Thursday, November 14, 2013

Seeing in the Mind's Eye

As I am in Israel, my fellow artist Diane Pecoraro has been kind enough to document the most recent Artists' Lab. - Susan Weinberg

I sat around the table last night thinking how lucky I am to be in the company of such interesting and thoughtful people. We missed those of you who were not there. This brief report is offered to fill you in on the spirit of the meeting. Handouts have been added as attachments.

Anat opened with an “ice breaker”. She asked us to go around the table and each relate a highlight of the past week. Responses were wide-ranging as you would expect –everything from gallery openings, travel bits and family stories to art-making. People kept their comments short but the responses were touching, funny and personal.

The first activity centered on the question: Can we know beauty if we cannot see? We looked at the work of Sophie Calle, a French conceptual artist who interviewed blind people and asked them to describe their notion of beauty. Then, Anat supplied blindfolds and an object for each of us.
We were asked to draw the object with the blindfold on. Along similar lines, we watched a video about John Bramblitt, an artist who is blind and discusses his method of painting and “seeing”.
After the break, Meryll followed up on the assigned “homework” text from Genesis. She pursued the idea of God as creator and creative. There was lively debate about the moral connotation of lightness and darkness. The question of whether the creation of light was meant to be interpreted as literal or figurative was discussed.

To view information on lab artists and lab discussion links and handouts, please go to the Jewish Artists' Laboratory website.

*The Jewish Artists’ Laboratory is an arts initiative through the Sabes Jewish Community Center featuring 25 artists exploring the theme of Light through study and art making. The project is funded through The Covenant Foundation and similar projects are being done in both Milwaukee and Madison. Artists explore how the theme of Light is relevant to Jews and non-Jews, to religious and non-religious, to the community and to the individual, to the artist and the non-artist.


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