to the Jewish Artists' Laboratory, an arts initiative through the Sabes Jewish Community Center.
The lab explores specific themes through study and art making, bringing together a diverse group of artists who have an interest in the relationship between Jewish thought and creativity.
In October 2015 we will enter year four of the lab with a new topic Echoes: Voices of Wisdom. This follows on the heels of Text-Context-Subtext, Light and Water.
This website is the creative initiative of Artists’ Laboratory participant, Susan Weinberg. Since 2013 I have served as the Resident Writer of the Laboratory, documenting each session through our blog. I share the rich material that our facilitators introduce, material that triggers much discussion and ultimately our creative efforts. I invite you to share in our journey by referencing our blog.
Made possible through a generous grant from The Covenant Foundation. We now have five organizations in Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Madison, Kansas City and Chicago engaged in similar programs on the current theme. The Sabes Jewish Community Center, Minneapolis, along with The Harry & Rose Samson Jewish Community Center of Milwaukee, the University of Wisconsin Hillel of Madison, Wisconsin, the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City and the Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership of Chicago have collaborated to create this unique artistic initiative.
Rabbi Alexander Davis is the senior Rabbi of Beth El Synagogue in St. Louis Park, MN. He is passionate about learning and teaching Torah and lives to share the beauty, wisdom and meaning of Jewish life with others.
Meryll Page is a teacher and writer. She has taught history and Jewish studies for 39 years. Upon retiring from teaching Meryll has entered the age of “yes, I can do that!” In addition to co-facilitating the Artists' Lab, she also writes a weekly column for the synagogue newsletter connecting food and the weekly Torah portion In addition, she is a consultant to the Minnesota Humanities Center as they launch a feasibility study about setting up a Humanities Institute for Minnesota teachers.
She and her sister have completed a non-fiction work, Jewish Luck, which is now available in print.
Robyn Awend is the Director of Visual Arts at the Sabes Jewish Community Center and the Coordinator of the Minneapolis Jewish Artists' Laboratory. She is a practicing artist who uses her Jewish identity as a focal point of her work, and is a founding member of Form+Content Gallery in downtown, Minneapolis.
Marley Richman is a lifelong lover of the arts. As a child, Marley found her creativity through performance – as a singer, dancer, and actress. Today, her art continues to take form through dance. Marley's choreography often blends a variety of dance styles, including ballet, lyrical, contemporary, and jazz, to suit her mood and subject matter. A piece of music often serves as Marley's biggest inspiration when creating, and she strives to tell the music's story through movement. Marley works as the Jewish Arts & Culture Coordinator at the St. Paul JCC. She is also a Dance Instructor throughout the Twin Cities, and performs with Out on a Limb Dance Company. Marley lives in St. Paul with her fur baby kitten Daphne.
Jay H. Isenberg, AIA is a practicing architect, arbitrator and mediator of design and construction disputes and an adjunct faculty member at the University of Minnesota College of Design. He is a founding member of Form+Content Gallery, a 12 member artist collective in the North Loop where he has co-created and curated cross disciplinary exhibitions using multiple materials and media that explore diverse themes that emerge at the intersection of architecture and design with issues of Jewish identity, ethics, politics, psychology and the built and natural environments. Specific work includes Two Walls, Dialogue on the Wall, Pilgrimage on the Seam, Unbundling the Housing Crisis and beyondBRAND.
Lynda Monick-Isenberg is both a visual artist and educator. She exhibits her work in group and solo exhibitions locally and nationally and has installed over 100 large-scale tapestry commissions nationwide. Her work is included in both private and permanent collections. Her most recent artwork is rooted in the principles of social justice and environmentalism; raises questions of equity and art, and designs opportunity to address change. MCAD professor Monick-Isenberg teaches drawing as a visual language developed through observation, contemplation, and reflection. Drawing is central to her artistic practice(s). She was a WARM core member, a founding member of Form+Content Gallery and The Drawing Project, member of Rimon Jewish Arts Council and the Jewish Womens' Artist Circle and actively participates in the arts community in the Twin Cities.
A Place Where Art and Culture Intersects
Read more in St. Louis Park magazine about the Minneapolis Artists' Lab and the way it brings art and culture together. And view the photos from our 2014 closing event.
The Artists' Lab: Finding Judaism through Art
Read more about our facilitators Avi and Anat and the work that they have created for the 2014 Artists' Lab Exhibition.
Artists' Labs become an Active Part of Jewish Communities
Hadassah Magazine takes a look at the burgeoning movement of Jewish Arts Salons.
A Midwest Movement Creates and Elevates Jewish Art
The first Jewish Artists Lab began in Milwaukee and was so successful that additional labs were funded by the Covenant Foundation in Madison and Minneapolis.
A Culmination of a Year of Exploration
In 2013, the Lab did its first exhibition on the theme of Text-Context-Subtext, exploring a range of topics through a multitude of mediums.
And another review by the American Jewish World.
Suzanne Fenton published a thoughtful piece on the fragility of life, Funeral for a Friend, in TCJewfolk.
Several of Susan Weinberg's artworks in the lab have been based on Holocaust stories shared by her good friend Dora Zaidenweber. The two share an ancestral town and had a "beshert" connection when they met. Learn more about the engine for this work in a Duets article in the Star Tribune.
Susan Armington and Sylvia Horwitz recently exhibited their work together at the Robbin Gallery in Robinsdale. If you missed the show, you can still catch the video in which they talk of how their work complements each other's.
Learn more about Diane Pecoraro's work as community poet in St. Louis Park. She is aptly described as down to earth and relatable and works to make poetry accessible.
You may remember the intriguing piece in the 2014 Artists' Lab exhibition by Allison Morse and fellow artist Rachel Breen. Much has happened since in their efforts to expand the project "The Price Of Our Clothes," which makes connections between the Rana Plaza garment factory collapse in Bangladesh and the 1911 NYC Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire. In 2015 they went to Bangladesh to do research. You can follow their blog which chronicled their travels and collaborative process. Since then they have received project support grants from Rimon, The Minnesota Jewish Arts Council, to support research and production of "The Price of Our Clothes,” an exhibit that will use poetry, storytelling, visual art and social engagement to make connections between the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist fire and the Rana Plaza disaster as a way to invite American consumers to consider our ties to the garment industry—especially the people who make our clothes.
Carolyn Light Bell has had three short stories accepted by three different publications. Stories from Old Pines, forthcoming in Cottonwood Review, a print literary magazine, is a small collection of vignettes of amusing and eccentric people in rural Wisconsin.
Hansel and Gretel, accepted to an online journal, Stickman Review, is about a woman who is seduced by her old addictions as embodied in a neighborhood character.
Stuff, accepted in Penman Review, another online journal, is about a woman who is trying to fill the empty spaces in her life, surrounding herself with objects.
Other recently published work includes You Ain't Got the Brains God Gave A Goose," on Storyteller Lit Mag site and The Saga of the Missing Guitar in Somerset Magazine Fall 2015.
The Female Gaze
examines how lab artist Ann Ginsburgh Hofkin developed her approach to photography. For more of Ann's work.
Sister Authors of Jewish Luck
Meryll Page, has launched her new book with great response. Read more about the fascinating story behind it.
*an initiative of the Minneapolis Jewish Federation, and the Howard B. & Ruth F. Brin Jewish Arts Endowment, a fund of the Minneapolis Jewish Federation’s Foundation
Exhibitions & Events
Twin Cities Jewish Chorale
Lab artist Kris Prince will be performing a solo!
Support Jewish singers and laugh at the same time
Humor through song and the fun of words and irony
Performances - June 2 7:00pm and June 5 3:00ppm
4330 Cedar Lake Road S, Minneapolis
Tickets $15/$10 students and seniors 65+
Voices of Wisdom
Tychman Shapiro Gallery
and Shared Walls Exhibition Areas
June 16-August 28, 2016
Opening Reception: Thursday, June 16 from 6-8
Art Beat Event: Sunday, August 28 from 5-7
Site designed by Susan Weinberg
©Minneapolis Jewish Artists' Laboratory 2015
©Minneapolis Jewish Artists' Laboratory 2015