Walking The Work

And tonight we put our work all around the room before it was hung.  We walked and walked around…and studied each other’s pieces.   So amazing to hear us say to each other “Tell me about this”. — and “This is my grandfather.” And “This is my story…”.   “It’s very emotional.”IMG_1189

AND שדךלחןקןחףךחןןממקלגלגלגלדץקןיישמשמגןגמששרירך״”    (Words spoken in Hebrew which I did not understand but where nevertheless heartfelt.)

Eve took pictures (they are posted here).      I heard some singing.    I heard “Do you have any more of your Zines”?     I heard “Megan is here and we have been waiting for her and all of this!”.IMG_1192

“This is gorgeous!”  “Do you need help with anything?”  “This is so nerve-wracking!”

“Wow, just wow.”  “We finally have a minyan!”IMG_1172

“Well, she made it”.   “It was like my Grandma.”   “The other paper I used was much more transparent”.   “I am still compiling, it is a process”.     “Oh, it’s Eva!  She is beautiful”.   “This is — like — so HOLY”.

IMG_1185“It was wet”.  “Oh, you painted it?”  “So, it was also performance”.   “It’s a photo of the painted work”.   “I love gesso”.     “It’s instant texture-pattern”.    “It like so familiar”.   (But not too familiar)    “It’s like the signs in Israel”.    “Leading community and all that”.     “I have been so jealous ever since you said that”.   “I have been thinking about that.   That is SO interesting.”    “Your piece makes me breathe better.”    “You painted in my palette!”

“That’s so great!”

“I came across the drawing you did on Chanukah”.


It is the Inside coming to the Outside.   What was and has been inside all of us is now being revealed.      We are subtending the boundaries of ourselves — of our imaginations and bringing our work into common reality.   What was concealed is now revealed.    We are finally unmasked.

Come see the show — opening SUNDAY, APRIL 30th, 3:00-5:00 PM at UW Hillel, 611 Langdon Street, Madison, Wisconsin 53703.




MSN and MKE Join Forces Again!

(Leslie is out of town, Steve Olson is guest blogger.  Photos by Eve-Lynn Siegel)

As the Milwaukee and Madison groups met together for a joint session, Professor Steven Nadler shared some of the insights he gained while researching his book Rembrandt’s Jews .

Because many Portuguese Jews successfully settled in Amsterdam after fleeing the Inquisition, they provided a unique model of interaction with a 17th Century Calvinist culture.

The two communities lived in close proximity, and Jews invited curious Dutch to observe services at their magnificent Sephardic synagogue. Some Dutch artists began to normalize Jews in visual terms (they look just like us!) rather than depicting them as anti-Semitic stereotypes, as was common in European culture.

Rembrandt was a neighbor of important Amsterdam Jews and seems to have had an especially close relationship with Menasseh ben Israel, one of its chief rabbis. In a well-known painting, “Belshazzar’s Feast,” Rembrandt pictured the puzzling and mysterious Aramaic “writing on the wall” accurately in a form which was very likely given to him by the rabbi. (The writing was vertical and moved right to left.)

The dual Insider/Outsider status of Jews in Amsterdam provoked a good deal of discussion and many questions.

The evening proved to be a session rich in knowledge and shared ideas.

See The Work! – Part Three

And — all the work can be seen in person at UW Hillel — 611 Langdon Street, Madison, Wisconsin, through August 4, 2016.

Leslie Coff “Cheshmal” Diptych Panel One 36×36 Mixed Media On Canvas 2016
Leslie Coff “Cheshmal” Diptych Panel Two 36×36″ Mixed Media on Canvas 2016
Leslie Coff “Echoes of Wisdom” 36×36″ Mixed Media On Canvas 2016


See The Work! – Part Two

Joshua Gilstein “This Is Madison” Triptych Panel One – Acrylic On Canvas 2016
Joshua Gilstein “This Is Madison” Triptych Panel Two – Acrylic On Canvas
Joshua Gilstein “This Is Madison” Triptych Panel Three – Acrylic On Canvas
Rachel Herbsman “Accumulation” Collage 2016
Rachel Herbsman “Constellations” Collage 2016
Rachel Herbsman “Unmoored” Collage 2016


See The Work! – Part One

Pamela Phillips Olson “Was She Wrong To Rejoice?” Collage 2016
Pamela Phillips Olson “Could You Not Have Looked Back?” Collage 2016
Deborah Kades “Blonke” Cotton Thread on Cloth 2016
Deborah Kades “Merkhek” Cotton Thread On Cloth 2016
Deborah Kades “Baytl” Glass Bead on Leather 2016
Ellen Meyer “School Photograph” 2016  48×48″  Acrylic on Canvas