Susan Weinberg's gallery makes family portraits immensely more engaging than the typical Sears family photos complete with cheesy grins and a hideous backdrop. The painter and genealogist's work presents simple-looking people in simple poses—they're subjects that could be seen as bland or uninspired. But when viewed in the context of the artist's deep ties to the familial and religious heritage of each of the subjects, the depth of the paintings becomes apparent. For Weinberg, each brushstroke is an attempt at keeping the person in the painting alive, and telling their story to another generation. "In Putting a Face on Family History," the art, while beautiful and well-executed, is not the most important thing. What really matter are the stories behind the paintings more than the subdued colors and figures. This is an extraordinary family album that ties the past to today's generation. With paint, Weinberg has found a way to make genealogy interesting and pertinent. And while her paintings are much more interesting to look at than your family photos, you might see those photos in a different light after seeing Weinberg's work. Artist's lecture 5:00 p.m. Sunday, January 13.
Jan. 10-Feb. 21, 2008