By Sharon Wisch-Ray
Featured Artist: Gloria Haber Sepp — Beth-El’s art teacher exhibits her work at Temple
Thank you to Hollace Weiner for updating us on the latest featured artist at Beth-El. Read on:
Beth-El art teacher Gloria Haber Sepp’s talent stretches well beyond the classroom and the canvas. Besides painting watercolors, oils, and acrylics, she crafts jewelry, creates collages, designs clothes, throws pottery, and snaps pictures with her Nikon.
Under her tutelage the past 12 years, Beth-El’s Sunday School art room has become a vibrant setting, awash with a changing array of student art.
Now it is Gloria’s turn to put her works on display. She is the Temple’s next featured artist, with a retrospective that has transformed the walls of Beth-El’s Board Room into a dreamy panoply of color. Her paintings, a compendium of bright hues, blend into free-form shapes subject to each viewer’s interpretation.
Gloria’s art will be on display through the end of January. A special meet-the-artist reception is set for Dec. 4, during the Oneg Shabbat following services.
Gloria’s artistic talent was clear from the age of seven. As a child growing up in Baltimore, she picked up a pair of scissors and began cutting out paper dolls. “Oh, I was busy,” she laughs. “I was making my own paper dolls with clothes. I had a whole factory going.”
During her teenage years, she took classes at the Maryland Institute of Art. At the University of Miami in Coral Gables, she majored in art and minored in education. As a young mom raising five children, she had a drafting table in her home. “I always have something artistic going on,” she says.
In Fort Worth, Gloria initially taught crafts at a special-education campus. When schools began mainstreaming students with disabilities, that campus closed. The principal at McLean Middle School recruited her to teach art.
Nine years later, she moved to a position at Western Hills High. What she enjoyed most at the high-school level was working with Advanced Placement art students. They received college credits for each art class, along with Sepp’s assistance compiling professional portfolios. Sepp has taught part time at Fort Worth Hebrew Day, has substituted at Paschal High, and is involved in the Imagination Celebration. She is still a substitute teacher in the Fort Worth ISD.
Among multiple honors, she was named an Artist-in-Residence Scholar by the Texas Commission on the Arts and has been in dozens of juried art shows. She is a past president of the local chapter of the National League of American Pen Women, an alliance that serves the community through the arts. Gloria’s art is sold through Art on the Boulevard on Camp Bowie Boulevard.
Learning never stops for Gloria, who has taken graduate art courses in Texas, New Mexico, and Georgia as well as workshops under scores of artists. She has a graduate certificate in special education and is involved in a dozen professional art organizations.
Gloria reserves Sunday mornings for Beth-El, where her grandsons Carter and Corbin Haber have grown up attending Religious School. She says the Temple’s art room is “fantastic,” with a kiln, two sinks and plenty of storage.
“The kids love to come to art class. They have a wonderful time with me. Some teachers talk about behavior problems. I don’t know what they are talking about.”
Sing along with Sababa
Cantor Robbie Sherwin, daughter of Ken and the late Felice Sherwin, will be back in Cowtown with her band Sababa at 7 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 5 at Beth-El Congregation.
Joining Sherwin are her bandmates Steve Brodsky and Scott Leader. The trio are amazing musicians that play different instruments and have often been called the Jewish Crosby, Stills and Nash by some folks. One unique thing about Sababa is that the bandmates don’t live in the same city.
Their website sums it up: “We are Sababa: three musicians from three different time zones, playing three different instruments and singing in intricate three-part harmony. We are three friends, grateful for the opportunity to make cool Jewish music for thousands of people in dozens of communities across the country. We are three composers and performers, humbled by the privilege of sharing amazing interactions with new friends and fans who have welcomed us into their synagogues, their schools, their homes, and their hearts. And we are three travelers sharing a musical journey, blessed by the personal connections we’ve made and the sacred moments we’ve shared that are powerful, moving, and deeply meaningful.”
There will be singers from each of the Tarrant-area synagogues performing with Sababa at the concert as well in a strong effort to bring the community together for some rousing Jewish entertainment. For a quick listen to this outstanding group go to http://sababamusic.com/music/listen-shalosh-2/. If you have any questions, contact Rich Hollander at 817-909-4354.