Temple Har Shalom to host an exhibit in stitches | ParkRecord.com

Temple Har Shalom to host an exhibit in stitches

Alisha Self, Of the Record staff

When was the last time you saw something so intriguing that you wanted to bottle it and share it with everyone you know?

That’s exactly how local art aficionado Bill Handler felt when he saw an exhibition of Israeli quilts at Brigham Young University’s Jerusalem Center for Near Eastern Studies last year.

Handler was touring the city with Rabbi Josh Aaronson and a group of congregation members from Temple Har Shalom when he and a few others decided to stop by the Jerusalem Center to see what went on there.

"I was totally blown away by this quilt exhibit. I was flabbergasted. It was like nothing I’d ever see before," he says. "As we were leaving, I had this epiphany: Wouldn’t it be fabulous if we could get this exhibit to Park City?"

The exhibit features 33 quilts and three handmade pieces of clothing created by 10 Israeli quilters. The artists belong to the Israeli Quilters’ Association and many display their work around the world. Some of the quilts have traveled to other places but the show as a whole has not appeared outside of Jerusalem.

The quilts are not your typical patchwork creations, Handler notes. They come in different sizes and styles and feature themes ranging from the Old Testament and the Holy Land to the exploration of nature and the human condition.

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Handler, who owns the soon-to-be-closing Redstone Gallery, has an eye for art. He knew Park City’s artistic community would appreciate the exhibit, so he got in touch with Neomi Weinstein, the Jerusalem Center’s curator, and inquired about bringing the quilts to the U.S.

From there, Handler had to get permission from each of the artists involved in the show to ship their quilts stateside. He also had to raise money to transport and insure the exhibit.

That part wasn’t difficult, he says. His fellow congregation members at Temple Har Shalom were quick to offer financial support.

"We have many members who are interested in art and culture and we thought it would be a good way to align their interests," explains Joy Erickson, who serves as the membership and volunteer coordinator at the Temple and helped organize the exhibit.

The quilts will be displayed throughout the lobby and reception area of Temple Har Shalom. "It’s a beautiful building," Erickson says. "It’s almost like it was made to display art."

The exhibit will also provide an opportunity for Parkites who have not visited the synagogue to explore the property, she adds. "We see it as an outreach beyond the Jewish community."

About half of the quilts are for sale and range in price from $325 to $2,800.

A private reception will be held on Aug. 13 followed by the public opening of the exhibit on Monday, Aug. 16. The quilts will be on display through Dec. 10 and the facility will be open to the public Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Starting Sept. 21, the Temple will be open until 8 p.m. Mondays.

Temple Har Shalom is located at 3700 North Brookside Court off of S.R. 224. For more information, call 649-2276 or visit http://www.templeharshalom.com.