Jewish artists show at the Boulder Arts & Crafts Gallery

Boulder Arts & Crafts Gallery is continuing the Hanukkah celebration with artworks that highlight the Jewish heritage. The 16th Annual Judaica Show features menorahs, sparkling jewelry, hand-colored prints, mezuzot and festival ware crafted by artists from around the country. On view through Jan. 10, a portion of the proceeds from the sales will be donated to the Boulder Jewish Community Center.

The Gallery’s glittery window display includes whimsical, contemporary menorahs and colorful fine art pieces.

Artists Don Gidley and Sue Parke of Acme Animals create metal menorahs for the home and traveling, using giraffes, dogs, yellowstriped cats and fish as subject matter. Gidley cuts the metal and Parke designs and paints the pieces. In contrast, Florida artist Tamara Baskin jazzes up the base of her bright, fused glass menorahs with designs that feature people in geometric shapes and weaves of blue, lime-green and red colors. Baskin was born and raised in Israel.

The menorah, a seven-branched candelabrum that is a symbol of Judaism, was used in the ancient Temple in Jerusalem. The Hanukkah menorah is a nine-branched candelabrum with eight holders, plus one holder set apart from the others that is used to light the eight candles. According to the Talmud, after the Jewish temple was desecrated in Jerusalem there was only enough consecrated olive oil to keep the eternal flame burning in the temple for one day. Yet the oil burned for eight days, giving the people time to press, prepare and consecrate new olive oil.

Karla Gudeon of Smithtown, N.Y., uses family folklore and Jewish history as subject matter for her hand-colored dry point framed engravings. “Tree of Life” shows a blooming tree with a purple, orange and red trunk full of leaves and flowers in royal blue, turquoise, red and lime-green colors. “Tree of Life” designs hang on synagogue walls.

Denver artist Arel Mishory incorporates the hamsa hand in her delicate, hand-painted works on metal. The hamsa, or hamesh in Hebrew, hand can be shaped like a regular hand or have two symmetrical thumbs with fingers pointed up or down. It is often added to jewelry and wall hangings to ward off evil.

Visitors entering the gallery will see necklaces, earrings, yads, mosaics and mezuzot crafted from a variety of materials exhibited in a cheery space to the left of the entrance.

A mezuzah is a decorative case containing a tiny parchment scroll that includes the words of Deuteronomy 6:4-9 and 11:13-21. It is a Jewish tradition to attach the mezuzah to the right-hand side of a door at a 45-degree angle with the top facing the inside of the door or room. A mezuzah is often given as a house-warming gift.

Aimee Golant, a sixth-generation San Francisco metalsmith, uses her grandfather’s tools to make masters for her modern line of mezuzot. Golant is the grandchild of Holocaust survivors. The masters that are mostly made out of copper and silver are molded and cast at small art foundries in Northern California and Rhode Island. The sleek design connects contemporary life with a Jewish tradition.

Sandi Katz’s handcrafted, multicolored glass mezuzot are kiln-fired. The process can take up to 12 hours from the creation of the design through the firing. A native of Haifa, Israel, Michal Golan’s mezuzot contain a colorful mix of semi-precious stones, reflecting the artist’s fascination with Byzantine and Middle Eastern designs. One of Golan’s 24k gold-plated mezuzot on view features lovely swirling lines accented by blue, green and red semi-precious stones.

Near Golan’s decorative works are S.D. Cooper’s simple, organic-shaped copper mezuzot.

Israeli-born artists Nachshon Peleg and Stavit Allweis of Seeka, a word that means pin or broach in Hebrew, utilize a technique that connects steel, paints, resin and found objects with hand-painted acrylics to create necklaces and earrings. Seeka’s collection includes hamsa, Peace Dove and Star of David necklaces in brilliant colors.

Denver artist Ilona Fried’s mosaics blend ceramic tile, stone beads, many varieties of glass and other materials for a fresh look to the hamsa hand.

Boulder artist Brian Seigal creates yads using tree branches and sterling silver. A yad is a pointer used to follow the text on the Torah parchment scrolls during a Torah reading. Since the parchment is considered sacred, it is forbidden to touch the text by hand. Upon request, Seigal can customize a yad by using a branch from a special tree in one’s life.

Seeing this show is a lovely way to start the year.

By Barbara Byrnes-Lenarcic

On the Bill: The Judaica Show will be at the Boulder Arts & Crafts Gallery through Jan. 10. 1421 Pearl Street Mall, Boulder, 303- 443-3683,

Orly Netanel glass work


My adventure with glass work began 3 years ago.

I’m Doctor of Philosophy in education and have 3 MA degrees


  For me to create works in glass is a constant adventure.

I’m in constant searching for my own development as an artist experiment and this process

gives me great happiness.

ON MENORA10841341_600928913342562_1078872532_n10836182_600931713342282_310491994_n10836302_600928420009278_1899561927_n

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I can also customize works based on new themes.

Here is a sample from the movie “The Shining” with Jack Nicholson.



Israeli natural haven in Ein Hod Established by Jewish artist Marcel Janco, nurtures artists

EIN HOD, Israel – The Ein Hod Artists’ Village is nestled in the foothills of northern Israel, where the Mediterranean Sea lies in the distance and stone houses that blend into nature are hidden among the trees. Established by Jewish artist Marcel Janco, known as the father of Israeli art, the studio retreat is a utopia for emerging artists. Janco himself lived and worked in the village. His spirit still reverberates in the nature surrounding Ein Hod.

Marcel Janco Cabaret Voltaire 1916 Marcel Janco Mask Marcel Janco

Janco was born in Bucharest, the capital of Romania. He started drawing when he was about 13 and went to Switzerland to study architecture at the age of 20. He cofounded the revolutionary art movement known as Dadaism. After returning to Romania in 1922, he started working as an architect.

In the 1920s to the 1930s, he was active in Romania at the forefront of Dadaism, an art movement that challenged the existing order and rules of convention, but he moved to Israel (then Mandatory Palestine under Britain) in 1941.At the time, Nazi Germany was spreading anti-Semitism in Europe, and Janco’s work had become a target of discrimination. After the murder of a family member, Janco sought safe refuge in his roots. It is said that to ensure smooth immigration procedures, he bribed British soldiers with nude pictures.

Having moved to a new land, Janco changed his style as if to mark the dawn of a new historical era. With the artist living closer to the clear Mediterranean Sea, the colors in his paintings grew brighter. His drawings of Jewish people suffering from poverty and soldiers injured in war also became more graphic. Moving away from Europe, the center of the art world, hurt Janco’s career. Raza Zommer-Tal, the 56-year-old director of the Janco Dada Museum in Ein Hod, points out, “Janco is underrated compared to Jewish artists who continued painting in Europe.”

Under such circumstances, in 1953, five years after the establishment of Israel, Janco sensed his new “mission.” When he visited a Palestinian village that was to be demolished, the beauty of the architectural style there caught his eye. He not only came up with the idea of establishing a village for artists in order to protect the houses, but also decided to bring a new perspective to Israeli art, which was still in its infancy. It led to his focus on offering guidance to young artists and the founding of Israeli art.

“He would start his work first thing in the morning. He was always willing to give advice to young artists and was strongly aware of the role that he ought to play in Israel,” reflects Michaela Mende-Janco, the artist’s 47-year-old granddaughter. Janco, who fancied a plain and simple life, enjoyed being surrounded by nature in Ein Hod. He left a will with instructions to preserve the houses in Ein Hod.

According to Zommer-Tal, Janco’s achievements include “not only developing Israeli art and its artists, but also developing the country.” Ein Hod Artists’ Village provides a stage for budding artists to grow through friendly competition. It has also turned into a tourist destination, with the work sold at the gallery supporting artists’ livelihood.

Today, about 150 artists live in Ein Hod. Abraham Eilat, a 75-year-old artist representing Israel, is one of them. He reflects with a laugh, “I saw Janco when I was in my 20s, but he was such a major figure that I couldn’t just go and call out to him.” Janco’s influence can be seen in Eilat’s work, which takes samurai as its theme.

Ein Hod Artists’ Village, located at the foot of Mount Carmel, is home to galleries and restaurants that have attracted many tourists.

Original source article: Israeli natural haven in Ein Hod nurtures artists