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May 20, 1994 - Image 73

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1994-05-20

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

".■

Art To Remember

Alice Frank
creates sculpture for
West Bloomfield's
Holocaust •
Memorial Center

SUZANNE CHESSLER

UNDQUIS1\G.T. PHOTO

SPECIAL TO THE JEWISH NEWS

lthough it has been only a year
since artist and teacher Alice
Frank donated a mod-
ernistic wall sculpture to
the Holocaust Memorial
Center, she is just about
finished with another.
Her first project for
the museum—Zachor
("To Remember")—
commemorates the 50th an-
niversary of the Warsaw Ghet-
to uprising. The second, still
untitled, will depict the burning
of a Sefer Torah.
Ms. Frank is neither a Holo-
caust survivor nor a close family
member of a survivor. Her emo-
tional ties to that era developed
through books and a long-lasting
friendship with someone having
a very personal knowledge of the
atrocities.
"I was deeply moved by The
Diary of Anne Frank, which I
read at age 11," the sculptor re-
called. "In fact, I became rather
obsessed by the events leading
up to the Holocaust and the re-
sults. I started reading anything
and everything I could pertain-
ing to those events.
"At 12 years old, I saw The

Diary of Anne Frank as a play.
One of my closest friends was so
dreadfully upset during the per-
formance that she had to be car-
ried from the theater. Her
parents were survivors, and she
had lived with so many stored-up
feelings. When they exploded
that day, I was propelled into fur-
ther exploration.
!As a young adult, I became
very active in the Anti-Defama-
tion League, and I lectured about
the Holocaust around the state.
I think that in the back of my
mind I had been creating some-
thing which would capture my
feelings forever, and that was Za-
chor."
Formed through an enameling
process, her work shows the He-
brew word for remember in blue
and white — to symbolize the
Jewish people; the red represents
the blood that was spilled during
the dark days of the Holocaust.
The bright colors, trapped be-
hind barbed wire, are in contrast
to the muted tones that are part
of so many other displays at the
Holocaust Memorial Center.
"A lot of visitors have told me
they findthe sculpture very

moving," said Rabbi Charles
Rosenzveig, HMC founder and
director, who asked Ms. Frank to
do a second project.
"I also think the piece is very
significant because it indicates
the emotional involvement of a
local artist in the story of the
Holocaust."
Only one other local sculptor,

Alice Frank: Remembering the
Holocaust through art.

Martin Lowenberg, has crafted
commemorative pieces for the
HMC. He presents the point of
view of an actual survivor by cre-
ating replicas of what he en-
countered.
The other works
Zachor. To are generally from
remember. England, the home of
museum designer
James Gardner.
Ms. Frank's sculpture was
brought into the center through
the efforts of Ernst Conrad, rab-
bi emeritus of Temple Kol Ami.
The artist designed a different
version of Zachor, which is dis-
played at the temple to mark
Rabbi Conrad's retirement. Rab-
bi Conrad introduced Rabbi
Rosenzveig to Ms. Frank and her
artistry.
Ms. Frank's serious sculpture
projects are very different from
her commercial enameling ven-
tures —jewelry, which has been
sold at Saks, Neiman Marcus and
Jacobson's, and wall hangings.
Ms. Frank graduated from the
University of Michigan. "After I
became a teacher, I attended
many art workshops and enrich-
ment programs," she said.
When my husband, Sidney, 0)
was in the service in Korea, I had
the chance to investigate artistic
angles from an Asian standpoint.
I was fortunate to travel through-
out Japan and see different stu-
dios."
Once the Franks were re-

ART page 82

73

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