Artwork by the Jewish Artists’ Laboratory called “Text/Context/Subtext” will be on display in Sabes Jewish Community Center’s Tychman Shapiro Gallery Thursday, Aug. 8, through Sunday, Sept. 22.
An artist’s reception is planned 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 22.
A closing event featuring a presentation of literary works is set 5-7 p.m. Sept. 22.
The Jewish Artists’ Laboratory is an arts initiative through the Sabes Jewish Community Center featuring 17 local artists. Exploring the theme of Jewish “Text/Context/Subtext” through unconventional study and art-making sessions, the laboratory meets twice monthly to engage in ongoing dialogue and provide a platform for artwork and its process through its many stages.
The lab is alternately led by facilitators Rabbi Alexander Davis, Meryll Page, Anat Szendro and Robyn Awend. Together with the artists, the lab explores how the theme of “Text/Context/Subtext” is relevant to Jewish tradition and continually redefines how and where Judaism and art intersect. This initiative will culminate in an exhibition and literary presentation, featuring a wide array of work by participating lab artists highlighting specific topics explored during the eight-month process.
Participating artists include Susan Armington, Carolyn Light Bell, Hanna Bloomfield, Joel Carter, Suzanne Fenton, Rani Halpern, Bonnie Heller, Sylvia Horwitz, Alison Morse, Diane Pecoraro, Paula Leiter Pergament, Kris Prince, Louise Ribnick, Phil Rosenbloom and Susan Weinberg. Artist-in-Residence participants include Shana Cohen and Jordyn Feiger. The artists-in-residence engaged directly with the community, incorporating their interactions as a focal point of their work.
“I decided to become a part of the Jewish Artist Laboratory, as I see it as a vehicle to merge my sometimes conflicting and dichotomous identities into a cohesive spiritual alignment with Jewish values and artistic expression,” Cohen said. “I have been looking for a community to share artistic ideas with that will reflect back a Jewish lens and narrative.
“The Artists’ Laboratory is an opportunity for me and other Jewish artists to contribute to a body of work that is both innovative and reflective of cultural and spiritual Judaism that can engage the Minneapolis Jewish Community.”
Davis is the senior rabbi of Beth El Synagogue in St. Louis Park.
Page is a teacher and writer. She has taught history and Jewish studies for 39 years and is currently shepherding a nonfiction work she and her sister have written through its publication.
Szendro holds a Bachelor in Design from Bezalel Academy of Art and Design – Jerusalem, and has recently moved to the Twin Cities.
Awend is the director of visual arts at the Sabes Jewish Community Center. She is a practicing artist who uses her Jewish identity as a focal point of her work, and is a founding member of Form+Content Gallery in downtown Minneapolis.
The Sabes JCC is located at 4330 Cedar Lake Road S.