Sunday, October 04, 2009

Jewish artists and craftspersons in action.

As has become a tradition over the last several years, I would like to showcase for you some of the artists offering Judaica at the St. James Arts Fair in Louisville, Ky. We have made it our custom to drive up early Friday morning of the Fair and spend the entire day until late afternoon attempting to view every booth and in particular find Jewish artists. I can't necessarily buy anything from all of them, but I do try and buy from several each year. This year, we found some very nice work. In no particular order, these are some of the artists offering Judaica:

Alicia and Beatriz Kelemen
K4 Glassart,

We saw several nice pieces of pewter Judaica by Patrick Meyer. However, when I went to his website, there was no Judaica posted there of any kind. The business card we picked up says "Judaica" on it, but the webpage does not. If you are interested in pewter menorahs and channukiahs, candlesticks, flatware, you might try contacting him by email.

Jan and Mel Fleck apparently do not have a webpage at all, which is disappointing because I bought one of their intaglio etchings. Some of their offerings include print etchings, in color with gold embossing, of the letters of the aleph-beit and their symbolism. They also do original artwork in the Eqyptian hieroglyph style printed in a similar fashion, as well as some etched embossed prints of comparative alphabets including ancient paleo-hebrew, babylonian (block) hebrew, and other ancient languages. They can be reached at 130 W. Ormsby Avenue, Louisville, Ky 40203 or by phone at 1-800-838-8234. Perhaps they have a print catalog they offer prospective customers, but there were none that I saw at the St. James Fair.

Smadar A. Livne, Artist
Owing Mills, MD

I would absolutely have bought one of her pieces had I been able to afford it. Her paintings are extremely beautiful, including this one which I would love to have and she had available at the fair and a sculptured piece I found on her website:

I love the Kabbalistic piece.

Batik by Amos Amit
Los Angeles, CA
(available through Jacob's Ladder Judaica)

This was another artist whose work I thought was cute. The batik style is an ancient and unique artform. He has received several first place awards at various artshows across the country. The one I particularly liked, Tallit over Jerusalem, is $78 dollars. He said that I could email him directly ( order it, and I hope to do so eventually.

If a community near you does not have an annual arts fair, I encourage you to start one yourself. Of course, the focus of the St. James is not Judaica, but yours could be. It is a perfect opportunity for local, regional, and nationally known artists and craftspersons to offer their wares, not to mention the benefit to local food vendors who can set up outdoor cafes at the Fair. This is a great opportunity to inspire young Jews to be exposed to and consider a hobby or career as artists and crafts persons, as well as a way to economically boost your community. So what are you waiting for? Support Jewish arts and crafts! Support self-sufficiency! Support your local economy! And have fun while you're at it.

No comments: