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News Release

Date: September 27, 2005
Media Contact: Elizabeth Homan, 301-251-7970; Steve Simon, 301-251-7952

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Montgomery College’s Traveling Photography Exhibit of Local Holocaust Survivors to Open at County’s Executive Office Building
“Portraits of Life” to Run October 3-31 at EOB Gallery in Rockville

PHOTO EDITORS: For high-resolution images to accompany this release, click on these links: greenbaum.jpg, rubenstein.jpg, heppner.jpg.

Montgomery College’s traveling photography exhibit, “Portraits of Life,” which pays tribute to Holocaust survivors who live in and around Montgomery County, Md, will open at the Montgomery County Executive Office Building on Monday, October 3.  “Portraits of Life” will remain on display through October 31, in the building’s gallery, located on the lobby level. 

To create “Portraits of Life,” Montgomery College faculty and students photographed and interviewed more than 30 local survivors in their homes.  The resulting black and white photographic panels and the survivors’ stories demonstrate the human spirit’s ability to survive, despite experiencing extreme hardship and cruelty at the hands of others.   “Portraits of Life” premiered at Montgomery College’s 2005 Holocaust Commemoration on April 21.  Due to popular demand, it remained on display through the summer.  The Montgomery County Executive Office Building’s gallery will be the exhibit’s first site outside the college.  

Montgomery College’s Director of the Paul Peck Humanities Institute, Judith Gaines, conceived of the exhibit and collaborated with Montgomery College Professors Jon Goell and Brian Jones, who served as project leaders and chief photographers of the exhibit. Together, they photographed and interviewed local Holocaust survivors in their homes.  The professors were assisted by Montgomery College adjunct faculty member Rollin Fraser, students, and former students, who acted as photo assistants, interviewers, and photographers.  Jane Knaus, the College’s creative services director, designed the exhibit and coordinated its production.

A special reception for “Portraits of Life” will be held on Thursday, October 20, at 7 p.m., in the Montgomery County Executive Office Building gallery.  Montgomery County Executive Doug Duncan and Montgomery College President Charlene Nunley are scheduled to speak.

Gallery talks will be held during the exhibit’s run at the Executive Office Building.  On Friday, October 7, at 2 p.m., Holocaust survivor and exhibit participant Max Amichai Heppner will speak about his experience during the Holocaust.  On Monday, October 24, at 2 p.m., Harriet Steinhorn-Roth will speak.  The gallery talks, reception, and exhibit are free and open to the public. 

The Montgomery County Executive Office Building is located at 101 Monroe Street in Rockville.  The gallery is open during normal business hours, Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m. Public parking is available across the street in the garage of the County Council Office Building, which can be entered at the intersection of Monroe Street and West Montgomery Avenue.  

After the exhibit completes its run at the Executive Office Building, “Portraits of Life” will travel to other venues in across the state and the nation, including the Maryland Humanities Council in Baltimore. “Portraits of Life” is sponsored by the College’s Paul Peck Humanities Institute, the Communication Arts Technologies Department, and the Arts Institute, and funded, in part, by the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County.    

For more information about the “Portraits of Life” exhibit, contact Montgomery College’s Paul Peck Humanities Institute at 301-251-7417.  For more information about the gallery at the Montgomery County Executive Office Building, contact Debbie Resnick, manager of the Montgomery County Office of Community Outreach, at 240-777-2500.

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Montgomery College is a public, open admissions community college with campuses in Germantown, Rockville, and Takoma Park/Silver Spring, plus workforce development/continuing education centers and off-site programs throughout Montgomery County, Md.  The College serves more than 55,000 students a year, through both credit and noncredit programs, in more than 100 areas of study.

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