IN THE NEWS: Creative Efforts Showcase Artists

Jennifer Shapiro-Sacks

Sun Sentinel (subscription required)

Aug 6, 2015

Ralph Papa has curated art exhibits at the Shirley & Barton Weisman Delray Community Center for about four years.

Name: Ralph Papa.

Age: 75

Residence: Boynton Beach

Birthplace: Manhattan, N.Y.

Family: Wife, Theresa; sons, Christopher and Gregory; daughter, Laura Papa Miolla

Career: Visual artist

Organization: The Shirley & Barton Weisman Delray Community Center, which is part of Ruth & Norman Rales Jewish Family Services. The Center offers programs and services that support people of all ages and beliefs, including food and financial assistance, senior services, counseling, mental health services and career and employment services.

How long have you been volunteering there?
Four years curating artist exhibitions at the Weisman Center.

Why do you volunteer? 
I just like to help individuals and organizations that do good things for people.

Why did you choose this organization?
A good friend of mine, artist Chris Burlini from Burlini Studios in Boca Raton, introduced me to the Weisman Center in 2011. There I met Risa Demato, Danielle Hartman and Margaret Blume, who asked if I would be interested in taking on the curating of art exhibits at the center. With an already very busy schedule, I chose to accept because I thought the center was a great place to display paintings and a place where people would get to enjoy seeing fine art by talented artists in the South Florida community.

Describe your volunteer role.
I get to meet with selected fine artists and arrange for them to have a solo exhibition of 35 to 55 artworks (depending on size) for display. Each exhibition runs about a month or two, and thus far, we have had over 20 solo exhibitions to date.

What challenges have you faced?
It's often a time-consuming task to plan, arrange and carry out the exhibitions, which are usually seven to nine shows consecutively throughout the year.

What does your organization need?
Maybe a few more helpers to hang exhibitions. Also, regular press for artists on exhibit.

Is there a moment that stands out that made you think, "This is why I volunteer?
Each show is rewarding as the artist gets exposure and the folks at the Weisman Center have very fine art to view from talented professional artists in southeast Florida.

If you are or know someone who is an artist and is interested in coordinating a showing at the Weisman Center, please contact JFS at 561.852.3333. You can also view information on our website, ralesjfs.org.

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