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New Rochelle Artist on Display at Beth El Synagogue

New Rochelle artist Ruth Epstein displays her oil paintings in the Kanner-Kurzon Museum.

The Kanner-Kurzon Museum at the Beth El Synagogue Center is the site of a display of 38 oil paintings by a New Rochelle artist.

Through Nov. 25, the public will have the opportunity to see works by Ruth Epstein.

This exhibit is open daily to the public and free of charge.

Works featured in Epstein’s collection include paintings of mostly flowers, but also a few of her own family. The realistic paintings are defined with rich colors on canvas in all sizes.

Epstein is a New Rochelle artist who received her bachelor degree at Northwestern University and spent a semester at the University of Illinois studying drawing. She then went on to teach music on Long Island and also taught music in the New Rochelle schools. 

She now has her artwork displayed throughout the world in private and corporate collections. Epstein has exhibited in Maine, Florida, Colorado and California as well. She also created a cover illustration for “What You Cannot Have” by Lucille Gang Shulklapper in 2002. 

In a statement she provided to the museum, Epstein said she gets thoroughly immersed in the creative process and loves every minute of it.

“To approach a white canvas, to move a color-laden brush on that surface and define and redefine one’s inner vision is an exhilarating, challenging, frightening and exhausting experience,” she said. “When I’m absorbed in my painting, I’m unaware of the passage of time and the sounds around me.”

In a telephone interview, Epstein also spoke about how she was inspired to paint the portraits of her family members. She bought sunflowers, arranged them and started painting them when she noticed how they reminded her of relationships the way a few of the flowers had moved away from each other. She then went to find photos of her family members that corresponded with the sunflower arrangement. 

The Boston Globe wrote that her work was bold and realistic, adding that the painting of amaryllis and cyclamen “looks real enough to inhale.” 

Rosalie Cristofalo, the rabbi studies secretary, said she thought the paintings were beautiful.

“They feel like they come to life! I definitely have a few favorite pieces,” she said.

The 38 paintings in the collection are available for purchase ranging from $800 to $7,000. A portion of the sales price—25 percent—may be claimed as a charitable contribution.

For further information, visit Ruth Epstein's Web site, or contact the Beth El Synagogue Center at 914-235-2700.

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