The show contains work that was commissioned for this year’s national Art Calendar published by the Women of Reform Judaism. Each year, the WRJ choose one artist to feature, and I was so honored to be selected. Some of the work is on my website now, but most will be added after the show premieres on Saturday. (Don’t want to spoil the surprise!)
The show’s title, Momento Chai, is a combination of ideas from Jewish tradition and 16th century portraiture.
The 16th century master portraitists spent a lot of time thinking about their relationships to God, and they were a bit fascinated by death — probably for good reason! Many put a “Momento Mori,” or reminder of death, in each of their portraits. It might have been a human skull, a rope or a knife. (Remember this from Art History class?) It was supposed to remind people of their mortality and ultimate obligation to God.
That’s a bit of a foreign concept to me, but I like the idea of multi-layered concepts in my work. I combined that notion with the Jewish tradition ofChai — LIFE (remember Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof? L’Chaim!) Every idea in Jewish tradition is centered on preserving, appreciating and treasuring life.
The result is Momento Chai — each image in the exhibit will have a reminder of life and the joy of living.Memento Chai will travel to several area venues this fall and is available after November for installation. (Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for details.)