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Bursts of powerful, warm colors greet visitors at an exhibit by Ahuva Mirelman. Evoking the forces at play in the universe (one of the pictures is called Water, Darkness, Fire, and Light), the acrylic-on-canvas paintings are on display in the Beit Dondikov gallery in Rehovot.
They reflect intense feelings, says Mirelman, who began painting ten years ago. Born in Tel Aviv, Mirelman studied at an agricultural school and at the Kibbuzim College of Education. She worked many years as a nursery school teacher, focusing on special education. During a sabbatical in Washington, D.C., she joined a painting class and found that she had landed in a group of advanced painters. The experience strongly motivated her. Upon her return to Israel, she continued to develop her skills.
In the current exhibit, Ahuva displays her pictures alongside those of three Rehovot-based artists. Built in the late nineteenth century, Beit Dondikov was the third house in what was then the fledgling community of Rehovot; it belonged to Esther and Moshe Smilansky. Since Moshe Smilansky was a well-known pioneer, it was one of the central houses in the Jewish Yishuv of those days. Recently the house was renovated and turned into a gallery.
When not painting, Ahuva volunteers in the rehabilitation ward at Tel Hashomer's Chaim Sheba Medical Center. She is also a member of the judging committee for "Out-standing Employee in Israel"of the Ma'ariv newspaper and sings in the Ramat Efal choral group.
Ahuva Mirelman is married to Prof. David Mirelman, Dean of the Biochemistry Faculty at the Weizmann Institute of Science.