Orna Bentor

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Orna Bentor's “Edge of a Dream” Exhibit At The Jones House

The Mountain Times, October 2, 1997

An exhibit featuring paintings by Boone artist Orna Bentor, titled “Edge of a Dream” will be on display at the Jones House in Boone during the month of October. The exhibit is sponsored by the Watauga Arts Council.

Orna Bentor, originally from Israel, came to live in Boone a year ago by way of Rock Hill, SC. Her interests and involvement in art date back to her years in high school. As an art educator, graphic designer, and artists, Bentor has studied and worked in both Israel and the United States.

The turning point in her artwork came when she moved to South Carolina in 1992. She turned to painting out a deep need to express her reactions to Israel's political and social climate from her new perspective of living in the U.S. Her unique perspective on historical and current events has prompted many of her works. "Living between two cultures is at the heart of my work," says Bentor.

Orna Bentor's paintings, all acrylic on canvas, convey a feeling of landscape through he use of strong contrasting colors, harsh lights and rough textures. Her use of light and bright color is influenced by the light and color of the Middle Eastern region. Her abstract landscapes suggest representational motifs, incorporating collage and symbols taken from the landscape of Israel. As symbols for the people of Israel, she uses figs, olives, grapes, pomegranates -- the fruits of Israel that are mentioned in the Bible.

The title of the exhibit, “Edge of a Dream,” is from an expression used by Orna Bentor's daughter while trying to recall a dream after awakening. Ms. Bentor's dream is one of peace which she sees as now fading in Israel's political climate. Ms. Bentor states that, “My paintings express the conflict between present and past. I grapple with a broken dream. Memories and experiences will my soul and I cover and re-cover my canvas until the surface is built into a tangible record of many layers. I see the purity, beauty and innocence of my childhood through a reality-testing eye and a mourning, painful heart that is almost empty because of loss. My subject matter is personal and specific, but also concerned with larger, more universal ideas. In an era of new hopes for peace, but of destructive events all over the world, I am moving between beauty and bloodshed, between building and destruction.”

Orna Bentor says that she and her family are very happy to be living in Boone. She is delighted with the warmth and friendliness of the community and anticipates the beauty of the Boone area to influence her art in the future.

The public is invited to attend a reception for this exhibit on Friday, October 3, from 6:30-8:00 p.m. at the Jones House Community center.

The Jones House Community Center is open Wednesday through Saturday afternoons from 1:00-5:00 p.m. These exhibits are funded in part by Grassroots monies from the North Carolina Arts Council and from memberships supporting the work of the Watauga County Arts Council. For further information contact Cherry Johnson, Executive Director, Jones House, phone 264-1789.