Does Canada have “Jewish art”? What defines “Jewish art”? Kolot Mayim invites you to join University of Calgary Art Professor Jennifer Eiserman in addressing those questions on Sunday, March 7th at 11 am.
With a wealth of visual support, Dr. Eiserman will introduce the rich aesthetic traditions that inform contemporary Jewish art in Canada. The artists you will meet include Sorel Etrog and his contribution to Canadian Modernism, the figurative work of printmaker Betty Goodwin, and the distinctively Jewish fantastical creatures of sculptor David Altmedj, who represented Canada at the Venice Biennale in 2007. Sylvia Safdie’s video installations of flowing water, sand, light, and sound advance the traditional concerns of Canadian art with landscape and nature, more commonly associated with the Group of Seven.
Growing up in Montreal, Dr. Eiserman experienced first-hand, the national influence that the Saidye Bronfman Centre had in disseminating Canadian Jewish art. She spent her childhood in Montreal and her adolescence in Cypress Hills. She did her BA (Art History) and MA (Education through the Arts) at McGill, and a BFA (Visual Art) at the University of Regina. Her Ph.D., one of the first-ever to use studio art as its method of inquiry is from the University of Calgary where she is now Associate Professor in the Department of Art. Her current research is in North American contemporary Jewish art and community-based Jewish art.
Dr. Eiserman is also a successful practicing artist. She uses mixed media, crochet, watercolour painting, installation, and public art projects to explore issues related to Jewish theology, philosophy, and identity. Eiserman explains that her work is “what I call Visual Midrash, my artistic response to sacred Jewish texts.”