Manosevitz continues to use art to explore the Holocaust
May 24, 2002
When Carolyn Manosevitz exhibited her Second Generations works, a series of paintings inspired by her thoughts on the Holocaust, it was in an unusual place: the Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, in Manosevitz’s then-hometown of Austin, Texas.
Manosevitz was surprised by the reaction to the work, first shown in 1995. She said that people viewing the art started talking to her not about the Holocaust, but about the myriad tragedies in their own lives.
“I realized that trauma is trauma. The pain is the same; the source is different,” said Manosevitz, who now lives in Missouri Heights. “I wanted to create an arena where people saw their pain and could begin to heal. The paintings became a healing for them.”
Since then, Manosevitz has broadened her vision beyond the canvas. As part of the Austin exhibit, Manosevitz gave a talk about the paintings. The powers at the Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary were impressed enough with Manosevitz’s speaking abilities that she was invited to teach at the seminary. Manosevitz accepted and became a visiting lecturer. Though relocated from Austin, she still teaches a course, Spirituality and the Holocaust, in Austin and at other Christian seminaries.
In 1999, Manosevitz organized a symposium, Arts, Spirituality and the Holocaust, in Texas. “We were searching for ways to teach the Holocaust, new ways to teach the Holocaust,” she said.
Next week, Manosevitz continues the process of examining the Holocaust. After the Shoah: The Unanswered Questions is set for June 1-4, with a variety of events in Aspen and Snowmass Village. (“Shoah,” the Hebrew word for “catastrophe,” is a scholarly term for the Holocaust.) Manosevitz is chair of the symposium’s steering committee.
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The symposium opens June 1 with an evening art exhibit and reception at the Red Brick Arts Center. Featured will be Manosevitz’s paintings, as well as sculpture by David Dunne. Both artists will give talks about their work.
On June 2, a panel discussion – Can the Shoah be Represented by the Arts? – will be held at the Snowmass Chapel and Community Center. On June 3, Richard Rubenstein, president emeritus of the University of Bridgeport, will give a presentation at the Snowmass Chapel. Also at the chapel that day will be a presentation by John Roth, a professor of Judaic Studies at Claremont McKenna College.
After the Shoah concludes with a presentation, featuring Father John Pawlikowski, director of Catholic-Jewish Studies at the Joseph Cardinal Bernardi Center for Theology and Ministry at the Catholic Theological Union, at the Snowmass Chapel on June 4.