Festival of Light
For years, in many cultures, the winter solstice has celebrated the shortening of nights and lengthening of days. To some, the words "Festival of Light" refer to the holiday of Channukah, for others it may refer to holidays such as Christmas, St. Lucy's Day, Diwali or Kwanza. A web search on Festival of Light will pull up hundreds of options for various festivals, some religious, many not, in cities as diverse as Berlin, Lyon, Jerusalem, Tokyo, Sydney, and of course, many cities throughout the US. In some cases the term is literal – candles are lit or lights are turned on, in others the reference is more metaphorical – good wins over evil…light over darkness.
In art, light is a critical component. The presence or absence of light is often used by artists to focus a viewer's attention. The conflict between light and dark can evoke specific memories, generate feelings, and help guide the viewer to the experience created by the artist. Chiaroscuro, the "contrast between light and dark," is perhaps the most well know art term related to light. It provides a sense of three-dimensionality or depth in two-dimensional works of art. Leonardo da Vinci, Caravaggio and Rembrandt are well known for their skilled use of it.
In our Festival of Light online exhibit, artists use light in many different ways, some to set the mood, some to make a joke, and all to delight us. Among the group, Jerry Barrish, Grisha Bruskin, Jack Levine, Richard Nagler, Ben Shahn and Raphael Soyer. share with us their creativity that we hope will fill your life with joy. Please enjoy these paintings, drawings, prints and photographs as we wish you a good holiday season, whatever you celebrate, and may your 2019 be filled with light winning over evil…with Peace on Earth and Goodwill to All.