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  • Writer's pictureWendell Maxey

“Sad Eyes” By Ayala Borten Keeps Focus On Teaching Historical Education Through Art

It’s a painting that continues to leave a lasting impression no matter how many times you’ve seen it. And if you are seeing it for the very first time, it will touch you and make a mark.

Ayala Borten, whose work is featured with the Staten Island Holocaust Center, knows the piece of art all too well. The 20x24 oil on canvas entitled “Sad Eyes” depicts an unnamed and melancholy youth outfitted in Holocaust camp issued striped attire. The eyes speak volumes. It tells a story. It freezes a historical moment in time. It’s one of Ayala Borten’s most recognized pieces of work and helps unfurl the education of the Holocaust from a new perspective.

Born in Jerusalem, Israel Ayala Borten now resides and works in Petach-Tikvah, Israel where she spends time painting, writing, and enjoying poetry. Married with three children and two grandchildren, Ayala started painting at a very young age and continued through her life and travels. After serving in the Israeli Army Ayala came to the United States for an education in painting and studied in New York with the world famous Mark Tennant, Steven Asal, Elena Flerova and Ida Greenspan (herself a Holocaust Survivor). With 25 years of experience and over 500 pieces of art, Ayala’s work has been featured at shows and exhibits in Israel and in the states, as well as an exhibit in Switzerland. Painting in oil on canvas and specializing in techniques from Renaissance to Modern, Ayala has received three citations for excellency over her remarkable career.

The Staten Island Holocaust Center is extremely fortunate to have some of Ayala Borton's collection part of our artistic archive, including Sad Eyes, The Heroes, Never Again, and Last Stop among others that are deeply rooted and influenced by the Holocaust experience. You can also visit Ayala's official website to view more artwork in her online gallery.

Thank you, Ayala, for showcasing your artistic talents and work with SIHC as they provide an important piece to the educational puzzle when teaching about the Holocaust.

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