Posts Tagged ‘shows’

Interpreting the Silence

Posted on: July 17th, 2019 by jmbroekman
What We KEep

Save the date: Thursday, September 12, 2019

My solo exhibition, Interpreting the Silence, opens September 12, 2019 at the Maine Jewish Museum in Portland, Maine.

I will be showing one-of-a-kind artists books, and mixed media paintings that explore my family’s survival of the Holocaust, their immigration to the United States, and the effects of this legacy on my life. Though neither of my parents was willing to talk about their wartime experiences, that period in their lives obviously left a lasting imprint –– not only on who they became, but also on the children they raised. Who were my parents? Who might they have been had the war not interrupted their lives? This past winter I found myself trying to unravel some of the threads of their history.

The Work

Using facsimiles of writing, photos, and other ephemera, I created a matrix of original monoprints. Prints which were then torn, folded, and bound in myriad ways. The books are meditative –– not your typical turn-one-page-at-a-time kind of books. They are sculptural objects that serve as containers in which to hold these stories. Rather than being specifically illustrative, they are evocative of the journeys we take from one moment to the next.

This body of work also reflects a broader theme that I have been investigating for decades — how each of us is shaped not only by our own experiences and the memories we hold, but also by the experiences and memories of our ancestors.  I am interested in how these narratives are passed from one generation to the next –– not always in obvious, but often significant, ways. Examining these individual formative stories is certainly as relevant today as ever given current mass human migrations across the planet.

Initially the plan for this exhibition was to tell my family’s stories of surviving the Holocaust. That idea, however, evolved into an exploration of the intersection between past and present, and the unintended consequences of keeping secrets. Making these books and paintings cracked a Pandora’s vase spilling out more questions than answers. Perhaps I will always be trying to interpret the silences of my childhood.

Photo Album

No You’ve Got, Yes You Can Get

Posted on: October 9th, 2015 by jmbroekman 5 Comments

Da Foligno A Firenze
Mixed media on board
9″ x 8.5″

Wise words from Oma Jo

Whenever I tell someone that my grandmother always said “No you’ve got, yes, you can get” they respond with a quizzical look. It means just keep trying. It means, the answer to any unasked question is bound to be no; but if you actually ask the question, well, the answer might be no, but it might also be yes. It’s an important lesson to keep in mind as an artist.

I generally get more rejections than acceptances, which often has me reconsidering whether or not to bother submitting an application. So, I was somewhat reluctant when my friend Marcy encouraged me to apply to a juried show at the Fountain Street Studio Gallery in Massachusetts. Then I heard Oma’s voice whisper in my ear: No you’ve got, yes you can get. I got yes!

Terrain: Finding Elusive Ground;
Fountain Street Fine Art Gallery, Framingham, MA;
November 19, 2015 – January 10, 2016;
Opening reception November 21st

Cafe Nomad

Posted on: August 6th, 2012 by jmbroekman
Picking up the Pieces, #54

Picking up the Pieces at Cafe Nomad

Almost three years ago I started this series of collages – Picking up the Pieces – when I could no longer find the surface of my drawing table, covered as it was with myriad leftover pieces of prints. I’ve written about this work, and the process here and a little later here. To date, I’ve completed more than 80 of these collages; and I still have drawers filled with additional scrap material. It looks like I will always have plenty of puzzle like pieces to rearrange into some workable configuration – both literally and metaphorically.

Today my friend Diana Arcadipone and I put up about 45 of these collages on the gallery wall at Cafe Nomad. The work will be up for the rest of the month of August. So if you are headed into the Western hills for a hike (or lake swim, or whatever), stop at the Cafe for a great breakfast or lunch, and check out my work on the wall! If you can’t get there, you can see a selection on the collage page of this site.

For the Cafe hours: or you can find them on FaceBook:

Open Studio

Posted on: July 10th, 2012 by jmbroekman 2 Comments

Open Studio

My studio is finally in presentable shape, the work is unpacked and ready to be seen. So, I’m havin’ an open studio – albeit a brief one

Saturday, July 14th from 10:00 AM until 12:00 PM

If you can’t make it or you want an on-line peek at the work from the eight months spent in Italy, you can check out the link below.

I look forward to seeing you Saturday!

Un Giro Dietro le Mura

Posted on: March 22nd, 2012 by jmbroekman 7 Comments

A Journey Behind the Walls

I’m having a show of recent work here in Foligno. Imagine that!

30 March – 1 April 2012

Palazzo Pandolfi Elmi
via Cesare Agostini, 19 – Foligno (Pg) Italia

Inaugurazione: 30 Marzo 18:00 – 20:00

You can see some of the work on the Italy sketch page of this site (click those words“Italy sketch” to get there). There will also eventually be a little information on the PrimoSpazio gallery website (, and we’ll try to take a bunch of photos and post them soon after the big event!