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Ary, Sylvia, 1923-2011

Sylvia Bercovitch Ary was born in Moscow in 1923. She moved to Montreal in 1926 with her parents, the painter Alexander Bercovitch and the journalist, writer, teacher and communist activist Bryna Avrutick.

Her family lived a precarious life : her father left the family home not long after their arrival and she had to take care of her younger siblings when her mother was not at home. She showed an undeniable artistic talent from a young age, and she studied under the painter Anne Savage at the Baron Byng High School, who pushed her to continue her studies under Dr Norman Bethune at the plastic art school of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. At the young age of fourteen, she had already won first prize in an All-Canadian drawing contest. She then went on to study painting at the Montreal Institute of Graphic Arts, discovering the techniques of gravure and etching with her masters Albert Dumouchel and Will O'Gilvie.

She had a long and successful artistic career, having her first solo exposition in 1950. She became known for her paintings of the life of the immigrant community of Montreal, in all its diversity, and she produced works on a wide range of topics and in different styles, from illustrations for literary classics, to still life, to portraits of celebrities, such as Isaac Bashevis Singer.

She married the housepainter, paint store owner and writer Solomon (Harry) Ary in 1940, and had four children : Rachel, Malka, Isaac and Alexander. She passed away in Montreal in 2015.

Asch, Sholem, 1880-1957
Person · 1880-1957

Sholem Asch, also written Shalom Ash, was a Polish-Jewish novelist, dramatist, and essayist in the Yiddish language who settled in the United States.