San Diego: Susan Beilby Magee at the 19th Annual Jewish Book Fair, 11.5.13
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© 2013 Photos by Solange
Susan Beilby Magee gave a brilliant presentation of the epic life journey of California-based artist, Kalman Aron, who emerges from the ashes of the Holocaust to explore the nature of humankind, his own humanity and the mystery of life–all on canvas.
Using Aron’s own courageous journey of healing—from unspeakable evil to calm serenity—through his wonderful paintings and then the decision to remember, Susan B. Magee’s INTO THE LIGHT: The Healing Art of Kalman Aron offers a guide for individuals in search of their own paths toward serenity, peace and hope. Audience response to this inspirational story of personal alchemy has been powerful and heartfelt. Survivors and their children have embraced it as have people of different faiths and backgrounds.
“When 6-year-old Susan Beilby sat for her portrait with an Eastern European artist who could barely speak English, she couldn’t have known that more than 50 years later, she’d be telling his story.
That’s just one of many twists that makeInto the Light: The Healing Art of Kalman Aron by Susan Beilby Magee so engrossing. The book collects many of Aron’s paintings, sketches and portraits and tells the fascinating story of his journey from a house behind a shoe factory in the outskirts of Riga, Latvia, to sunny Southern California.
When Beilby’s mother, an interior decorator, saw one of Aron’s portraits, she was struck by its resemblance to her first daughter, Nonnie, who didn’t survive infancy. She commissioned the artist to paint her deceased daughter’s portrait from a photograph. She was so pleased with the result that she had Aron paint her daughters Karen and Elena.
Thus began a lifelong friendship that led to the painter entrusting his story to Beilby. And what a story it is.”
— Jim, Ruland, “Out of the Shadows and ‘Into the Light,’ San Diego City Beat, November 5, 2013