Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Texting: RS's Yom Iyun Art Exhibit

This coming Sunday, April 14, is the second annual RealSchool Yom Iyun, Day of Learning, entitled Sichot B'Emunah, Discussions in Faith. The event, which will take place at The Frisch School from 4-7 PM, features a selection of student presenters who will lecture on a variety of topics in Tanakh, Talmud and Jewish thought as well as an interactive art exhibit called Texting: From Bondage to Liberation. 

Bondage and the Passover story

The part of the exhibit on slavery and bondage will take participants through a history of Hebrew illuminated Haggadot and an AP Art History class' interpretation of the Ten Plagues.

Here is the research the AP Art History class completed so far on Haggadot:

Redefining texting: a printer repurposed into the Ten Plagues

For a modern take on texting and the Exodus story, the art history class has been repurposing a printer -- which helps us create text -- as well as using textiles and cutting out text from discarded books in order to bring to life the Ten Plagues. Here are the art history students at work in Mrs. Mantell's art room:

Students in AP Art History take apart a printer and sift through paperbacks
as they repurpose and retext mixed media into an artwork about the ten plagues
You'd be surprised how many book titles worked well for the Ten Plagues theme!
Once we got into the swing of things, we began to see shapes
like a frog in the printer's parts
The printer is really starting to look like the plagues!

Liberation and Yom Ha'atzmaut in the exhibit

The Liberation part of the exhibit will begin with an illuminated manuscript made by one of the curators, Laura Friedman ('13), who worked on RealSchool's first event, last year's Maurizio Cattelan-style Chanukah art exhibit. This year, Laura used her Frisch LEADs research paper to explore illuminated manuscripts, and for her LEADs project and the art exhibit, Laura created her own illuminated manuscript out of the text of the Prayer for the State of Israel

Mulling ideas for the art exhibit
Laura's illumination of a contemporary prayer about the State of Israel, just in time for Yom Ha'atzmaut, will provide a springboard into an exploration of the work of contemporary artists as well as of Frisch art students who have interpreted Jewish texts and Israeli culture in a variety of artistic ways. The Frisch art students, for example, are working on Pop Art interpretations of Israeli food packaging:

The Yom Iyun exhibit will also be shown at the school
for Yom Ha'atzmaut, Israeli Independence Day
After the Yom Iyun participants take in the art exhibit, they'll have the opportunity to interpret artistically their own pieces of text. Participants will choose from a group of texts that the student presenters submitted to be photocopied.

Two student presenters researching their topics. The presenters and curators came
 to school on a Sunday (!) in order to prepare for the Yom Iyun
The texts will be ones which are most germane to the lectures' main points and which lend themselves to being interpreted creatively. Each participant will choose a text s/he prefers and then sit down at a NEAT or MESSY station to "illuminate" it, decorate it as s/he chooses. In the NEAT station, participants can choose to work with media such as textiles, paper, and colored pencils, while in the MESSY station, fingerpaints, charcoal and pastels will be available for use.

We're having a lot of fun creating this interactive Artists Beit Midrash, and we hope the Yom Iyun participants get a lot out of the experience as well!


Additional points

* Included in the exhibit will be information provided by Mrs. Wiener who teaches the art history class and runs RealSchool. Here's what Mrs. Wiener posted for the art history students about Passover that is now being used in the exhibit:

The March to Freedom: Liberating Art

* Overheard while the art history students were painting printer parts: a debate about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Students teaching students, debating with each other, broadening each other's minds, and talking to each other with respect: we love it!

* What do you think is a more meaningful learning experience: this project or cramming over 1000 artworks into the brain for the AP art history exam? (On a side note: to make up for the lost class time, those students taking the AP art history exam will meet each week for at least two hours after school. Drill. Kill. Bubble Fill.)

* Thanks to Laura for the Sichot B'Emunah artwork and to Ari for his work on the flier!