April 25, 2019 By Alexa Beyer
An art exhibit is coming to Forest Hills that will help the victims–and their families–of last year’s mass shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh.
“The Tree of Life Exhibit,” named after the synagogue where 11 people were killed and 7 injured during Shabbat services on Oct. 27, is coming to Forest Hills on May 1 and will run for at least three months at the Red Pipe Café, located at 71-60 Austin St.
Nearly 40 pieces of art will be on display by nine Rhode Island artists who convey images of peace and harmony. The art will be sold and 30 percent of the proceeds will be donated to the Pittsburgh synagogue, which will disperse the funds to the families of the victims.
Local historian Michael Perlman was inspired to bring the display to Forest Hills when he met exhibit coordinator and gallery owner David Chatowsky during a trip to Rhode Island last fall.
“The arts are universal and can serve as a platform for committing good deeds,” Perlman said.
Chatowsky, who is also an artist, had just finished a line of paintings on the theme of peace and harmony when he met the Forest Hills native. He said he was compelled to use his and other artists’ works to help the synagogue after the massacre and he liked Perlman’s idea to bring the exhibit to Forest Hills.
“My mission is to bring people together through art to create a better future,” Chatowsky said. “It is my belief that we are all part of a human family, and when a part of this human family is hurting, I feel it is everyone’s responsibility to help.”
Tree of Life synagogue board member Laurie Zittrain Eisenberg said that she and others in the congregation are touched by the exhibit.
“After witnessing first-hand the horrific nature of human evil, we are heartened by the ongoing evidence of how many wonderful, thoughtful people there are in the world,” she said. “We are moved by the desire to support us and take great comfort and strength from it.”
An opening reception will be held at the café on May 1st from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
To view photos of Chatowsky’s paintings and the upcoming exhibit, visit: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmbMy9NF