As with all new beginnings of groups, we had some new folks and some veterans — and we were grateful to be back all together with new stimuli and creative minds and collaborators. This year we begin with a new theme and the addition of a few new cities: see masthead above for complete list of cities!
We will be studying “Outside/Inside: Exploring Boundaries and Otherness”.
Of course there are a zillion different ways in which we can explore all these…in terms of the material, the spiritual, societal rules and norms, gender, religion, political, cultural, spatial…but for us, tonight, we began with a story circle. And what, do you ask, is a story circle? Well, as everything begins, a story circle begins with a spark, a prompt. Our sparks for the evening:
(1) Are you a Jewish Artist? Tell a story about how your self expression came out…
(2) What makes art Jewish? Tell a story on how this challenges you….
(3) Tell a story on how an interaction with a Jewish artist was especially meaningful for you.
And so we began. The story circle was a beautiful opening. It represented a gentle unfolding of ourselves to each other — and to ourselves. We weave the stories of our lives — of our hearts — into our work, into our art, whether we are aware of this or not.
Interesting ideas which came out of the evening — Archie Rand describes Art as Midrash — and to me, I am thinking that we are the art — that we are the midrashim.
Rabbi Steinberger described for us the idea of HaShem — God — as Artist. In the creation story all is carefully crafted, molded, sculptured, breathed-life-into….
Imagine the world as a gallery — God as Artist painting the clouds onto the sky, adding light here and there as final touches…adding texture to the buffalo and the hedgehog with an impasto knife…composing the silent but staggering music that is heard when the sun breaches the horizon — or when we witness the aurora borealis for not just the first time — but for every time.
And for the world as art installation — where are the boundaries of the created and the framed….in other words…where does the piece of creation end and the framing of it begin? Are there really any boundaries to a particular creation…or does it go on and on…?