MMAE to host art show/book reading with artistic couple

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Ann Kibel Schwartz
Ann Kibel Schwartz (Donald Ray Schwartz)

As an artist, Ann Kibel Schwartz enjoys experimentation, with different types of artistic mediums, which can go as far as creating art that attempts to escape from the very frame she has set it in.

“I have a number of pieces that I did over the years that are trying to reach out beyond the frame,” Schwartz said when describing her unique style. “Because I think that we wouldn’t want to live in a frame, you know, stuck in a frame. I think that art sometimes wants to escape.”


Schwartz’s art will be featured at Moses Montefiore Anshe Emunah Hebrew Congregation during its May 22 event, “An Afternoon of the Arts at MMAE.” In addition to being an art show, the event will also double as a book reading and signing, featuring the work of her husband of 52 years, Donald Ray Schwartz. Both are members of MMAE and residents of Pikesville.

Donald Ray Schwartz
Donald Ray Schwartz (Ann Kibel Schwartz)

The event was originally Rabbi Yerachmiel Shapiro’s idea. Ann Schwartz decided to design the art show component as “a walk through my career in the arts,” she said.

“There’ll be a few pieces from the ‘60s, a few pieces from the ‘70s … and so forth,” Ann Schwartz said.

The show will include dozens of pieces created by Ann Schwartz, including drawings, paintings, sculptures and printmaking styles. A number of her pieces were created on paper she herself handmade, she said.

Ann Schwartz’s work has been found in private collections and galleries all over the country and as far away as the United Kingdom, her husband said.

Ann Schwartz commonly signs her work “Kibel,” she noted, in honor of her Holcaust survivor parents.

“It’s just been a wonderful way to explore life,” Ann Schwartz said. “I just love doing all of it. It’s just fun.”

For his part, Donald Schwartz will be reading from his most recently published work, “The Cross-Country Journey of Maishe Rosstein.” Describing it as a literary novel, he noted that it focuses on the tale of a middle-aged man who leaves his home and, along with an unusual woman for a companion, encounters all manner of dangerous adventures. Ann Schwartz added that the book is intended for readers at least 17 to 19 years old.

“It is wonderful in that it goes past just the outer experiences; it’s about the inner experiences as well, and maybe even more so,” Ann Schwartz said. “I see it as a man who goes in search for himself.”

Following the reading, Donald Schwartz plans to be available for book signings and answering attendees’ questions, he said.

In addition to his seven published books, Donald Schwartz has also authored many short stories, essays, reviews, criticisms and plays, he said. Of her husband’s works, Ann Schwartz’s favorite is “Noah’s Ark: An Annotated Encyclopedia of Every Animal Species in the Hebrew Bible,” which she described as a compendium of the different species in the Bible, including what she called the “fictional” ones.

On his advice for aspiring writers, Donald Schwartz stressed the importance of consistency.

“I just have to be doing something, I’m writing every single night,” Donald Schwartz said. “If you just do a page, or two pages, but you do it at the same time every day, or nearly every day, you’d be amazed how much you have in a month.”

On what compels Ann Schwartz to create her artwork, she explained that she views it as a personal journey.

“It’s like expressing myself,” she said. “I’m very visual, and so I notice things. I love the beauty of this world.”

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