Sunday, April 30, 2017

Opening Celebration

The Jewish Artists Lab of Madison held the opening for our show this afternoon.
The theme for this year was: Outside/Inside: Exploring Boundaries and Otherness. My quilt is about how my grandfather was American on the outside, but carried a lot of feelings from his roots in the shtetl.

If you're interested, here is what I wrote about it:

As I thought about the theme in the early months of the cycle, my mind fixed on my paternal grandfather, Charles Kades (formerly Kadesevitz). He came to the United States from Lithuania in 1906 and grew up in Crystal Lake, Ill. He never got over the shame of his father’s refusal to assimilate. Charles himself spoke flawless English, graduated from UW-Madison, owned a successful auto parts store in Beloit, Wis., fished, and golfed. He is one of the kindest, most sensitive men I have ever known, and I was always touched by the stories he told of his childhood poverty. He spoke of how embarrassed he was that his father signed things for school with his signature in Yiddish because he refused to learn to write in English. Even though he was a prosperous American by any standard, the shtetl had made its mark on my grandfather.

The photo behind his head is a photo of downtown Beloit in the 1950s. The embroidered shtetl is based on a photo of the shtetl where Charles (then Chaskell) came from, Taureg, also known as Tavrik.


The Beloit Country Club did not admit Jews until the mid-1970s. My grandfather joined immediately.

10 comments:

  1. What a beautiful honor to your grandfather. I loved reading about his story.

    When I was a kid there was a Masonic Country Club in our neighborhood. I once told my father that when I grew up, I was going to join that country club so I could swim in the pool. He told me I couldn't.

    It wasn't until I was an adult that I understood why I couldn't. :::sigh:::

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  2. Wow, your work is amazing, and it's fabulous that you had someone take a photo of you with the piece. If awards are given, I have no doubt that you'll receive one.

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  3. What a wonderful tribute. Your work, as always, impresses the heck out of me!

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  4. Beautiful work!

    My Mom was always embarrassed by her family who shunned assimilation. My siblings and I were given traditional "Canadian" first names and my Mom insisted that only English was spoken in our home.

    It's wonderful that your artwork tells this story. There is so much hurtfulness permeating our communities. Hopefully this type of work sheds some light on it and draws people closer!

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  5. This is so beautiful! And, thank you for sharing this story!

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  6. I LOVE THIS POST. I love your contribution to the event. Love your stories. How do you spell hutspa? I think Charles had it. We watched The Zookeepers Wife yesterday. Such a fascinating story. Such bravery should always be remembered. I have a lot of trouble watching movies that show the horrors, but this one was so well done.

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  7. What a nice way to remember your grandfather! I hope your beautiful quilt won an award.

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  8. What a wonderful piece with a fantastic story behind it. Well done!

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  9. Your work is very moving. Thanks so much for sharing it in art story. xx

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  10. you are a beautiful artist. I am glad you shared what you wrote for your art piece, it gives depth to the work.

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