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The Role of the Feminine in the Secular and the Sacred- Panel Discussion May 11

Planned for the Opening Reception:

                                       Genesis: The Beginning of Creativity

                                       The Interchurch Center

                                       Opening: May 11, 2023: 5 – 7pm

                                       Panel Discussion: 6 – 7pm 

The Jewish Art Salon is looking forward to the opening of its groundbreaking exhibition Genesis: The Beginning of Creativity at three New York City venues; The Riverside Church, The Interchurch Center and the Jewish Theological Seminary. We will present a concurrent panel discussion at the Interchurch Center opening evening.

The Interchurch Center

61 Claremont Avenue (btwn. West 119th and 120th Street)

New York, NY 10115


Siona Benjamin is a painter from Mumbai, now living in the US.  Her work reflects her background of being brought up Jewish in a Hindu and Muslim India. She was awarded Fulbright Fellowship 2011 to India and second Fulbright 2017 to Israel. Her work is featured in: The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Forward, The Jewish Week, The Boston Globe, Art New England, ArtNews, The Times of India, The Jerusalem Post and others.
Websites and

Grace Bydalek is a writer, performer and administrator living in New York City. Originally from Omaha, Nebraska, she is a member of the Musical Theatre class of 2018 at the University of Michigan and a proud Wolverine. She is the Director of the Dissident Project, theatre critic for the New York Sun, and cofounder of It Is Good: A Festival of Arts + Faith. 
Website: IG: @grace_daley

Shilpi Chandra is an art historian and curator with a focus on contemporary art of Asia and South Asia and its diaspora. Her curatorial practice is rooted in making art accessible to lay audiences by conceiving exhibitions that bring people into public and community spaces. Shilpi has an MA in Contemporary Art History, Theory and Criticism from SUNY-Purchase College, an MBA from Columbia Business School and a BA from Swarthmore College. She regularly teaches adult education classes on Chinese and Indian Art History and Contemporary Asian Art History.
Website https://www.asianyart/ Instagram @asianyart

Afarin Rahmanifar is an Iranian American Artist/Educator, and Curator based in Connecticut. She grew up in Tehran, Iran and later moved to the United States following the1979 Islamic Revolution. She is currently associate professor at ECSU, Art Department. Her Multidisciplinary work consists of mixed media painting, installation, printmaking, sculpture, and animated film production.  Storytelling and narration have played a significant role in her work for the past two and half decades.  As part of her storytelling, she strives to depict a world where women have a strong voice to create positive outcomes within the areas of knowledge, power, subjectivity, and sexuality. She has been written about, and featured on the cover of “Eastern Art Report” magazine, London, UK. Her work has been exhibited at, Two Coats of Paint, NY; SOHO20 Gallery, NY; Museum of Art, Towson University; Mattatuck Museum, CT; Benton Museum, CT. 

Yona Verwer is a Dutch-born New York multidisciplinary visual artist, whose works explore identity, immigration, ecology, heritage, and kabbalah. She works in a range of media, among them painting and installations, and has shown in over 25 museum exhibitions. She has been published in the New York Times, The New Yorker, Art Criticism, and is featured in Matthew Baigell’s Jewish Identity in American Art: A Golden Age since the 1970s, and Ori Soltes’ Tradition and Transformation: Three Millennia of Jewish Art and Architecture. She is co-founder of the Jewish Art Salon.
Website Instagram @yona_verwer and @jewishartsalon

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