WIXOM, MI –The watercolor painting of roses resembles the type of artwork you would see on a well-crafted birthday card. The roses look true-to-life in hues of pink and yellow on a sky-blue background. It is only when the purpose of this painting is revealed that the viewer understands how this birthday art is unique. This painting was created by a prisoner of Auschwitz as a birthday present for a female civilian prison worker who secretly provided food to the prisoners.
This is one of the photographs in the traveling exhibition entitled Forbidden Art, a collection of images of artwork created by concentration camp prisoners while imprisoned by the Nazis during World War II. The exhibition is made up of twenty large color photos of drawings and sculptures made by inmates of the Auschwitz, Buchenwald, and Ravensbrück concentration camps. Each photograph is accompanied by a historical commentary and narrative account as to why the piece was created.
Forbidden Art will be installed at the Wixom Public Library from March 20 through April 6, 2017. The exhibit is made possible by the Wixom Downtown Development Authority, the Wixom Community Foundation, and local sponsors. The exhibit was developed and is presented in North America by The Polish Mission of the Orchard Lake Schools in exclusive partnership with the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum of Poland. It has been displayed at prominent institutions such as the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library, the United States Military Academy at West Point, and UCLA. The City of Wixom is proud to be the first municipality to host this extraordinary exhibit. The City of Wixom exhibit is funded in part through a grant provided by the Michigan Council for Arts & Cultural Affairs and the Anton Art Center.
The City of Wixom will open the exhibit with an almost-black-tie reception at the Wixom Community Center on the evening of Sunday, March 19. The reception will open with author, historian, and distinguished lecturer Teresa Wontor-Cichy of the Auschwitz Birkenau State Museum of Poland who will deliver her powerfully emotional interpretation of the art and artists featured in this exhibit. Following the introduction, guests will mingle while enjoying music, wine and a wide variety of elegant appetizers provided by local sponsors. Guests will also be treated to a private group 45-minute viewing of the exhibit. Tickets for the reception are $20 prior to March 1 and $25 thereafter and can be purchased on-line at the City of Wixom website.
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