Angelika Rinnhofer's "a priori" Project

This German-born artist has been working with people who have, at some point, discovered their Jewish heritage. A priori, titled after Kant’s notion of valid knowledge independent of experience, is an art project focusing on the contemporary generations of Europeans and Americans who discover late in life this suppressed part of their heritage.
In Beacon NY her community sukkah incorporated a wall installation consisting of large sheets of vellum, on which are written stories of discovery. 

Each cut-out rectangle symbolizes an interview conducted with participants in her project “a priori”. she records and collects narratives of people, whose curiosity and attempts to make sense of memories, stories, and facts eventually led to the disclosure of their Jewish ancestry. She inquires about consequences of this discovery and reasons for its concealment.

From Birth to Memory by Ellen Holtzblatt

This art exhibition featuring the paintings of Chicago-based artist Ellen Holtzblatt will be on display through December at Josef Glimer Gallery, 207 W. Superior, Chicago, IL. 

Ellen Holtzblatt's work is fueled by the yearning exploration of the connection between the physical and the spiritual—the forgetfulness of the earthly body and the memory that resides in the soul. Holtzblatt notes that she examines her own identity by attempting to access “a collective ancestral unconscious.”

Annual Jewish Book Arts Award

The Isaac Anolic Memorial Annual Jewish Book Arts Award is now taking applications.

A sum of $1,500 will be awarded towards the creation of a unique work of art in the field of Jewish book arts. All active artists who have exhibited within the last five years are eligible to apply. Student artists are not eligible.

Screening of Blue Like Me: The Art of Siona Benjamin


You are cordially invited to a screening of 
Blue Like Me: The Art of Siona Benjamin
a documentary-in-progress, and to meet the artist and the producer, Hal Rifkin.
Flomenhaft Gallery, 547 West 27th Street, Suite 200, NYC.
Wednesday, November 12, 2014 at 6 pm
Wine and hors d’oeuvres. RSVP or 212.268-4952

Helene Aylon's Museum Acquisition

SFMOMA acquired two additional Breakings to their collection - Aylon's Breaking With Greater Resistance and Darkening Thrust, Leaking Break.  In 2013, SFMOMA showed Bulging Spread, Central Break in Beyond Belief: 100 Years of The Spiritual in Modern Art.

Image: Breaking With Greater Resistance (process)

Aylon's memoir Whatever is Contained Must be Released: My Jewish Orthodox Girlhood, My Life as a Feminist Artist was reviewed by Lenore Weiss in the Blue Lyra Review - Issue 3.6 Fall 2014, published 10/30/2014.

November 19 - 6:30 PM she will have a presentation at the Rowan University, Glassboro, NJ

On December 14 she will participate in a Conference Panel The G-D Project of Helène Aylon: Visual Art as a Means for Transmitting and Subverting Jewish Text.

Association for Jewish Studies; 2014 Conference - Baltimore Hilton
Sunday, December 14, 4:30 - 6:00 PM, Room 'Key 4'

A Jewish Lens on Privacy & Openness - Sh'ma features Flora Rosefsky

November's issue of Sh'ma includes a collection of essays on what Judaism teaches about the question of privacy vs. openness. How does the mezuzah frame not only the door of our home, but also who we are as public and private people? When do we protect confidences, and when is keeping secrets morally untenable?
The recent news about alleged voyeurism at a Washington mikveh — a place where privacy is an absolute necessity — raises questions not only about the behavior of the voyeur, but also about the obligation of communal leaders to shed a public light on wrongdoing.

On view this month's online art exhibition with work by Flora Rosefsky. 
Read more about her Privacy art in Sh'ma here.

Valentina Loseva's Inseparable Borders

The COJECO BluePrint Fellowship is a highly selective year-long program for Russian-speaking Jewish adults ages 25-40 to explore personal and collective identity through the creation of community projects.

Valentina Loseva's project is Inseparable Borders, an art exhibit that looks at the question of ethics and identity in the personal understanding of the self and the community's perspective on the nature of divergent ethical, religious or cultural associations of individuals within the particular community.

Tuesday, November 18 at 6:00 PM opening reception. Exhibit open November 17-29.
The 125 - 125 E 47th Street, New York, NY. For more information visit Facebook

Lashon Hara: On the Consequences of Hate Speech

An exhibition by Robin Atlas at The Anne Frank Center USA.

Presented in conjunction with the Jewish Art Salon.

Opening Reception Wednesday December 3, 6-8 pm.

Open to the public and free of charge.

44 Park Place, New York, NY 10007. Tel: 212-431-7993

Exhibit on view: December 3, 2014 - February 27, 2015, Tue-Sat 10-5.

The exhibit will be accompanied by a series of workshops, discussions and artist lectures on relevant themes.

Words have always been a catalyst for destruction, but today hate speech is increasingly prevalent – tearing apart the fabric of our communities in ever more violent and destructive ways.

Around the world, religious hostilities are at a six year high. While in America alone, the number of hate groups has increased by 56 percent since 2000.
Lashon hara, meaning “evil speech” in Hebrew, directly confronts this impulse to speak negatively of others, to destroy them with words. Intolerance, anti-Semitism, racism and discrimination are all products of this action – and for this reason lashon hara is considered a very grave sin in Jewish tradition.  

Despite this, it is true that words have also always been a catalyst for salvation. Few people understand this better than Anne Frank, whose diary both illuminated the consequences of inciting hatred through speech and also exemplified the power of words to inspire hope.  “I can shake off everything as I write,” she said, “my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn.”

In Lashon Hara: On the Consequences of Hate Speech, a collection of 20 mixed media works, textile artist Robin Atlas explores the concept of evil speech, its effect on both the physical universe and spiritual realm, and the need for people to atone for their own verbal violence.

Gabriella Boros' Upcoming Exhibits

"Crossing Over" an End of Life / Afterlife themed exhibit, from Salonnierre Jamie O'Reilly, includes two works from Gabriella Boros' Niddah series.
November 22, 5-8pm: Artists Discussion.

October 24 - November 23, 2014
Hours 10 AM – 3 PM, Monday – Friday

St. John's Episcopal Church  
3857 North Kostner Avenue, Chicago, IL

Left image: Niddah 1


NYC Launch: Jerusalem Biennale 2015 Open Call

Hosted by Jewish Art Now & JCC Manhattan. 
Co-sponsored by the Jewish Art Salon and Creative Soul.

Introducing the Jerusalem Biennale for Contemporary Jewish Art 2015 Open Call for artists and curators.

Find out about BIENNALE2015, meet executive director Ram Ozeri, network with potential collaborators, and have a chance to introduce yourself in a video that will be shown to the directors. Nov. 23 at the JCC Manhattan.

This event is free and open to the public.
RSVP: HERE       
More info here. 

The Jewish Art Salon has been invited to propose an exhibit at the Biennale. Join our email list for future updates.

An Illustrated Saga Of The Diaspora

Renowned artist Mark Podwal recently created a stunning portfolio of 42 images for the Terezin Ghetto Museum. One of the sets will be acquired by The Bodleian Library at Oxford. 
Gloria Kestenbaum wrote about his new work: 
"Mark Podwal is once again the subject of a documentary by Czech Television. In the most recent film, the producers focused on the creative process behind the artist’s latest portfolio of works, “All This Has Come Upon Us,” a series of 42 paintings and drawings created for and displayed at the Terezin Ghetto Museum earlier this year. The works provide an illustrated history of Jewish tragedies and, according to the artist, offer “a disturbing reminder of how Europe’s extensive history of ‘Jew-Hatred’ laid the groundwork for Terezin and Auschwitz.” Continue article here 

City Light's Judaica show features Suzanne Benton

Although she has performed from Bali to Bosnia, Canada to China, India to Israel, Nepal to Nigeria, Spain to Switzerland and Tanzania to Turkey -- mask artist Suzanne Benton hasn't made a Connecticut stop in some time. 
That situation changes for the former Fulbright Scholar on Sunday, Nov. 16, when she presents a masked performance of "Esther and Job's Wife" (two women from the Old Testament) as part of "Judaica." The exhibit, based on Jewish art, religion, culture and history, runs through Wednesday, Nov. 26, at City Lights Gallery in downtown Bridgeport.

Custom and Craft - Call for Artists

From the team behind comes Custom & Craft, a new site for publishing your own Shabbat services and Jewish celebrations. Soon, you'll be able to mix and match prayers, songs, and artwork for Friday night service, Havdalah, mealtime gatherings, and more. Find out more at

All This Has Come Upon Us

The documentary film, All This Has Come Upon Us had its American premier at the Eldridge Street Synagogue in New York’s Lower East Side. It was the second program produced for Czech television on artist Mark Podwal, focusing on his recent Terezin Ghetto Museum exhibition.

Read about it in the Princeton University Graphic Arts Collection blog here.

Sukkot Art by Arza Somekh

This work by Somekh is titled The Union of the Four Species.  

For the Jewish Sukkot holiday four species of plants are selected:
One with taste and with odor-Atrog (cirron),
One with taste and odorless- Lulav (palm branch),
One with odor but tasteless- Hadas (myrtle),
One odorless and tasteless- Arava(willow).

According to one of the explanations the four species represent four types of persons who become united under the Sukkah. The holiday starts this year on Wednesday night October 8th.

A Prayer for Peace

Sukkot Exhibit with Andi Arnovitz, Ken Goldman, Yoram Raanan, and Ruth Schreiber.

Sunday October 12 & Monday October 13, 4-9

Ahim Hasid Complex
45 Emek Refraim, German Colony, Jerusalem.

Organized by Kol HaOt.

Guided tours of the art exhibit.
          • Special interactive, hands-on workshops on "Peace"
          • Musical performances 
          • Bibliodrama
Co-sponsored with The Jerusalem Biennale for Contemporary Jewish Art.

Yom Kippur Art by Arza Somekh

Yom Kippur, also known as Day of Atonement, is the holiest day of the year for the Jewish people. Its central themes are atonement and repentance. This year it it takes place Friday night October 3rd and finishes sundown the next day.

Ten days of Penance by Italian artist Azra Somekh reflects on the ten days that pass between the Jewish New Year and the end of Yom Kippur. During these days an individual should examine him/herself and use this opportunity to correct mistakes before the judgment on the last day. According to the artist after ten days the penitent is in front of a ladder; he/she can remain at the same spiritual level, go up or go down.

Crown Heights’ Community Art Show

4th Annual Celebration of Creativity  

As the Holiday of Sukkot approaches the Creative Soul will host it’s annual community art exhibition. Unlike in previous years, the event will take place in the Creative Soul’s own space - the gallery at 386 Kingston Ave in the heart of Chassidic Brooklyn.
The exhibit starts Sunday October 12 at 8pm with an artist reception open to the whole community.

Making/History: Reconstructing the Gwoździec Synagogue

At YIVO, New York, on Sunday, October 12, 6:30pm: a first behind-the-scenes look at the reconstruction of the roof and ceiling of a 200-year old synagogue as part of the new core exhibition at the Museum of the History of Polish Jews. 

After years of research, an international team of 296 historians, architects, artisans, students and artists specializing in traditional woodwork and polychrome painting reconstructed the Gwoździec roof and ceiling, conducting educational workshops in the synagogues of eight Polish cities along the way.

Artists’ Sukkah in New Haven

The Connecticut Artists' Beit Midrash is building a collaborative Artist’s Sukkah for New Haven's City Wide Open Studios (a sukkah is a temporary outdoor hut built for the Jewish holiday of Sukkot). It will be open for viewing during the Alternative Space Weekend. On Sunday, October 12 there will be nosh, crafts, and an opportunity to meet some of the artists. One of the themes of this sukkah is "transported nature," so feel free to bring any of your own plant cuttings to add to the sukkah.

The Goffe Street Armory, 290 Goffe Street, New Haven, CT
Sunday, October 12, 12-6 PM: art, nosh and conversation

Jewish Enviro-Artists Have the Whole World in Their Hands

... Mierle Laderman Ukeles was responding to the environment through her art way before the term “global warming” or “climate change” or “extreme weather” had any currency. But she is not alone. Artists such as Helene Aylon, Alan Sonfist, Jackie Brookner, Linda Weintraub, Shai Zakai, and the seminal eco-artists Helen and Newton Harrison paved the way for all sorts of creators to make environmental topics accessible to the public...

... Founded in 2010 by Patricia Eszter Margit, Art Kibbutz, an international Jewish artists’ colony that held its first pilot residency in Upstate New York, brings together artists to explore their Jewish heritage, while providing space to collaborate and create. “In Western civilization, art and culture are viewed as above nature,” Margit said. “But as Jews, ultimately we are partners in creation and so we have to approach the natural world not as a dominating figure, but in a gentle, loving feminine way that inspires others.”...

Read more about our members (in bold) in the full article in The Forward here.

Helene Aylon's Honey and Apple Plate

Tonight starts Rosh HaShanah, the Jewish new year.

Apples and honey are traditionally eaten on Rosh Hashanah to symbolize a sweet new year. Helène Aylon created this plate for a fund-raiser to combat domestic violence, employing a verse from Genesis describing Eve’s punishment for eating the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden. The inscription compels the viewer to remember the eternal problem of violence against women, even at a festive time.

Honey and Apple Plate

Helène Aylon, 2004
Ceramic: hand painted and glazed
Diameter: 11 5/8 in. (29.5 cm) Height: 1 1/8 in. (2.9 cm)
Collection The Jewish Museum, New York

Food, Family and Feelings in The Book of Sarah

The visual autobiography of Sarah Lightman will be exhibited in cooperation with the 37th Annual Literary Festival: “The Hungry Heart is Telling You”. The Book of Sarah is an autobiographical text/image project.

Baron & Ellin Gordon Art Galleries - Lobby
Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia
Gallery hours: Tuesday – Saturday 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sunday 1 – 5 p.m. (the Galleries are closed on Mondays). Info on the exhibit here.

Lightman is a guest speaker on Tuesday October 7th at 4pm at
The Hungry Heart Is Telling You, the 37th Annual Literary Festival in Virginia,
October 6-10, 2014

Artists Beit Midrash starts in Seattle

Image: Nancy Current
Jewish Art Salon member Nancy Current is starting an Artists Beit Midrash class this Fall in Seattle, WA. The 8-week session runs Wednesday evenings from 7-8.30pm22 October through 17 December 2014.

Theme: The Genesis of Creativity: Using Visual Midrash to Capture the Jewish Imagination

Facilitators: Jeremy Alk & Nancy Current.

Graphic Details: Confessional Comics by Jewish Women

Graphic Details is a groundbreaking touring exhibition providing the first in-depth look at a unique and prolific niche of graphic storytelling – Jewish women’s autobiographical comics. It is curated by Sarah Lightman and Michael Kaminer.

Space Station Sixty-Five 
Building One, 373 Kennington Road, London SE11 4PS
23 September to 13 December 2014

While the influential role of Jews in cartooning has long been acknowledged, the role of Jewish women in shaping the medium is largely unexplored. This exhibition of original drawings, full comic books and graphic novels presents the powerful work of eighteen U.S., Canadian, and international artists whose intimate, confessional work has influenced the world of comics over the last four decades, creating an entirely new genre.

Blue Like Me: The Art of Siona Benjamin

September 18, 2014—December 19, 2014
Opening Reception September 18, 6—8 pm

The Gallery at the Gershman Y, 401 South Broad Street (at Pine) Philadelphia, PA 19147 215-545-4400 ·

Along with an exhibition of some of Siona Benjamin's recent work, the Gershman will be presenting a lecture by the artist, an interdisciplinary Indian dance performance by Rang de Nila in collaboration with Benjamin and inspired by her paintings, and a preview of a documentary film about the artist.

Threads That Bind: A Cultural Identity

American Jewish University
, Platt Borstein Galleries
15600 Mulholland Drive, Bel Air, CA 90077
September 7 - December 21, 2014

ARTISTS: Andi Arnovitz, Vicki Reikes Fox, Naomi Wanjiku Gakunga, Connie Rohman, Gwen Samuels.  

Opening Reception: Sunday September 21
3:00 - 5:00p.m.

And all the skilled workers spun with their own hands, and they brought what they had spun in blue, purple and crimson yarns and in fine linen.
Exodus 35:25

Spiritual Defense - Exploring the power of Mitzvot and positive action in the defense of Israel.

David Orlansky
Israel 3
Creative Soul Gallery
386 Kingston Ave, Brooklyn, NY
Opening Reception Monday, September 8 at 8pm 

Gallery hours: September 8 - October 5, Sunday – Thursday 10 – 3:30.

Curators: Rabbi Yitzchok Moully for The Creative Soul, and Elyssa Wortzman for the Jewish Art Salon.

As the war raged on in Gaza this summer many Jews from around the world asked themselves ‘what can I do to help people in the Land of Israel’. There was an outpouring of love and support from many with demonstrations, food drives for the IDF, donations and much more. In addition to the need of the IDF to do its job keeping the people safe, what else can we do?

Miriam Stern in Shma Journal's First Encounters

September's issue of Shma features essays and art based on first encounters with God, doubt, death, and ritual.

According to Miriam Stern, who answered our call for art, Rosh Hashanah celebrates God’s creation of the world we live in. Taking imagery from her photographs and combining them with previous paintings and prints she manipulates and transforms them on her iPad. The Shma images represent the birth of the universe. More info on her work here.

Screening: All This Has Come Upon Us

Filmmaker Peter Sis with Mark Podwal (R)
Eldridge Street Synagogue, 12 Eldridge Street, New York, NY 10002
Tuesday Oct. 7 at 7 PM

Czech Television’s second documentary film on artist Mark Podwal offers a portrait of the creative process behind his recent Terezin Ghetto Museum exhibition. Each artwork resembles a book’s pages on which the tragedies pictured are paired with biblical verses from Psalms. Filmed in Prague, Terezin, Auschwitz, Krakow and in New York at the Eldridge Street Synagogue, the documentary includes interviews with leading personalities discussing Podwal’s art.

The artist will be present to answer questions. Event is free. RSVP here.

Siona Benjamin in AMEN: A Prayer for the World

Washington National Cathedral partners with caravan for the U.S. premiere of an interfaith arts exhibit designed to build bridges of respect, understanding, and sharing between the creeds and cultures of the East and West.
Siona Benjamin will exhibit Shekinim, painted fiber glass and mixed media, 2014.
AMEN: A Prayer for the World seeks to express a deep, fundamental acknowledgment of both power and hope for all people. The participating artists each decorated one of the life-sized fiberglass sculptures. Thirty figures painted by Egyptian artists were previously on display in Cairo. These figures join 18 figures painted by Western artists for a joint exhibition at Washington National Cathedral; all 48 figures then continue to St. John the Divine.

Rosh HaShanah by Leah Caroline

Rosh Hashanah (literally "head [of] the year") is the Jewish New Year. The Biblical name for this holiday is called Yom Teruah or the Feast of Trumpets, not Rosh Hashanah. It is a two-day celebration, which begins this year on September 24th at sundown.

The shofar is traditionally blown each morning for the entire month of Elul, the month preceding Rosh Hashanah. The sound of the shofar is intended to awaken the listeners from their "slumbers" and alert them to the coming judgment. The total number of blasts on Rosh Hashanah is 100.

Leah Caroline's art incorporates the shofar and religious texts.

Archie Rand: Psalm 68 at the Derfner Museum

Reception and artist’s talk Sunday, Sept. 21, from 3:30-5:00 p.m. in the Derfner Judaica Museum, 5901 Palisade Avenue, Riverdale, NY. R.S.V.P. (718) 581-1596 or The exhibition will remain on view through January 4, 2015.

A Guggenheim Fellowship recipient, Archie Rand (b. 1949), the Presidential Professor of Art at Brooklyn College, has had more than 100 individual exhibitions. In Psalm 68, he uses abstract iconography to explore one of the oldest extant Hebrew poems and its compelling, if elusive, narrative.

Huffington Post features Richard McBee & Yona Verwer

Religion Is Alive and Well in Contemporary Art

Huffington Post, August 18, 2014 

Yona Verwer
Visiting Associate Professor of Religious Studies, Hamilton College

On a breezy summer day, I joined a group of artists and writers in the basement of the Liberty Bar in midtown Manhattan to discuss the many places religious life meets the visual arts. The meeting took place under the auspices of the Society for the Arts, Religion, and Contemporary Culture, founded in the 1960s by theologian Paul Tillich and Alfred H. Barr, Jr, the first director of the Museum of Modern Art in NYC. Erling Hope organized the event. Contrary to the shortsighted views of secular art critics, one thing is clear: religion is alive and well in contemporary art.
Artists are toying with and tweaking rituals until they become relevant again to a new age. Article continues here
View McBee's and Verwer's work in the accompanying slide show.

Sh'ma Journal features Yehudis Barmatz

Forest of Bondage
The Sh'ma Journal, an "independent think tank" of Jewish ideas features images this month on the topic of "seeking". These works by Israeli artist Yehudis Barmatz-Harris reflect her philosophy and approach to the arts; her belief in the creative arts process as providing confidence, healing, soul searching and reflection. See the online gallery here.

Andi Arnovitz's Many International Exhibits

Arnovitz is one of ten international finalists:
Philadelphia's Print Center’s 88th Annual International Competition features works by 39 of the finest contemporary artists working today. This year the competition was juried by Julia Dolan, Minor White Curator of Photography, and Bruce Guenther, Chief Curator, Mercedes Eichholz Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, both of the Portland Art Museum, Portland, OR. The Print Center’s Annual International Competition is one of the most prestigious and oldest juried exhibitions in the United States. The Print Center 

“Echoes of the Borscht Belt” by Marisa Scheinfeld

Opening September 10th New York's Yeshiva University Museum will present Marisa Scheinfeld’s haunting photos of abandoned sites where Borscht Belt resorts once boomed in the Catskill Mountain region of upstate New York.

“Echoes of the Borscht Belt” assembles images Scheinfeld has shot inside and outside structures that once buzzed with life as summer havens for generations of New York Jews.

Scheinfeld, who grew up in the region, began her documentary photo project in 2009; this exhibition marks the first time audiences can see her work on the large scale for which it was conceived. 

Ruth Schreiber's European Day of Jewish Culture

Schreiber is participating in the exhibition “Hear O Israel” in the Omero Museum, Alcona, Italy, as part of the European Day of Jewish Culture 2014, running from Sept 14th-28th.
She is showing her hand-built porcelain work “Love Letter”, accompanied by a YouTube video

She is also the featured artist at the European Day of Jewish Culture exhibition called “Women in Judaism” running September 14th-28th at Attenweiler, Germany.
Schreiber is showing bronzes and other sculptures, and also her photograph “Pregnancy Diptych”.

"Dialogs with Great Photographers" with Neil Folberg

The twelfth edition to the continuing series is a conversation with Neil Folberg. The photographer is renowned for his challenging bodies of work such as "Celestial Nights: Visions of an Ancient Land" depicting earthly elements mirrored by the heavenly sky as well as the series "Travels with Van Gogh and the Impressionists" which is a contemporary photographic take on Impressionist paintings. Folberg discusses these series and reflects on various topics including his early studies with Ansel Adams and the role of Israel in his work and life.

Sara Tasini has conducted a series of informal talks with great contemporary photographers such as John Dugdale, Sandy Skoglund & Flor Garduno. Photographers' motivations and personal insights are enlightening! Click here for access to the whole series. Click here for Folberg.

Carole P. Kunstadt’s ‘Between the Lines’

Clare Gallery at the Franciscan Center for Urban Ministry and the Charter Oak Cultural Center present Between The Lines: Works by Carole P. Kunstadt, an exhibition of works by the New York artist, B.F.A., Hartford Art School. The partnership presents two exhibitions from September to December, 2014, providing a survey of the artist’s past and current work.
The first takes place Sept. 8 through Oct. 10 at Charter Oak Cultural Center.  It showcases works from Kunstadt’s Sacred Poems Series and Markings Series. The opening reception is 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 11. On Wednesday, Oct. 1, noon to 1 p.m., Kunstadt will discuss her work, describing her materials and concepts.

Kunstadt’s works reference the material of books, deconstructing paper and text, and using it in metaphorical ways. Her devotion to books is inspired by the ability of the written word to take the reader to other places through stories, poems, and prayers.