Shine art event, sponsored by Dr. Mark Gross DDS and Dr. Andrew Kaplan DMD, MPH, honored the work and dedication of two charitable organizations that help children around the world to shine— The artists generously agreed to donate a portion of the proceeds to Dental Volunteers for Israel and Operation Smile!

Mark Gross and Andrew Kaplan believe that dentistry is an art. They attempt to achieve not only the optimum health of each patient, but the esthetic beauty of their smile. Their passion for dentistry and art motivated them to initiate a series of art exhibits to raise money for those that are less fortunate, and in desperate need of dental care.

This inaugural exhibition was centered around the paintings of Christel Ibsen and the photographs of Sarah Millet. Their art captures the universal inspirational and mystical beauty of a child’s smile.
However there are millions of children who have never smiled, laughed, or for that matter, eaten a meal without being in pain. It is those children that Dr. Gross and Dr. Kaplan seek to help.
Dr. Gross and Dr. Kaplan have chosen two charities that help children smile again – Operation Smile and Dental Volunteers of Israel. Supporting these two institutions will not only help thousands of children shine, it will keep all of us smiling for a long time. To visit the website of Drs. Mark Gross and Andrew Kaplan, click here.

Shine featured paintings by Christel Ibsen, and photo prints by Sarah Millet that remained on exhibit at Dental Partners 5th Avenue from May 9 to November 6, 2013. Some of their work is on view now on their websites:

Christel Ibsen

Sarah Millet

Christel and Sarah have collaborated for years, exchanging ideas and exploring the strengths and emotions achieved in their respective mediums of paint and photography. Each strives through her art to capture and portray the essence and innocence of childhood.

A portion of the proceeds were donated to Dental Volunteers for Israel and Operation Smile.

About the Artists…

Christel Ibsen, Danish by birth, resides in New York City, Normandy France and Grand Cayman. She travels between her three studios with frequent forays to all corners of the globe painting the changing seasons.

What fascinates her about waterscapes is the challenge of capturing the three fields of light and hues: Sky… Water… Land. “The way they interrelate is an ever changing ballet.”

Equally important in her art are her studies of children. “Watching a child exploring nature or playing on a beach yields moments of pure inspiration. Little ones help me expand and keep me in touch with my values and roots.”

Christel’s paintings evolve from decades of working in the creative fields of photography and filmmaking, both of which serve as important tools for her art.

Fifteen years ago, Christel suddenly lost her hearing. From leading a productive, exciting but frazzled life – shuttling between Paris, New York and London – within a few years she had become 95% deaf.

“And that is when I started to paint… With the silence of deafness came peace and the blissful ability to concentrate on the senses still left. When painting, my time is transformed into an endless space of color and hues, and it seems as if I enfold a part of nature into myself.” Since then, because of a cochlear implant, Christel has miraculously regained the ability to hear and to communicate through sound. “But painting remains my release, my pleasure … a vocation that found me.”

Christel’s style developed from studying fresco painting at New York’s National Academy and at Isabel O’Neil, an institute for the decorative arts in the old Venetian style. Her training in fresco and designs techniques (such as lacquer, casein, rhodochrosite and chinoiserie) have influenced the way she combines different mediums and techniques in her work to achieve minute details as well as diverse and accentuated textures.

Christel Ibsen’s work is represented and sold in Canada, Grand Cayman, Denmark, Dubai, England, France, Germany, Holland, Italy, Japan, Spain and the United States.

Dr. Sarah Millet is a behavioral scientist whose research focuses on understanding the psychological and sociological determinants of health behavior for women and children. She is a graduate of Dartmouth College (BA – Psychology) and the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health (MPH, PhD).

Sarah’s photographs have been used for online and print promotion for the Little Tree House Play Café, in Philadelphia, the Beth Sholom Synagogue, in Jenkintown PA and the doula practice, Bliss Birth Doula. Her portrait of Adam Mansbach, author of New York Times Bestseller Go the F–k to Sleep, appeared nationally in countless print and digital media.

Sarah lives in Philadelphia with her husband, three daughters, a very old cat, a bunny that roams the house, and a Bernese Mountain Dog puppy. She is currently pursing careers in both photography and public health and is thrilled to have the opportunity to combine her passion for the health of children with her love of photography.

She writes, “Photography is my escape. My tranquility. A research scientist by training, and a busy mother of three, I seek to hold and celebrate the spontaneous moments that ordinarily go unnoticed – a child’s sandy finger, the drop of water off the paddle of a canoe, or the glow of light from the edge of a leaf.

For me, detailed macro images accentuate a subject’s purity, serenity, and intricate design. Flowers, stones, drops of water… they give of themselves easily and bask in my attention. Their confidence encourages me to share their beauty, humbly using their images in expressions of my own.

Photographing children at play offers a similar opportunity to witness the purity of expression. Without the practiced masks of adulthood, children share themselves freely, and capturing a child’s essence is both a thrill and an honor… a sacred moment to witness.

While writing a doctoral dissertation and raising three children, I discovered photography is a seductive escape from the demands of academic and family life. My days are filled with the physical needs, intense emotions, and the happy noises of children; my nights spent at the computer. Time spent with my camera, are moments that belong only to me. So while I may have learned to speculate, hypothesize, and analyze in graduate school, photography teaches me about the integrity and expression of the authentic self.”