Thursday, May 15, 2014

Community Coalesces

The Artists' Lab regrouped post retreat and shared impressions of the retreat. The dominant theme was that of community. For those who had joined the group this year the retreat proved a turning point in feeling a sense of community both within our group and across our sister groups. Those of us who had participated in the retreat last year recalled a similar sense of the group coalescing at that point.

Our Saturday night gathering was the point where many recognized that sense of being a part of something larger. Others found that connection in the gathering of the sketchbook groups which brought members of the groups together for the first time.

The group was somewhat divided on religious content, no doubt reflecting the varied religious backgrounds that we bring to the lab. Some found the parsha discussion especially meaningful. Others found the overall retreat heavier on religious content than they preferred. Some felt challenged by the constraints created by doing the retreat over Shabbos.

We also talked about the topic selection process and the fact that those who were not present didn't have an opportunity to weigh in. It was generally felt that all of the topics were broad enough to offer considerable scope regardless of what was selected.

For our creative segment Avi and Anat supplied us with a table of shimmering, colorful and translucent materials to be used in a collaborative installation that will be on display in the Sabes JCC Shared Walls exhibition area. It will be displayed in conjunction with the final exhibition. We were to select a theme related to light and develop it using some of the provided materials. My group worked with the contrast between light and dark and the component of shadow. Still more to do so we will see how well it shapes into something ready for display.

To view information on lab artists and lab discussion links and handouts, please go to theJewish 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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