Jewish history in focus at Main Gallery 

Upon seeing an upcoming exhibit at Redwood City’s Main Gallery, you will be inclined to exclaim "mekhaye" — Yiddish for "What a pleasure!" Five Jewish artists are showcasing works of art signifying Jewish history, rituals and family. The show runs Oct. 17 through Nov. 18.

Ceramist Nina Koepcke uses images of elephants and pomegranates for her menorahs, candelabras and spice boxes. She says, "There are an enormous variety of cultures that influenced Jewish art because of the Diaspora, including Northern and Eastern Europe as well as North Africa, the Middle and Far East and South and Central America."

Being particularly interested in Ladinos, Spanish Jews whomigrated to South America, Koepcke makes monotype prints exploring recently published stories from Spain.

Elizabeth Noerdlinger’s oil landscape paintings serve as a springboard for examining scenes from the Torah, including Noah's flood, the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and the Egyptian plagues.

"What the Israelites went through in the desert has continued through history with all the victims of genocide," she says.

Jeannine Redon works with prisma color pencils and focuses on Jewish cooking. She defines her drawings with black pencil, later adding color.

Judith Serebrin creates hamsas, hand-like symbols from carved porcelain. She also makes figurative sculptures with Star-of-David heads as well as candlestick boxes, mezuzahs and menorahs.

Susan Wolf’s pieces are spice boxes, part of the ritual for ending of the Sabbath at Havdalah ceremonies.

An artists’ reception for the show is from 4 to 7 p.m. Oct. 28; the gallery is at 1018 Main St. Hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Call (650) 701-1018 or visit www.themaingallery.org.  

"Junk" at 1870

"Junk Reconsidered" by Cosette Dudley rearranges and reconfigures wall hangings, boxes, sculptural pieces and other works of art at 1870 Art Center in Belmont through Oct. 21.

Dudley collects newspaper clippings, used tea bags, scraps of fabric, old sheet music, bottle caps and century old photographs; in her work, she combines those materials with seaweed, shells and interesting driftwood. Her goal is for viewers to be inspired to use their "junk" for useful or decorative things.

The gallery is at 1870 Ralston Ave. Hours are Thursday through Saturday from 1 to 5 p.m. Call (650) 595-9679.

Needlepoint at Filoli

"Through the Needle's Eye" is a needlepoint show at Filoli curated by Kathy Sharpe. The exhibit features works from the Filoli collection on display throughout the main house. Among the items on display are vintage needlework tools as well as contemporary pieces.

Meet the Artist Day is Oct. 13. Tom Rogers will speak about needle art history and June McKnight will offer contemporary views. Hourly demonstrations also will be offered.

Filoli is located at 86 Canada Road in Woodside. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Sunday. Call (650) 364-8300 or visit www.filoli.org.   

jgross@examiner.com 

Read all of Joan Gross's columns at Examiner.com.

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