FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Rhea Carmi, Voices of Silence, Voices of Hope
Mixed Media Paintings
to open at Soka University’s Founders Hall Art Gallery on Sept. 15, 2008
September 15 - December 31, 2008
Opening Reception:  Thursday, September 18, 5:00-8:00 pm



Soka University's Founders Hall Art Gallery
Soka University
1 University Drive, Aliso Viejo, CA 92656
Directions: From Interstate 5 take Oso/Pacific Park Drive west to Wood Canyon. Turn left, then right on University.  Founders Hall is the domed building overlooking Peace Lake.
Map: http://www.soka.edu/directions
Contact: Wendy Harder

949.480.4081
E-mail, wwharder@soka.edu
Web site, http://www.soka.edu/gallery
Gallery hours, Monday – Friday, 9am-5pm



Rhea Carmi, Light in the Dark, 2007, mixed media on panel, 60”x 96”.

About the Artist

Rhea Bruria Carmi was born in 1942 and grew up in one of the oldest cities in the world -- Jerusalem, the capital of Israel and a sanctuary to three major world religions.  Her father, a builder, taught her to use the tools of his trade and she grew up nurtured by an environment of many contrasts and cultural diversities.
 
Carmi married her husband, Meir, a Holocaust survivor.  At age 32, after working at Hebrew University as a physiology researcher, Rhea Carmi began her career as a mixed media abstract artist.  She studied visual arts at Tel-Aviv Open University 1974-76, and attended Ramat-Gan Institute for the Arts, 1977-79.  She moved to Los Angeles at the age of 39 and settled in Northridge California, with her husband.
 
Now, 29 years later, her over 400 paintings are “a personal diary of the artist as she chronicles the events that had an impact on humanity and nature” (Lawrence Asher Gallery) such as the horrors of war, 9-11, and the loss of seven astronauts including Israeli Ilan Ramon.  Carmi assigns her artwork into three themes:  “Humanity’s Struggles”, “Humanity’s Resilience” and her most recent inspired by the birth of her grandchildren, “Everlasting Spirit.”   Her work has been exhibited in Israel, Europe, Australia, New York, and Los Angeles and her next exhibition will open October 15 to November 15 at Villa Di Donato in Naples, Italy.  
 
Artist Statement

I was born 1942 in Jerusalem, a land that is spiritual and passionate, searing and volatile. These words very well describe me as well as my works. Over the last twenty-nine years I produced a body of work that celebrates with antiquity the everlasting human spirit, which survives the brutality, and insanity of war, aridity and harshness of human nature as it endures.
 
I utilize a variety of media: oils, sand, water, treated paper, canvas and wood; which I layer, smooth and sculpt to create abstract impressions, which demand tactile as well as visual interplay. My works are perceived as the topography of intimate landscapes, as well as the mapping of emotions and sensations devoid of familiar forms. The paintings are a personal diary as I chronicle the events that had an impact on humanity and nature. These works combine to express the feelings of introspection, conflict, human emotion, and the effects of malicious wielding of power and greed on humanity.

Roberta Carasso, PhD review:

“When Rhea Carmi read the essay, Voices of Silence, by French writer and art critic, Andre Malraux, she knew that her art must reflect the millions of voices that have been silenced in never-ending cycles of inhumanity. The Israeli-born artist, wife for 47 years of a Holocaust survivor, provides a deeply felt, highly charged retrospective of sculpted paintings on profound existential themes. In Carmi’s approximately 70 works, the silence of dehumanization is deafening. Her gutsy art frames broad spectrums of soulful stories in an abstract mode, yet her conclusions are surprisingly optimistic and hopeful.”
 
Directions: From Interstate 5 take Oso/Pacific Park Drive west to Wood Canyon. Turn left, then right on University.  Founders Hall is the domed building overlooking Peace Lake. For a map see: http://www.soka.edu/directions




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