Seeking Light: A Survivor’s Exhibition Showcasing Artworks by Local Survivors, Featuring Margaret Singer


January 17–April 21, 2020


Seeking Light celebrates the lives of local Holocaust survivors and refugees, taking a fresh and artistic view towards hope and light juxtaposed with the reality of destruction and exile. It features works by notable local survivors and refugees Margaret Singer, Maria Segal, Edith Ostern, Erika Kahn, Mary Freericks, Freddy Caston, Nora Wiedmann, Lev Moross, and Bernhard Penner.


Through their art, these individuals demonstrate their endurance and hope, and teach us about the power of the human spirit in the face of unthinkable evil. A number of these extraordinary survivors have been lifelong professional artists, while others have been art educators, or found their creative talents later in life. Collectively, their works offer insight into the experience of living through one of the darkest chapters in human history.


The exhibition will also include panel displays of poetry and quotes, or “Margaret-isms”, from the beloved late survivor Margaret Singer, who is also featured in the highly acclaimed documentary short film Margaret Singer: Seeking Light was shown at the 2020 Santa Barbara International Film Festival


Following her death in May 2019 at the age of 97, Art at the JCC was bequeathed her vast body of work including nearly 1,500 pieces.


Margaret was a constant ray of joy for many years at the Bronfman Family Jewish Community Center, and regularly participated in yoga, Schmooze Room, poetry programs, and art exhibitions. She bravely shared her testimony and poetic wisdom as a participant in the Jewish Federation’s Portraits of Survival permanent exhibit and programs. She was a prolific artist, poet, and role model for the Jewish, artistic, and general communities. She passed away the way she lived, in grace, peace, and beauty. With honor, Art at the JCC and the Jewish Federation of Greater Santa Barbara take on the mission of sharing Margaret's words and art with the world.


The Seeking Light exhibition will also be integrated into school and group tours of the docent-led Portraits of Survival: Life Journeys through the Holocaust and Beyond permanent exhibit and program from January through April 2020, its busiest season.


The exhibition is made possible by the generosity of the Squire Foundation and an Arts Making an Impact Grant from the Santa Barbara County Office of Arts & Culture.


For more information, contact Mike Witt at


Press Release (1/6/2020)

Gallery Hours:

Monday-Thursday from 9:00 am-5:00 pm; Friday 9:00 am-3:00 pm. Closed weekends. 


Please call in advance of your visit, as the gallery is often used for classes and events, (805) 957-1115.


Exhibit is open to the public. Free admission.

Margaret Singer Artist Project