News Release

Houston-based photographer to lecture Oct. 4

Constance Woods


Janice Rubin

Click on thumbnail for high resolution photo

     HAMMOND – Janice Rubin, an international exhibitor and Houston-based photographer, will be the guest lecturer at the Contemporary Art Gallery of Southeastern Louisiana University, Wed, Oct. 4, 2 p.m.

     Her artwork entitled “The Mikvah Project” is included in the gallery’s current exhibit, current Fanfare exhibition, “Religion and Personal Identity,” and has also toured continuously since 2001.

     Rubin’s lecture is free and open to the public and will take place in the gallery, located in Southeastern’s East Stadium.

     The lecture will focus on the mikvah as a ritual bath. The mikvah is most frequently used once a month by married Jewish women. It is also used for immersion and spiritual purification by women preparing for marriage, recovering from childbirth, and by men and women after caring for and burying the dead. 

     Rubin’s photographs are included in the permanent collection of the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, as well as many private collections. She was the recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship for her participation in the traveling exhibit, “The Ties that Bind: Photographers Look at the American Family.”

     Since 1976, her work has appeared in publications in the United States and Europe including Smithsonian, Newsweek, Town and Country, Forbes, Rolling Stone, and the New York Times. Her 1987 exhibition, “Survival of the Spirit: Jewish Lives in the Soviet Union,” toured 17 cities in the North America.

     Rubin said, “As a child, I remember sneaking into the back room of the synagogue to marvel at the mikvah, a great green tiled tub which was bigger and deeper than me.” She said she became interested in exploring the mikvah when she found herself in an emotionally and spiritually difficult place in her life. After reading a story of a mikvah attendant, she began to think about the ritual as an opportunity for emotional cleansing and spiritual transformation, for personal movement and growth.

     “I knew that first I had to explore the mikvah for myself before starting to photograph. For me personally, the mikvah became a catalyst for change,” said Rubin.

     Contemporary Art Gallery hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., weekdays, with extended hours until 8 p.m. on Wednesdays.

     For additional information about the Rubin lecture, contact Dale Newkirk, gallery director, at 985-549-5080 or the Visual Arts Department at 985-549-2193.

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