Local Artist Donates Work to Community Day School

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Pictured: Local artist Mayer Kersun (center, holding artwork) and CDS Head of School Dan Ceaser (back left) with students Willow Dotson, Maia Forman and Charlie Armstrong. Provided photo/Community Day School.

When Hershorin Schiff Community Day School Head of School Dan Ceaser attended a recent Members Art Show at Art Center Sarasota, he came across an award-winning mixed-media piece that immediately caught his attention. The piece, "For Humanity," shows two ultra-Orthodox Jews and an IDF soldier praying at the Western Wall. Local painter and illustrator Mayer Kersun created the piece, explaining, "The attack [on Israel by Hamas] on October 7, 2023 inspired me to make a statement about humanity. Looking at the picture, you will see two ultra-Orthodox Jews and an IDF soldier at the Western Wall. They probably see the world differently. But when it comes to Israel and anti-Semitism, they are united." Ceaser requested that Kersun allow the school to have the artwork on “indefinite loan” but, when the artist came by to drop off the painting, his tour of the school so impressed him that, the next day, he donated the piece outright.
“As soon as I saw the painting, I felt that – in addition to being beautiful – its sentiments were well aligned with our school philosophy,” said Ceaser. “Mayer used the tragic events of October 7th to create something that captures feelings of hope, unity and our shared humanity – despite peoples’ differences. I am grateful to him for allowing us to have this piece to display in the years to come.” When he was old enough to hold a pencil, Kersun was drawing the cartoons from the comics page. Since World War II was going on, he would draw fighter airplanes that he would see in the newspaper. His urge to draw was there but the time to pursue the artistic world did not come until he retired from his business. That was when he started taking continuing education classes from local schools and from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia. It has been a big part of his life for the past 20-plus years. “I was so impressed with the school – the wonderful things I saw and what its mission is,” Kersun said. “Hopefully, by having my artwork there and by discussing it, it will be meaningful to the students and some good will come of it.”

Pictured: Local artist Mayer Kersun (center, holding artwork) and CDS Head of School Dan Ceaser (back left) with students Willow Dotson, Maia Forman and Charlie Armstrong. Provided photo/Community Day School.

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