Dianne Hebbert, The Significance of motherhood

Who We Are: Values Walking Tour — May

The Y’s Norman E. Alexander Center for Jewish Life is proud to present the Who We Are: Values Walking Tour, showcasing local artists representing a different humanitarian value each month.

It is our goal, amidst a COVID-19 reality, to promote local artists and offer the Northern Manhattan community access to art. While normally we would like for this art to be shown on the walls of the Y, with the current COVID-related limitations, it is our goal to bring our local artists to the streets of our community.

May: Honor

The Significance of Motherhood, 2020, Gold leaf, fabric and flashe paint on plexi, 20”x 20″

The Only Thing that Matters, 2020, Gold leaf, paper and paint marker on plexi,
15″ x 17”

By Dianne Hebbert 

Dianne Hebbert is a Nicaraguan-American artist and curator. She works primarily in painting, printmaking and installation art. As a Miami native she attended New World School of the Arts before she earned her BFA in Painting and Drawing from Purchase College and her MFA in Printmaking from Brooklyn College. Hebbert is a recipient of the Vermont Studio Center Fellowship and residency, she was selected as a Smack Mellon Hot Pick Artist in 2017 and an Emerging Leader of New York Arts 2016-2017 Fellow. Hebbert has completed residencies at Trestle Art Space, Constance Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts and is currently a Chashama Space to Connect artist.

Curator’s Note by Gal Cohen
galcohenart.com  |  instagram.com/galshugon 

Celebrating Mother’s day this month, within the thought frame of the value
‘Honor’ in mind, Dianne Hebbert’s work is celebrating the Honoring of Motherhood in its most profound way. Creating work about lineage, family values and reproduction, Dianne’s mixed-media paintings speak to multigenerational maternal care. As a first generation American, Hebbert reflects on her family’s Nicaraguan culture and traditions, and how those translate and reproduce in her American life experience. She desires to preserve those traditions inherited from her ancestors, and continue them in the family she creates. In the Works ‘The Significance of Motherhood’ and ‘The Only Thing That Matters’, Dianne incorporates gold as a symbol of value, perfection and worth into her figures, thus reaffirming and empowering Mother-Daughter relationship. These paintings are mementos of unconditional maternal love.


By Rabbi Ari Perten, Norman E. Alexander Center for Jewish Life Director

The Latin phrase nomen omen suggests that something’s name gives insight into its essence.  Such a statement is certainly true for the concept of honor.  In hebrew the word honor כבוד (kavod) comes from the root כ.ב.ד (k.v.d) meaning weighty or heavy.  The diametric opposite is the word for curse, קלל (klala) which comes from the Hebrew root ק.ל (k.l.) meaning light.  An implicit message from this etymology is that to honor someone means to treat them with due and deserved seriousness.  While to curse someone is to treat them lightly.  Conceptually, such an assertion is not terribly challenging.  Intellectually it is easy to espouse the value that every person is deserving of honor, that every person deserves to be taken seriously.  Yet our lived experience so often tells a different tale.  Often we live in the margins, either exuberantly clinging to (and at times even magnifying) our own importance, or, the opposite seeing ourselves as unimportant, common, and meaningless.  In both moments of extremes we would do well to remember that the value of honor insists on our essential substance. As people we are worth honor and such a statement is not uniquely limited to our existence.  Observing pleasant sights, smelling an appealing odor, savoring a delicious taste all, almost naturally, elicit reflexive praise.  If the inanimate can be deserving of such honor, how much the more so beings endowed with intelligence and understanding.  How do you see honor in yourself and honor in others?

About the Y
Established in 1917, the YM&YWHA of Washington Heights & Inwood (the Y) is Northern Manhattan’s premier Jewish community center — serving an ethnically and socio-economically diverse constituency — improving the quality of life for people of all ages through critical social services and innovative programs in health, wellness, education, and social justice, while promoting diversity and inclusion, and caring for those in need.

Share on Social or Email