Dazzling Tree Photo Exhibit

Tal Shochat, Rimon (Pomegranate), 2010, C-Print, 48.25 x 51 inches, Courtesy of Andrea Meislin Gallery, N.Y.

— by Hannah Lee

Just in time for Tu B’Shevat (the Jewish New Year of Trees) on February 8th, the The National Museum of American Jewish History is featuring an exhibit of prints of trees from the “In Praise of a Dream” series by Israeli artist Tal Shochat.

The exhibit developed through a confluence of motives.  One was an intent to creatively use a long wall in their downstairs gallery to bring in visitors, who could then explore the many artistic and historical artifacts in the new museum, which opened in November, 2010.  At the time, the Andrea Meislin Gallery in Chelsea, New York was exhibiting Shochat’s work.  The Chief Curator and Director of Exhibitions and Collections, Dr. Joshua Perelman (not the grandson of the same name of the philanthropists Ruth and Raymond Perelman) arranged for a loan of seven of the largest prints in the series, which will be on display through Earth Day, April 22nd.

More after the jump.
For Dr. Perelman, this has been a dream job, coming from New York six years ago to help plan for the new museum, and he now supervises a team of seven curators, registrars, and exhibit technicians.  He’s planning additional displays for the concourse wall and more information will become ready when this series moves on.

Shochat’s prints are of real trees in real settings.  She picks her specimens and waits until the perfect moment to photograph them.  She sprays the trees with water to make them sparkle, and she also enhances the lighting and adds a black backdrop.  The size of the trees seem remarkably short, when comparing the size of the fruits to the trunks.

Tal Shochat has had solo shows at the Rosenfeld Gallery in Tel Aviv, where she lives, the Herzliya Museum of Art, and the Haifa Museum of Art.  Her work is on display at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, and the Shpilman Institute of Photography in Tel Aviv.  Patrons interested in acquiring Shochat’s prints could contact the Andrea Meislin Gallery at [email protected].

The National Museum of American Jewish History is located at 101 South Independence Mall East in Philadelphia.  It is open Tuesday – Friday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Saturday – Sunday, 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.