Visual Feast Coming to the Vilna Shul April 29

The Vilna Shul, located at 18 Phillips St., will presents a unique photography exhibition, “Holding Differences Tenderly,” featuring professional Beacon Hill photographer Brenda Bancel and students Toni Marie Gomes and Roody Jean Louis from the Take 5 program at the Epiphany School in Dorchester.

These photographers focus on exploring ways to raise our consciousness of deeply rooted stereotypes, and their work will give the viewer the rare opportunity to rethink and thoroughly learn about what used to be taken for granted. The exhibit aims to disrupt assumptions and shake the viewer out of typical thinking, with the ultimate goal of stopping perpetuating ideas from the past and creating an environment of tolerance and understanding. This event also addresses the need in our community to learn to delve deeply into our differences and to hold those differences tenderly as the name of exhibit suggests. In the wave of globalization, Boston, one of the well-known major cities here in the States, keeps attracting people from all over the world, so acceptance and forgiveness have become certain topics all the residents must carefully think over. The photographic work will enlighten and motivate the viewer to explore and embrace the diverse perspectives and ideas that are unlike anything they’ve previously noticed, as they accept into their lives someone or something new every day.

“I’m interested in the cross-section of where creativity and compassion intersect. I want to use my camera to help others express themselves and to communicate different issues that need more understanding and empathy,” lead photographer Brenda Bancel said. “I want this to be a space where no question is taken wrong. We can ask tough questions knowing that we might make mistakes, but knowing that we are there to learn and be respectful—that it’s a space to talk with humility and conviction.”

            The opening reception, held at 3 p.m. on Sunday, April 29, and, in partnership with Boston ArtWeek 2018, serves as an opportunity to meet the photographers, ask questions, and engage in a conversation about their creative process. The photography will be displayed at the Vilna Shul from, April 29 until May 25 on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday from 11 a.m.-4:p.m. and on Sunday from 1- 5:p.m. Admission is free.