The Kenneth T. and Eileen L. Norris Foundation
Alive through oil and acrylic, the eleven survivors of Auschwitz look forward resolutely, facing the world together, bound by their shared history. The survivors are subjects depicted in an 18-foot wide portrait that served as the centerpiece of artist David Kassan’s recent exhibition Facing Survival: David Kassan at USC Fisher Museum of Art. Kassan’s 14 paintings of Holocaust survivors, the exhibition of which served as the culmination of Kassan’s two years as USC Shoah Foundation’s Artist-in-Residence, document the spirit, pain and dignity of the survivors while preserving their memories for future generations. The exhibition was generously sponsored by The Kenneth T. and Eileen L. Norris Foundation, which became involved after Board of Trustees member Brad Norris took a master class taught by Kassan. “I felt great passion and urgency to engage our foundation in supporting Facing Survival because of David’s ability to capture the essence of each of his subjects, and this exhibition is about more than art. Facing Survival is a fully immersive experience that provides an enduring testimony so the world will never forget what happened,” said Brad Norris. Thanks to support from The Kenneth T. and Eileen L. Norris Foundation, Kassan’s work as the first USC Shoah Foundation Artist-in-Residence has had a transformative impact on viewers’ understanding of Holocaust survivors, allowing the Artist-in-Residence program to flourish, bringing other notable artists to the Institute to create engaging, provocative work.