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As we continue toward the shortest of winter days, we look to find light – a spark in the darkness – we look to conjure hope and healing with intentional vision. In this session, curated by Judith Joseph and Dorit Jordan Dotan., we will be joined by artists Ashley Scott Fitzgerald, Asherah Cinnamon, and Diane Britt as they offer insight into their creative processes and share the impact of creating work during such uncertain and challenging times.

Creativity in an Uncertain Time: Hopeful Incantations, aired live on Zoom, Tuesday, December 15th, 2020.

Thanks to JAS Open Studios Program volunteers Chana Wiesenthal Elias and Cheselyn Amato, and Program Advisor Yona Verwer.

About the artists:

Ashley Scott Fitzgerald Ashley Scott Fitzgerald is a contemporary, abstract artist. He was born in London and earned both a BA and an MA in Fine Art. His creative process is influenced by his own near-death experience and recovery from temporary paralysis. These events led to Ashley further exploring methods of wrapping, layering, and stripping back of old drawings and artefacts. Ashley says, “My interest continues in a process of connecting body, books, myths, cultural history, shrouds and creating these into Golem like identities to be released from their isolation, from the perspective of the outsider, and reflect the transformation of death into life.”

Asherah Cinnamon “I am an immigrant child of survivors of war and the Holocaust. Social justice and healing were at the center of my work even before I became an artist later in life. Dominant patterns of hiding our brokenness seriously prevents us from recognizing what is real. The world now spends $50,000. per second on wars, against mostly BIPOC peoples. My own USA accounts for half of that. In winter of 2020 I was recovering from months of Lyme disease exhaustion and inability to work in my studio, when Covid19 hit. Covid19 restrictions allowed the earth to begin to recover a bit, and highlighted the ravages of human excess. My life became more confined and my new work became smaller and more intimate. I have always connected deeply with trees and natural materials. Lately I deliberately use damaged bark and show visible mending, not hiding brokenness, while I focus on reconnecting us to the earth through material, and with each other through social sculpture”.

Diane Britt is a Birmingham, Ohio artist working in drawing, paper and book arts, textiles, sculpture, installation, and performance. She studied art at UMass/Boston and was once a member of the World Sculpture Racing Society. Diane has exhibited widely in the U.S. and abroad, and her work is in several private and public collections. During her 2019 Akron Soul Train residency, she created “My Golem,” an installation of flax paper sculptures, drawings, maps, textiles, photographs, and original storytelling. Currently, Diane is developing new projects that integrate visual arts, history, and oral traditions. One such new work is “Uncle Pinky, P.O.W.,” an installation, storytelling, and interactive experience seen through the eyes of her mother at age 7, her soldier uncle, and her own imaginings. Diane draws strongly from both individual experiences and those of the world around her, linking the personal with the political and humanistic, cultural, and physical realms. She values play, curiosity, and engaging the world and self as a lifelong process of growth and change, seeking ways to experiment, court vulnerability, and take risks.

Video editing by Cheselyn Amato.

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