When JEWISHcolorado staff and board members returned to the office after nearly a year of shuttered doors during the pandemic, they came back to much more than the place they had left.
The newly renovated Joyce Zeff building had been decorated with dozens of works of art, gifts from philanthropist and businessman Michael H. Staenberg. “When you walk into a building, art makes you feel good,” says Staenberg. “There is no second chance to make a first impression.”
“Thanks to Michael’s gift, everyone—our staff and visitors—experience a sense of delight when they step into our building,” says JEWISHcolorado President & CEO Rabbi Jay Strear. “Michael loves to share his love of art, and we have benefited greatly from his generosity and support.”
Staenberg is also an art collector and says he has gifted more than $10 million in art to different nonprofit organizations over the last ten years. He is involved in every single selection of art for all of his projects, whether it is monumental sculptures at his developments or involvement at JCCs, Jewish Federations, Holocaust museums, camps, schools, or residences.
Among the artists whose works now hang in the JEWISHcolorado building are:
- Jeff Bretschneider, a New York contemporary artist, whose work has been shown at the New York Museum of Modern Art (MoMA);
- Tucson-based Steven Derks, a multimedia artist, whose creations have been displayed in the Oval Office of the White House;
- Terry Dushan, a photographer who is inspired by watercolor and oil paintings;
- Yitzchok Moully, a conceptual artist who explores the intersection of spirituality with the material world in works showcasing a unique palette of colors and ideas;
- Thomas Roth, who was trained in minimalist art and design at Beckmans College of Art and Design in Stockholm, Sweden;
- Amy Sheppard Morose, who is known for her bright, bold abstract works;
- Nicholas Vicknair, an abstract painter based in Central Oregon, who incorporates his scenic roots into his work using shapes and color.
“The building is a beautiful, welcoming place to work and receive visitors,” says Director of Women’s Philanthropy Roberta Witkow. “The art gives the spaces personality. It doesn’t feel like we are working in a museum because the artwork feels like it belongs here. I feel proud to walk into this building every day, and the art reinforces that sense of pride.”