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Into the Light:The Healing Art of Kalman Aron by Susan Beilby Magee
A six-year-old girl sits for her portrait by an unknown artist….Fifty years later, he asks her to write his story.
STOCKBRIDGE, MASS.- Hard Press Editions and Posterity Press announced the October 16 publication of INTO THE LIGHT: The Healing Art of Kalman Aron, the dazzling account of a gifted artist’s life, courage and transformation. As Kalman Aron emerges from the ashes of the Holocaust, he explores the nature of humankind, his own humanity and the mystery of life—all on canvas.

INTO THE LIGHT relates the life of émigré artist Kalman Aron from his youth as an art prodigy in Latvia through four years of darkness in Holocaust slave labor and concentration camps, where drawing portraits of guards for morsels of food would save him from starvation. After the war, he made his way to the Vienna Fine Arts Academy where he received his Masters in Fine Art. He then left Europe, finding sanctuary in California in 1949. Aron first found success in America by painting pastels of children. He became known for landscapes and studies of people in his unique style, “psychological realism.” His work soon caught the attention of Hollywood celebrities and connoisseurs alike, and commissions arrived from such notables as Ronald Reagan, Henry Miller and André Previn.

Shown in museums and held in private collections in America, Israel and Europe, Kalman Aron was honored in 2010 with the hanging of his iconic Mother and Child (8’ x 3’) in the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust. Aron resides in Los Angeles, California.

Tracing themes of courage, art, transformation and Holocaust history, INTO THE LIGHT presents a visual record of one man’s journey from the darkness into the light. “This book is a universal story about healing,” says Susan Beilby Magee. “Its lessons relate to all who have suffered—physically or psychologically, whether collectively or individually. I hope it may guide all who seek to put their suffering aside and reclaim their light.” Magee reveals how Aron resolved fundamental issues: How does one respond to the extremes of human brutality? What happens to the rage, sorrow and despair? Does one chose to remember, forgive, and heal?

From the start, the publishers set out to craft a unique book that celebrates an artist of great gifts and traces the trajectory of his renaissance. This book will appeal to lovers of representational art and students of the Holocaust as well as to every seeker in the realm of spiritual and emotional healing. Designed by award-winning graphic artist, Robert Wiser, and printed with unusual care in America, this is an especially beautiful volume. Enriched with subtle graphic elements, its visual aspect projects “the inner book” with special finesse.

Susan Beilby Magee’s career spans diverse realms of politics, economics and spirituality. A leader of the women’s movement and director of the Mayor’s Office of Women’s Rights in Seattle, she moved to Washington DC as a White House Fellow in 1976. Magee held policy and management positions in domestic finance and economic development in the US Treasury and Commerce Departments and later served as an international business consultant. Having earned a BA from Pomona College and MBA from the Wharton School, she has served on numerous boards of directors.

Twenty-six years ago, she turned from business to matters of the heart, meditation and healing, becoming a certified hypnotherapist and meditation teacher. She is the founder of the Washington Circle of Master Healers and participates in healing programs at the Center for Prayer and Pilgrimage at the Washington National Cathedral.

Susan Magee’s life-long friendship with Kalman Aron began when she sat for her portrait at age six. A half century later, the artist asked her to write his story, and she spent countless hours interviewing him, his family and friends and other Latvian survivors. Over the past nine years, she traveled his path across Europe from Riga, through seven slave labor and concentration camps in Latvia, Poland, Germany and then Czechoslovakia and finally to Vienna where he studied art before coming to Los Angeles.



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