Art Bets: Survivors and Liberators at Asheville Art Museum

Immediately striking are the age of the subjects and their larger than life documentation — all are seniors, rendered in bright pinks, peaches and yellows in fluid watercolor and gouache. The expressions of each, and their accents of clothing and jewelry, are remarkable. Every wrinkle and whisker is commemorated with Wilma Bulkin Siegel’s adept handling of materials. Photos and other memorabilia embedded into the paintings provide personal and historical insight. The show is titled Survivors and Liberators because each of the 50 subjects is a survivor of the Holocaust. At an artist talk on Jan. 12, Siegel explained that in 2003 she embarked on this series, inviting survivors to sit and share their stories while she drew them. Samples of their dialogue are included, so the exhibit serves as both testimonial and memorial for a demographic whose numbers decrease with each passing year. Grab a headset, listen to the stories and immerse yourself in this compelling audio/visual tribute. Survivors and Liberators is up through March 31. Be sure to also visit In the Camps: Photographs by Erich Hartmann,  a haunting collection of black-and-white photos of concentration camps located on the upstairs level.

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