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Video: Outliers in the Picture I

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Lengthy social isolation during this period of pandemic has resulted in dramatic, life altering shifts. In this session of the Jewish Art Salon’s OPEN STUDIOS we explore the current work of artists Joel Silverstein, Leah Raab and Philip Schwartz.  

Outliers in the Picture, curated by Judith Joseph and Dorit Jordan Dotan, offers an intimate look at work that reflects upon, and often challenges, the current social order, and the inherent practical, psychological and spiritual conflicts that this historic period has illuminated.

The Jewish Art Salon Open Studio sessions are curated by Judith Joseph and Dorit Jordan Dotan, with assistance by Yona Verwer, Cheselyn Amato and Chana Wiesenthal Elias.

About the artists:

Joel Silverstein has shown nationally and internationally at JADA, Art Basel, Miami, the Van Leer Institute, The Mishkan Le’Omanut Museum, Israel, the Derfner Museum of Judaica, NYC, the Amstelkirk Gallery in Holland, the Rabbi Ario S. and Tess Hyams Judaica Museum, Roslyn Hts., NY, and the Jerusalem Biennial, 2015 and 17. The artist/ critic is a Founding and Executive Member of the Jewish Art Salon and has curated or advised on 14 Salon exhibitions including: Through Compassionate Eyes: Artists Call for Animal Rights at the Charter Oak Center, Hartford Ct., POW!!! for Jewish Comic Con, The Dura Europos Project, both at the Philadelphia Museum of Jewish Art and UJA NY. He has presented at CAJM, The Council of Jewish Museums, The Conney Conference of Jewish Art at the 92nd Street Y, and the Association for Jewish Studies Annual Conference in 2019. His work and curated exhibitions are cited in Ori Z. Soltes’ Tradition and Transformation:Three Millennium of Jewish Art & Architecture and Matthew Baigell’s Jewish Identity in American Art, a Golden Age Since the 1970s.

Leah Raab was born in Trenton, New Jersey and began her art studies at the University of New Hampshire. She received her BFA with honors from the Bezalel Academy of Art in Jerusalem and completed her MFA at the New York Studio School. Having moved back and forth many times between the cultures of Israel and the United States, she paints themes of dislocation and belonging. Deeply significant familiar places or moments in time reflect internal tensions in a seemingly tranquil setting, overlaid with a sense of impending doom that may explode at any moment. During the COVID19 pandemic, Leah’s preoccupation is with depicting scenes of outdoor prayer or of praying in isolation. Leah now resides and paints in Ra’anana, Israel.

Phillip Schwartz is from metro New York and attended the School of the Museum of Fine Art in Boston, where he was awarded a travelling scholarship and an exhibition at The Museum of Fine Art as a winner of their prestigious Fifth Year Competition. Phillip has shown at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston and at galleries throughout Boston, Provincetown, and New York. He currently resides in New York’s Hudson Valley where he continues to produce and exhibit his work. Phillip has participated in groups exhibitions to promote social justice and HIV awareness in the local, national and international arenas. Phillip’s work throughout his career has spoken to the relationship between human suffering and the Divine. Much of his work is inspired by his family’s relationship to the Holocaust and his own inner journey in coming to terms with that history. Some of his work might be seen as questioning where G-d is in our struggle, while other pieces are visual laments or meditations. His painting references Orthodox Christian Iconography and is executed using authentic materials, egg tempera with gilding on gesso primed boards. His paper cutouts and aluminum prints engage a more contemporary feel.

Outliers in the Picture aired live on Zoom on Tuesday, October 20th, 2020.

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