Meet Art Collector: Shirly Berelowitz

A short story about her painting:

Shilry Berelowitz is a graduated psychologist from the University of Belgrano, Buenos Aires. Shirly has been working at the Jewish Community Centre in Vancouver for over 10 years. She is the Children & Youth program coordinator. Shirly is very creative and is always looking for innovative programs. Many of the programs have been created by her and she has also outsourced other programs, tailoring the needs of the JCC clientele. She is devoted to the Jewish community which she loves so much. I have had the pleasure of working with Shirly almost every summer when the staff at Camp Shalom invites me to teach art to the children.

In 2004 when my family and I arrived to Vancouver, a friend that was helping us settling down told me: “You should meet Shirly. I am sure you and her will become friends”. A week later, I went to meet Shirly at the synagogue Beth Israel, where she was leading a weekly group for mothers and toddlers. My son was 2 years old at that time and I thought that he and I might enjoy meeting new friends. I still recall when I encountered Shirly for the first time. She greeted us with a big smile and a warm hug. My heart smiled. She was the friendliest and warmest person and something about her felt very familiar, like we knew each other from before. After the meeting, she invited me for coffee together with her son, who eventually became my son’s best friends in the first years. Shirly and I were born and raised in Buenos Aires and we both attended the same Elementary School.

When I turned 40, Shirly hosted my birthday party at her gorgeous apartment. I was starting to explore painting and decided to bring over one of my early works to her place. “You know, I know” was the one I chose.

“You Know, I know” is one of my early works from 2007. The painting is a mixed media, using only a palette of blues, grays and whites. There are glitters added to the women’s dresses.

We thought the painting would bring some color to Shirly’s living room. We hanged up the artwork and it looked stunning! It seemed to be the perfect fit for her place! After the party was over, I left the painting at her place because I had too many things to carry and couldn’t take the large artwork with me. Days turned into weeks, months and years until one day I told Shirly that it was time to pick up the painting. Luckily and surprisingly, Shirly told me that she got fond of the painting and offered to buy it from me. I was moved and honoured knowing that a good friend of mine liked my work so much and was willing to purchase it.

Thank you Shirly for being an amazing friend, a supporter and enthusiast of my work! My life in Vancouver is amazing because you are in it!

"The stories you believe to be true are the ones your life will become" with love, Jazmin

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