Manchester University
Oak Leaves

October 13, 2017


Lea Goldman's painting "My Inner Life: Dance: Descending into Origins" is displayed in Gallery G in Upper JYSC.

Photo by Sarah Shoemaker 


Holocaust Survivor, Artist, Goldman Holds Exhibit in Gallery G

Kylie Kroger

Artist Lea Goldman invites her viewers on a colorful journey in storytelling in her collection, “The Ephemeral Journey” which is currently residing in Gallery G on the upper level of the Jo Young Switzer Center.

Upon first glance, these eye-catching paintings look almost like the illustrations that live within the pages of a storybook. This makes sense, as Goldman sites inspiration from other storytellers who came before her. "As I grow older, I see myself as one of the old story-telling crones, the oral originators of Brother Grimm Fairytales, Hans Christian Anderson stories, Mother Goose and others," said Goldman in her series overview, which is also located in Gallery G.

However, despite the surface appearance of storybook illustrations, these pieces are multidimensional and metaphoric with a much deeper meaning.

This level of multi-dimension is particularly prominent in “My Inner Life: Dance: Descending into Origins.” In this two-canvas piece, it appears that it is a trio of dancers; two under a crescent moon in hues of blue, the other transitioning into lighter hues of pastel pinks and yellows. Upon a closer look though, it is clear that these dancers are among fish and other sea life, combining elements of land and sea.

Among the most vibrant of the pieces in Gallery G are those within the "Social Concerns" collection. Bursting with color and a story jumping from the canvas with a particular inspiration in mind. "The theatrical paintings are influenced, in part, by the figures and costumes of the European Commedia dell' arte, an old established form of improvisational theater," said Goldman in her overview. "This is to distance the situation from actual life occurrences and to give my ideas a sort of universal meaning."

In her piece, "Social Concerns: Making Amends (On Child Abuse)" the elements of good and evil play out, as a small child juggles the repercussions of abuse. The use of multiple meanings plays an important role in this particular piece. While the child appears to have theatrical makeup on, it is up to the audience to decide the importance and relevance of the black eyes that appear underneath. This piece in particular points to Goldman's concern for a conversation on taboo issues that exist in society.

“I am a storyteller,” said Goldman in her series overview. “I tell my stories in representative images, in metaphors. My paintings tell about social and personal concerns that preoccupy my mind throughout the day and keep me awake during long nights as well as about my introspective contemplations, and spiritual revelations.”

Goldman has seen her fair share of the world. Goldman was born in Romania, and is also a Holocaust survivor, later finding her way to Russia and the Middle East before immigrating to the United States. Since her arrival in 1975, Goldman has lived in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, and now resides in South Bend, Indiana where she is a painter and printmaker full-time.

Goldman will be visiting Manchester on Tuesday Oct. 24 at 3:30 pm in the Hoff Room, located on the second floor of Jo Young Switzer Center to give a lecture on both her artwork and her life's journey.