By Ben Tinsley
DALLAS — The art of Joram Wolanow, Carole Wolanow and Helen Fogel soon will end up funding “gap year” studies for graduating Yavneh Academy of Dallas high school students who might not otherwise have had the opportunity.
The Sunday, April 10 auction takes place at Yavneh Academy’s Schultz Rosenberg Campus, 12324 Merit Drive.
Dr. David Portnoy, Yavneh head of school, said whatever amount of money the auction generates will be split among the students according to the specific amounts each needs to be able to afford to participate in a gap year. A group of administrators will evaluate each participating student to make that determination.
Dr. Portnoy said the Wolanows appreciate all that Rabbi Yaakov Tannenbaum has done for his students over the years and came up with the idea for the gap scholarship as a way of honoring him.
“So we’re having the art event silent auction we are calling ‘High Tea Honoring Rabbi T,’ ” he said.
Over 70 pieces of unique artwork will be included in this afternoon’s silent auction.
“Rabbi (Yaakov) Tannenbaum saw all our art evolving and he asked us if we would like to donate our artwork for the auction,” Joram Wolanow said during a recent interview. “It was a very interesting idea.”
One hundred percent of the evening’s proceeds will go to support the Gap Year Scholarship Fund, which benefits the year of study in Israel for Yavneh students.
Carole Wolanow said she first became an artist after she retired about two years ago. She started creating mosaics and from there pursued the creation of a variety of different art.
Joram Wolanow said about six to eight months ago he decided he also wanted to walk that artistic path — at least for a while.
“I said, ‘I have an idea, I want to do something,’” he explained.
Using their home to double as an art studio, he combined a fine powder with flow tiles left over from Laundromat projects and discovered he had created something wonderful. So he kept going.
“Things kind of evolved,” Joram Wolanow said. “I made more and more of these tiles.”
Rabbi Yaakov Tannenbaum has been teaching a tehillim study group at the Wolanow home every Friday for the last six to seven years. He watched the art trove grow in both quality and volume.
“Rabbi got his idea watching all this art evolve,” Joram Wolanow said.
And the idea for the art benefit was born.
Rabbi Tannenbaum also solicited the artwork of Helen Fogel, an Auschwitz survivor who was liberated from the camps when she was 15.
Fogel said Tuesday she finds great comfort in painting and creating art.
“I highly recommend this,” Fogel said. “It is a relaxing, wonderful way to spend your time. … I consider myself a happy artist, but still, I couldn’t believe it when they asked me to be part of this exhibit.”
Fogel, who turns 87 on April 1, said she took up art as a hobby about 20 years ago.
“I started with charcoal, and tried water colors, but lately I’ve been doing acrylics,” she said.
Fogel said she’s donating about 10 pieces of art to the auction. They will include a variety of different styles, including some still life.
“She has been working for many, many years in acrylics,” Carole Wolanow said.
Joram Wolanow expects this to be his last show. He said he is wearing of his hobby and wants to channel his energy into life areas other than art.
Carole Wolanow, on the other hand, said she is just getting started.
She said she wholeheartedly embraces her role as an artist and belongs to numerous arts organizations.
“I have committed to being an artist,” Carole Wolanow said. “I am doing a lot of work in acrylic.”
Those who wish to RSVP or inquire about the auction can call 214-295-3500 or INFO@YavnehDallas.org.