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The Jewish Art Salon at the CAJM Conference

Bridging the Institutional Gap: The Jewish Art Salon at the CAJM Conference

By Elke Reva Sudin, March 2, 2011

This week the Conference of American Jewish Museums was held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania uniting museum directors, curators, and artists from across the country.

The Jewish Art Salon gave a special presentation for the members of the conference hosted at the Philadelphia Museum of Jewish Art. The panel, “A New Creative Spirit” was inspired by the contemporary experience of Jewish artists forming partnerships with American Jewish museums, synagogues, and institutions.

Moderated by Joel Silverstein, the panel distilled a vast array of concepts the Jewish Art Salon addresses into a jam-packed session to educate, inform, and inspire. Panelists included Tobi Kahn, Richard McBee, Cynthia Beth Rubin, Yona Verwer and Ori Z. Soltes.

The qualifications for defining Jewish art were discussed without delay. Joel Silverstein broke the qualifications into three categories. Judaica, the birth identity of the artist, and overtly Jewish art. Silverstein expressed the mission of the Jewish Art Salon to pursue the overtly Jewish subject matter.

Ori Soltes discussed that it is not the identity of a person that makes his or her art Jewish, but rather the intention. He noted the range of possibilities in that “Jewish art is a topic that encompasses everything, an endless range of different styles and symbols.”

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