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New O'Kane Gallery Exhibit Explores the Holocaust


By Sheryl E. Taylor

UHD's O'Kane Gallery is collaborating with the Holocaust Museum Houston (HMH) to exhibit photographer Mark Seliger's black and white images —"When They Came to Take My Father"— of Holocaust survivors, which runs from Sept. 15 to Oct. 19 in the Girard Street Building.

Alongside Seliger's 22 images is The Butterfly Project, which features a selection of handcrafted butterflies that were donated to HMH in memory of children who were killed during the Nazi era.

This exhibition serves as a complement to UHD's 2017 Common Freshman Reader—the book by Jennifer Teege My Grandfather Would Have Shot Me: A Black Woman Discovers Her Family's Nazi Past. Teege, who was adopted at an early age, later discovered that her biological grandfather was a notorious commandant in a Nazi concentration camp. A reception in the Gallery, featuring comments from the author, will be held on Sept. 15, from 1 to 2 p.m.

Seliger is probably best known for his celebrity portraits including more than 100 covers photographed for Rolling Stone magazine. The native Texan's interest in the Holocaust began with visits to Three Brothers Bakery in Houston where he met the bakery's owners, the Jucker brothers, who are Holocaust survivors. His black and white photographs of survivors, like the Juckers, capture the complexity of their lives at once full of painful memories but also unveiling a human nobility.

The hundreds of butterflies acquired through HMH Butterfly Project, remind viewers about the children who did not survive. The butterflies are crafted in a variety of materials, including fabric, wood, paper, and colored glass, celebrate the diversity of personality and spirit of the children they memorialize.

Visit the O'Kane Gallery to learn more about upcoming exhibitions.