Artist Spotlight

Bornstein Gallery of Art & Moses Gallery of Art

BORNSTEIN GALLERY OF ART


George Weidinger's exhibit is currently being displayed in Beachwood at our Bornstein Gallery of Art through September 2018. Find out why one summer at Cedar Point changed Brad’s life forever and launched a 30 year career as a street artist.

George Weidinger, an Austrian native was forced out of his home land at just 15 years old and told that he could never go back to school because he was Jewish. Fortunately, through his father’s work connections he and his family were sponsored to the US. His travels to the states were quite challenging including dangerous weather conditions, toxic fumes from the ship's engine and illness.

George arrived to Cleveland, Ohio in 1939 and the German speaking George, who never finished high school began working for Reilley Corp on Euclid Avenue, a Pin-Up Lamp manufacturer. This is also where he met his wife, Nina only two weeks after arriving in the US.

Eager to join the Marine Corps, George went to enlist only to be turned away because he was not an American citizen. Shortly after, he went to work for Motch and Merriweather until he was drafted into the Army.

Once at Fort Hunt, George became a member of a very elite team, known as PO Box 1142. The team was responsible for listening in on conversations of German Prisoners of War. George was a valuable member of the team as he recalls, “A prisoner may answer a guards questions and then come back and say to his friends ‘I lied to them’ or some such thing.” George would then translate this information to the officials. He used his insight to listen to rocket scientists, atomic scientists, soldiers, officers and sailors in the camp.

George and his wife, Nina had only been married six short months before his service with special unit PO Box 1142. He found the work “uneventful” and longed to be reunited with his bride.

Years later George would grow to realize the importance of the highly confidential unit in 2007 when documents were released and the work of PO Box 1142 became public knowledge. The group has since received several awards of recognition for their outstanding service.

George and his wife Nina went on to travel the world extensively before she died in 2011. They traveled to 79 countries and along the way George discovered his passion for photography. He estimates having more than 20,000 photos!


MOSES GALLERY OF ART


Sawsan Alhaddad’s current exhibit is being displayed in Westlake at our Moses Gallery of Art through September 2018. Explore her oil paintings and water color paintings as they reflect her love for nature, sunlight and water.

Born and raised in Iraq, Sawsan knew at the age of 8 that she wanted to follow in her father’s footsteps and become a doctor. During that time, the percentage of women working in her hometown was going up, although the majority of women still did not work. Sawsan recalls her experience, “there were 200 students in medical school and 25 of them were women.” Sawsan followed her father after he moved to the states to practice medicine in Cleveland.

After several years of working as an anesthesiologist, Sawsan was in search of more. She recalls, “I did everything for everybody and I didn’t do anything for myself.” Sawsan enrolled in an art class that met once a week for two hours. Sawsan is now retired and paints every day from 30 minutes to 5 hours.

Some of Sawsan’s favorite pieces are from a series of abstract paintings that represent all the things she’s had to let go. She says, “the series represents change and transition.”

All money raised from Sawsan’s paintings supports local charities that she supports.  A portion of the money raised from her current exhibit in the Borstein Gallery will benefit The Gathering Place.


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