Saturday, February 4, 2012

Four Israeli Artists in Tucson

“This amazing ‘Partnership 2gether’ project, sponsored by the Jewish Agency for Israel, Jewish Federations of North America and our local TIPS (Tucson, Israel, Phoenix, Seattle) committee, helps bring people from Israel and Tucson together,” says Guy Gelbart, director of the Weintraub Israel Center. “It fosters our sense of peoplehood and mutual responsibility by creating real friendships and deeper cultural connections.  

During their visit to Tucson, these 4 Israeli artists brought a fresh perspective of Jewish culture with an Israeli flavor to the local community through various events.  At each one, they shared with the participants stories of their lives, their art, and Israel.

The concept of this program was a vision of Diane Weintraub, who wished very much to have a program with real personal connections between Tucson and our partnership communities in Israel.

The artists worked with groups from various organizations, including Tucson Hebrew Academy, Handmaker Jewish Services for the Aging, and Howenstine Magnet High School. They also were the special guests at the Israel Center’s “Tu B’Shevat Arty Party” on Thursday, Feb. 9,  at the Tucson Jewish Community Center, where they taught crafts to children.

Here are some photos that Ken Brandis took of the artists at Hanmaker Retirement Home in Tucson. The residents loved the activity and the turnout was one of the best ever for a daytime activity. Some had not painted or participated in such a creative venture for many years. The Handmaker staff loved the activity and the enthusiasm of the residents.  Some of the residents' children also participated. 
Here is more information on the place:

Rabbi Safran meets Vered at Handmaker:

Two pieces of paper mache art made by Vered and held by Gail.

Here are some photos of Saraleh and Vered at Temple Emanuel's Tu BShvat Seder Feb. 3, 2012

The Artists spent a week in the Tucson Hebrew Academy (THA), doing a variety of projects in the different grade levels and also had a school-wide Tu B'Shevat celebration.  They worked in collaboration with Mr. Learner, the school's art teacher.   Many of the students at the Tucson Hebrew Academy  colored pots and planted parsley seeds during the Tu B'Shvat event at the school.

Children made items of clay and then painted them

With the second graders, the artists brought tree forms and had them decorate them.  Some even colored the "frames" of the original forms.  The artists also told the children about Darom Adom, the "happening" in the south central of Israel in the month of February when the red kalaniot (anemones) are in bloom.  Hof Ashkelon too participated in the festivities this year and had lots of visitors to the region to participate in the various projects, many of which had an art theme. Thanks to Ada for many of the photos that follow.

The 3rd graders decorated Hamsot.  The forms too were brought from Israel.

Some of the lower classes also made picture frames and decorated them with colors, glitter, buttons, stones, and shells that Ada brought from the beach near her home in Israel, etc. and put Israeli postcards in the center of the frames.

The 4th and 5th grades made mosaics.

The 6th graders learned about and made mandalas.

The 7th and 8th graders worked with Vered to do paper mache forms for a float that they were making for a Tu B'Shvat parade.  The theme of their float was "Israel, the Land of Milk and Honey."  They had a honey bear from "Bee" honey ads, the state of Israel, and T. Herzl as parts of the float.

The artists also did a program with k and 1st graders.
All together each grade at THA from k to 8 had 6 full hours of art activities with the Israeli artists.

At Hebrew high, the teens made paintings based on the idea of the Star of David.  A similar program was held at the local Hillel at the University of Arizona.  Below artists and teachers at Hebrew High:

                                         Vered demonstrating
                                Intricate drawing based on a Magen David

 At the JCC, a great Arty Party was held on Tu B'Shvat. Some of the highlights with the women included a table top to decorate in a mosaic and a group mandala.

  Eating on the Go
Yehudit lead a program with “young Jewish Tucson,” a group of Jewish young adults in which they prepared Shabbat candle holders  from mosaics.
The artists were also hosted to Super bowl parties.
         The four artists had a private tour of the San Xavier Mission with a member of the restoration team who newly discovered she is Jewish- Edna (Feldman) San Miguel and our local TIPS committee members.

 tThe artists also:
·         Discussed Israeli arts at Medabrim Sifrut (Hebrew book club) with Hebrew speaking local members of our community.
·         Conducted an open dialogue with students from Hebrew high about the history of and their relationship with the Magen David/ Star of David
·         Presented the Lion of Judah Women's Philanthropy the intricacies of their crafts.  The two pictures below were taken at the Lion of Judah event.

·         Met Local Jewish artist Michael Schwartz from the Tucson Arts Brigade who invited the artists to work with kids at Howenstine High Magnet School and the Boys and Girls Club
·         Were treated to a visit to local Jewish Ceramic artist Andy Iventosch’s studio for a get-together with other Tucson Jewish artists.  Below Judith and Andy Iventosch and then gathering at Andy's.

·         Were hosted by Metal sculptor Lynn Rae Lowe who held a beautiful going-away party for the 4.

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