By Leslie Coff
We are nearing the end of the third season of the Madison Jewish Artists’ Laboratory of the Upper Midwest, culminating with an opening exhibition on Thursday, June 2nd, 2016,
From 7-9 pm at UW Hillel.
The Madison Jewish Artists’ Laboratory, a progressive initiative underwritten by The Covenant Foundation of New York, is now part of a five-city program, including the original Madison, Minneapolis, Milwaukee and this year adding Kansas City and Chicago. The goal of the Artists’ Lab is to bring together Jewish artists for learning, for collaborating and to build community.
This is the third year Madison has participated in the initiative, sponsored at UW Hillel. Rabbi Andrea Steinberger is the Madison project director who has worked to develop a curriculum and brought in text facilitators Steve Olson, Dr. Robert Skloot, Aviv Kammay and Dr. Teryl Dobbs.
Artists who are participating this year include: Judith Zukerman, Pam Phillips Olson, Deborah Kades, Ellen Meyer, Joshua Gilstein, Rachel Herbsman and Leslie Coff.
Our journey began with an artist’s retreat in Milwaukee last October– bringing together all the artists from the labs from all five cities. We studied and engaged and were inspired by each other. We forged new relationships and new ways of thinking.
This year in Madison we have met biweekly through the academic calendar to explore themes in Jewish life and history – under the title of Echoes: Voices of Wisdom, which is also the title of the June 2nd Exhibition. We have explored Ezekiel, the writing of Philip Roth, Poetry of Babi Yar by Yevtushenko and Symphony of Babi Yar by Shostakovich, The Magic Barrel by Bernard Malamud, Marc Chagall’s paintings, Kohelet/Ecclesiastes, the play Korczak & The Children, the movie The Dybbuk, “If the Whole Body Dies” by Robert Skloot – and additional works.
Local artist Joshua Gilstein, relatively new to Madison, held an event in early May, titled “This is Madison” – where he provided prompts for participants on different aspects of the city of Madison as it stands now…i.e. current politics on gender and gender discrimination in our city, statistics on sexual assault incidence at UW, and participants painted their responses to these prompts. Gilstein will be displaying these pieces as part of his exhibition at the June 2nd Opening Reception.
To follow our journey, people can log in to www.Madisonjewishartistslab.org.
Join us for the Opening Reception of the exhibit – Thursday, June 2, 7-9 pm at Hillel Foundation at the University of Wisconsin, 611 Langdon Street, Madison, 53703.
The Exhibition continues through August 4, 2016.
Applications for the 2016-2017 Jewish Artists’ Laboratory of Madison are available at www.uwhillel.org. For questions about the Jewish Artists’ Laboratory, contact Rabbi Andrea Steinberger at firstname.lastname@example.org.