Fay Grajower, 2G artist in Boston, opens her exhibit, Where the Past Meets the Future, at the Galicia Jewish Museum in Krakow, Poland, July 1 during the International Jewish Festival.

19th century Krakow saw three generations of Grajower dayanim, rabbinic court judges. Their rabbinic books, written contributions and imprimatur remain today. The artist found one of these sefarim, rabbinic books, at the Israel International Book Fair in Jerusalem 13 years ago. This sefer became the catalyst and inspiration for the exhibit.

Where the Past Meets the Future is a site specific installation of 108 constructed wooden boxes forming a mosaic. Each 9.5” square box is a self contained mixed media painting. Together the pieces form a greater whole, a monumental painting and wall within a wall on the four part brick designated exhibition space. In its abstraction there are suggested images and references to time and place and people long gone. The layering of materials reflects the layering that make up one’s inner world. The surface glows with the richness of that which is underneath. Embedded in the paint are materials that reference and suggest history of past centuries and the more recent century as well as the rebirth, hope and interest of Jewish life, learning and culture in Poland today.

There is currently an effort to rebuild Polish-Jewish relations that historically are complex and sensitive. On the one hand, Poles saved more Jews than any other nation during the war. On the other hand, the process of self-analysis that occurred in western European countries after the holocaust was delayed in Poland. With the fall of communism and the return of freedom of speech, the era is being explored. Sharing our culture and history through the arts is integral to revisiting the vibrant Jewish life in Poland that was and re-energizing Jewish life in Poland today. History, to secure itself and to determine the vitality of the future, must be founded in memory.

Where the Past Meets the Future runs through October 31, 2008 and is accompanied by a signed limited edition folio of prints. Contact fay@grajowerstudio.com.