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Heidi Hardin and Rachel Leibman - Part II: Families in Paradise (The Four Jews) / Collages from Diaspora Series



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Saturday, 6 October 2018 to Saturday, 29 December 2018
Saturday, 6 October 2018 - 4:00pm

Everyone is invited to join Heidi Hardin, Rachel Leibman, and Jonathan Sacks for ArtSpan’s 2018 Open Studio and beyond, for this exaltation of art, culture, and family. A full program of Family Art Making Workshops, Artist Talks, Guest Speakers, 3-D Digital Demonstrations, Suppers and Salons and much more, will accompany this exhibit on Saturdays, from 10-11:30AM, beginning October 14 through December 30. Additionally, Hardin will lead Guided Walk-Through Meditations every Sunday from 4-5PM, and School Tours and Art Activities on Friday afternoons from 1-2PM. Artist and volunteer, Gabriella Hoffmeyer, will help facilitate Human Family Suppers (potlucks) and Salons on Tuesday evenings from 6-8PM. All classes, activities, and refreshments are free of charge.

Please visit: for a full calendar of events. Think Round Fine Arts is located at 2140 Bush Street, Suite 1, San Francisco, CA 94115. For more information or to RSVP for classes, meditations and dinners, please call Heidi at (415) 602-9599 or email: Space is limited so please call now. Gallery hours are 9-noon, Tuesdays and Thursdays, and by appointment. The opening reception for Hardin, Liebman, and Sacks is on Saturday, October 6, from 4-8 pm, with Artists’ Talks at 6 pm.

Sixteen years in the making, Hardin premiers: Families in Paradise (The Four Jews), 78 portraits of four families of different ethnicities who have traveled to America to make their homes and a new life. This installation is Part II of Hardin’s extended project, The Human Family Tree/A Walk through Paradise…seven installations, otherwise known as Paradise…  Paradise… is an evocative multimedia meditation on the experiences we share, regardless of faith, culture, or ethnicity, and centers on families who are followers of seven major world religions. Each successive installation focuses on a single religion, presenting 78 freestanding portraits, along with touching objects, environmental displays, and an original soundtrack by Hardin’s longtime collaborator and fellow UCSD alumnus, Los Angeles composer, Jonathan Sacks.

Snapshots from family photo albums transcribed into genre paintings offer an unexpected window into the shared human experiences that bridge the personal and the universal. A labyrinth of footpaths and columns replicating the mythic Tree of Life creates a ‘walk through paradise’ among the paintings for viewers. On a symbolic level, these installations explore ideas about cultural self-definition, the pervasiveness of the American dream, the universality of, and new directions imagined for, the human family and their faiths. As human longevity extends dramatically in the coming decades, and broken heartstrings from family trauma through new trauma incident reduction modalities are able to be healed, Hardin, in this project, call for human beings to consciously decide to manifest heaven on earth, creating paradise here and now. This new vista urges forward Think Round Fine Arts’ nonprofit code of ethics: Earth is home. Humans are family.                                                                

Artist ( Description ): 



These collages tell stories about Jews living in the diaspora. Each piece provides a different narrative, some quotidian and some profound. Although life in the diaspora has often been difficult and cruel, it was important to me that Jews not be depicted only as victims. Jewish people have been proud and resilient, brilliant and common, challenging and generous. In short, beautifully human. So, my stories are of tailors and peddlers, rituals and journeys, scientists and musicians, persecution and resistance.

From an artistic point of view, composition is very important to me. I would like for viewers to be able to stand at a distance from my artwork and see something beautiful, exciting, interesting or pleasing. But the medium of collage affords the opportunity to provide an additional level of meaning. I have chosen source materials which further the narratives of the stories. As you get close to the pieces in this exhibit, you will see women scientists, Yiddish actors, partisan fighters, passports, visas, manuscripts, thimbles and thread.

I collected much of my materials from the Internet but also put out a call on social media for people to send me pictures of their loved-ones and ancestors. I received a treasure-trove of depictions of Jewish life around the world. In many of my collages I included photographs of people I know: My grandfather who came through Ellis Island, my in-laws as bride and groom, my friend David who fought in Vietnam, Maggy who was part of the Kindertransport, and my cousin Rob who is an awesome soccer goalie. I think that incorporating these personal materials helps to add relevance and intimacy.

My hope is that when you look at my artwork, you will in turn feel gratified, angry, proud and encouraged. I hope that some of my pieces will just make you laugh.



Having the opportunity to paint families of different ethnicities who are practicing the seven major world religions over the past twenty years has given me the courage, strength, and hope to face and accept the many traumatic events of my own childhood, growing up in an alcoholic, sex-addicted home. Trauma recovery research done by Kaiser Permanente and the CDC in 1992, correlates adverse childhood experiences (ACEs*) and its impact on human health across a lifetime. (Please visit for more information: Https://

Thanks to a new trauma recovery program offered by Kaiser in San Francisco, the Community Self-care Demonstration Program, otherwise known as Turning the Tide of Trauma, I have finally found an effective way to heal the devastation of being molested and raped as a child, as well as the eight other adverse childhood experiences I endured. Through this program and through my painting over the years, I have been able to find my own internal wisdom about these events and redefine my own reality with respect to them.

The Human Family Tree Project/A Walk Through Paradise…seven installations** is intended to mark the end of marginalizing the issue of childhood trauma (and the suppression of women and children by male dominated world religions) here in the US*** and around the world. It is also intended to celebrate the heart of the cause and cure: home and family. In the opinion of California Pacific Medical Center pediatrician, Nadine Burke Harris, “thirty years from now a child who has a high ACE score and whose symptoms of ACEs go unnoticed and untreated will be anomalous…. This is treatable. This is beatable. The single most important thing we need to do today is to have the courage to look at this problem in the face and say, this is real and this is all of us. I believe that we are the movement.” Think Round, Inc. has joined the movement. Turning the Tide of Trauma is now a program of Think Round, Inc. Open enrollments happen bi-annually as part of our free programming. Will you join the movement?

—Heidi Hardin, September 2018


*Ten ACEs (otherwise known as “childhood enders” by Save the Children) that will dramatically increase the risk of chronic illnesses (including asthma, heart disease, diabetes, lung cancer, addictions, depression, suicide) over a lifetime: 1) alcohol and/or substance abuse in the home; 2) incarcerated parent(s); 3) domestic violence; 4) divorce/abandonment; 5) sexual, verbal, physical, emotional abuse; 6) hunger/malnutrition; 7) mental illness in the home; 8) poverty; 9) lack of education; and 10) lack of care/affection.

**Paradise… is also intended to raise questions about how and why the major world religions discriminate against women and girls, and how this sexual discrimination pervades almost every aspect of humanity’s secular and religious life. (For more information, please read Jimmy Carter’s A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence, and Power.)

***In the words of Dr. Robert Block, the former President of the American Academy of Pediatrics, "Adverse childhood experiences are the single greatest unaddressed public health threat facing our nation today."

To determine your ACE Score, please visit: If you have a score of four or more ACEs, please feel free to call Heidi and enroll in our trauma incident reduction program, Turning the Tide of Trauma. It is a non-medical, non-religious, and confidential program.

Venue ( Address ): 

2140 Bush St. Suite 1

(Between Fillmore and Webster)

San Francisco, CA 94115

Other events from Heidi Hardin

Families of Abraham
09/29/2019 to 12/31/2019
RETROFIT-An Installation of Paintings
06/01/2019 to 08/30/2019
Heidi Hardin and Rachel Leibman - Part II: Families in Paradise (The Four Jews) / Collages from Diaspora Series
10/06/2018 to 12/29/2018
Nikki Lau, Heidi Hardin, and Think Round Fine Arts 2nd Annual Fundraiser
01/13/2018 to 02/28/2018


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