A ‘living, breathing, art gallery’

A ‘living, breathing, art gallery’

Sherri Lippman and Jane Kielt organized an art exhibit last month at the Jewish Home at Rockleigh in honor of their parents, Roy and Henie Horton.

Four generations of the Horton family came together through art on June 14 at the Jewish Home in Rockleigh.

Artwork by Sherri Horton Lippman, Jane Horton Kielt, her daughter Cecelia, and the late Roy Horton was on display – in memory of Roy and Henie Horton, Lippman and Kielt’s parents. Lippman and her father-in-law, Bill Lippman, a board member at the home, created an endowment in the Hortons’ memory as a way to “bring art to the people,” said Kielt, a 55-year-old retired art teacher living in Mount Laurel. Money raised will go toward future art programs at the home.

“My family loves art,” said Sherri Lippman, a 58-year-old resident of Englewood who is training to become a tour guide for the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Her father was a commercial artist and worked on fine art paintings once he retired. The goal of the exhibit, she added, “was to get everybody loving, appreciating, and talking about art.”

The Lippmans met with the head of recreation at the home to determine how the funds from the endowment could best serve the residents. She said that she felt that an art show would be a great way to stimulate the people at the home, family members, and the public. The art exhibit, which ran for a month, stayed open for 24 hours so that residents could view it at any hour.

At the opening of the exhibit, the family and residents watched DVDs of famous artists. The residents then created pieces of their own in the various artists’ styles.

On display were 22 watercolors by Kielt, a painting and a woodcut by her daughter, and two paintings by Horton. Many of Kielt’s paintings represent her travels overseas, she said, while others include winter scenes from holiday cards she designs every year.

The art has “always been very personal to me,” she said. “I have always just painted for myself, so when they asked me to do this, I had mixed feelings about putting myself out there like that at first. It was nice to see residents and families smiling and looking at the artwork and really enjoying it.”

Overall, said Lippman, the connections she made with the residents were rewarding. One wheelchair-bound woman, Lippman said, showed particular interest in a box of Kielt’s watercolor notecards.

Kielt said that while everyone was interested in the exhibit, one woman in a wheelchair asked if she could come to the studio and watch her paint because she enjoyed the paintings so much.

Kielt said that other artists have asked if they could display their art as well.

One of her paintings and several notecard prints were sold, she said. She gave a percentage to the endowment, calling it a “win-win situation for everyone.”

“You transcend where you are, and forget what’s going on, forgetting your troubles, and it brings you joy,” said Lippman.

Lippman hopes that the art exhibit will act as a “catalyst” for others in the community to get involved. Both Lippman and Kielt plan on holding future events at the home.

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