In this session, curated by Dorit Jordan Dotan and Judith Joseph, we will be joined by artists Debra Kapnek, Carole Kunstadt and Sarah Lightman as they offer insight into their creative processes and share the impact of the current social order on the psychological and spiritual content of their work.

This series aired live on Zoom, Tuesday, January 12th, 2021.

This program is produced by the curatorial team with the support of Jewish Art Salon’s Program Advisor Yona Verwer, and team members Cheselyn Amato and Chana Wiesenthal-Elias.

About the artists:

DR. SARAH LIGHTMAN is an artist, writer, and an Honorary Research Fellow at Birkbeck, University of London. She attended the Slade School of Art for her BA and MFA, where she won numerous awards. She has a PhD from University of Glasgow and edited Graphic Details (McFarland 2014), which was awarded The Koppelman Prize (2015), The Will Eisner Award (2015), and a Schnitzer Award (2016). Her first graphic novel, The Book of Sarah (Myriad Editions and Penn State UP 2019), was shortlisted for the 2019 British Book Design & Production Award for Graphic Novels and the 2020 Communication Arts Illustration Award for Books. Both the Herald Scotland and PopMatters have listed The Book of Sarah as one of The Best Books of 2019. Sarah is currently finishing her monograph, Dressing Eve and Other Reparative Acts in Women’s Autobiographical Comics (under contract with Penn State UP), supported by a grant from Hadassah Brandeis Institute. She teaches at The Royal Drawing School, London.

DEBRA KAPNEK, whose portraits, landscapes, and still life paintings are part of private collections throughout the US and Israel, studied art at Temple University before moving to Israel in 1974. She lived and taught art there for 5 years. The city of Haifa sponsored her first one-person exhibit. She received her MFA from George Washington University in 1981. Debra’s ultimate focus became “Social Action Portraiture” raising awareness and funding for various causes. Her portraits of Ethiopian Jews commissioned by the American Association for Ethiopian Jews were purchased for permanent exhibit at the University of Tel Aviv. Debra’s first two large compositions of Holocaust Survivors are owned by the Florida Holocaust Museum, and the Brodsky Enrichment Center in Wynnewood PA. Her third composition of Survivors’ portraits now waits to find its permanent home. A film was recently produced about her work with Survivors by the Max and Bella Stein Foundation.

CAROLE KUNSTADT’s works on/of paper reference artifacts, antique manuscripts and books, deconstructing paper and text and using it in metaphorical ways. An irreplaceable aspect of the book is that books absorb histories. Through the manipulation of the antique materials, history, memory, and time merge in a hybrid form revealing how language can become visual through re-interpretation. Kunstadt often invokes a metaphysical quality of contemplation and timelessness. Born in Boston, with a childhood in a small New England town, Kunstadt received a BFA, Hartford Art School and continued with postgraduate studies at the Akademie der Bildenen Künste in Munich, Germany. Seven years ago she re-entered a familiar landscape as in her youth, moving to the Hudson Valley, having lived for 35 years in NYC. She was awarded the Kuniyoshi Fund Award in 2017.