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"A Story of Roses" on Exhibition at the Rubin-Frankel Gallery

BOSTON, MA.- The Rubin-Frankel Gallery at the Boston University Florence & Chafetz Hillel House is featuring the work of American photographer Larry Volk, in a show entitled “A Story of Roses.” The exhibit consists of a series of collages that combine photographs, writing, official papers and documents, incorporating a loose narrative depicting the life of his late mother Rosette Volk, a Holocaust survivor. “A Story of Roses” will be on display at the Rubin-Frankel Gallery, located on the second floor of The Florence & Chafetz Hillel House at Boston University, from January 14, 2009 until February 27, 2009.

“There is a common thread running through my mother’s experience that links her story to us. Our lives are frequently altered by external circumstances over which we do not have control. In the examination of her life, we may recognize the ways in which we are all subject to experiences great and small that can profoundly affect our being” - Larry C. Volk.

The Story of Rosette Volk - Larry Volk’s grandparents were Sephardic Jews originally born in Turkey and established in Cuba. They eventually moved to France with their son and daughter [Rosette] in search of a new life. At the time, his grandfather insisted that their children maintained a Cuban citizenship. When Nazi Germany occupied France in 1943, Volk’s grandparents were allowed to return to their homeland with their youngest daughter, forced to leave teenage Rosette and her brother behind. Rosette was placed in the internment camp Vittel with other non-French nationals. Rosette’s Cuban citizenship prevented her from being deported to concentration camps were an estimated 75,000 Jewish citizens living in France were killed. The camp was finally liberated by American soldiers in 1944.

Rosette Volk moved to the United States in 1948, where she became a naturalized citizen, married and was a practicing artist. In the last five years of her life, dementia caused a loss of memory and subsequently, her identity. The fragments composing this exhibit represent a personal journey of three years in which the artist has explored the life and struggles faced by his family in order to discover his mother’s past. Through digital imagery, the artist offers the viewer an opportunity to consider how events in our lives shape and inform identity.

Larry Volk is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Visual Communications at Endicott College in Beverly, Massachusetts. He holds an M.F.A. in Photography from the Rhode Island School of Design and has taught in the New England region for 14 years. His work has been exhibited nationally and is held in both private and museum collections.

The opening reception, featuring a Q&A with the artist, will take place on January 22, from 6-8 pm; a formal lecture will take place January 26, at 7 pm. Both events will be held at The Rubin-Frankel Gallery, located on the second floor of the Florence and Chafetz Hillel House at Boston University, 213 Bay State Road, Boston, MA 02215. All events are free and open to the public.

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