’ in size.

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About the JCC

The JCC is a place that nurtures a passion for Jewish learning and living. Through its programs and services, the JCC provides an inviting Jewish Neighborhood and comfortable place to thrive. Hours: M-Th 5:30 am - 10 pm; Fri 5:30 am - 6 pm; Sat 1:30 - 6 pm; Sun 8 am - 7 pm

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