Where The Past Meets The Future

Artist Reception

Thursday, October 10th, 6:00pm – 8:30pm

About the Exhibit

Boston University Hillel is proud to present the art works of Fay Grajower, a prominent Boston artist and descendant of a Jewish family from Krakow.  Her installation is inspired by photographs and stories from pre-war Galicia.  Grajower explores the relationships of History, Memory and the idea of shared memory with the viewer, providing insight to viewers about the second generation of Holocaust survivors through her art.  The artist uses her acquired memories of her mother’s and siblings’ experiences to work through issues of the past.  Grajower commonly uses symbols and metaphors in her colorful, mixed-media artworks.

Jewish thought is always fraught with paradoxes, none more fundamental than its insistent focus simultaneously on past and future.  Every Jewish event looks backward, but often without limiting itself to remembering the past.  Passover, the quintessential Jewish celebration, is overrun with gastronomic and other features that seek to put Jews in a frame of mind wherein the past becomes present: it is not that we recall the experience of the Israelites in and out of Egypt, but that we feel it as if we are experiencing it again and again, year by year.  But we look to the future at the same time, culminating the feast with the words “next year in Jerusalem.”

“Where the Past Meets the Future” synthesizes these issues and more.  The very title bespeaks a profound awareness of the sweep of Jewish history, experience and thought and in particular of its direction within Poland, both over the centuries and in the past half century. The installation is a mixed media installation, comprised of over 130 mixed media wooden “boxes”, each standing alone as an individual painting of a story, place, object or stone of memory, and together forming a mosaic wall, showing a revived world steeped in its past and looking towards its future.  Alongside this installation are shown other much larger pieces that cut to the heart of what it means to have shared memory.

Fay Grajower studied at The School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, MA, and holds an MA in Studio Art from New York University.  Her works have been featured in galleries and museums throughout the U.S. and Mexico, including Boston, Washington, DC, New York, Morelia, Guadalajara and Mexico City.  Grajower also exhibited in Lugano, Switzerland and in Berlin, Bielefeld, Gera and Potsdam, Germany.  She was an artist-in-residence in Florida, Israel and Germany and has several commissioned pieces including apainted sculpted glass installation at the Jewish Community Center of Wilmington, DE.; a Holocaust Memorial Sculpture Installation at the B’nai Torah Congregation in Boca Raton, FL. and an installation for The International Women’s Research Center at Brandeis University.  This exhibition, “Where the Past Meets the Future,” was originally made as an installation for the Galicia Jewish Museum in Krakow, Poland.