Contemporary ArtJewish Culture & Ideas
Oct 5, 2017–Oct 11, 2017
Sukkot, a Hebrew word meaning “booths” or “huts,” refers to the Jewish festival of giving thanks for the fall harvest. It also commemorates the forty years of Jewish wandering in the desert. It is marked by several distinct traditions, one of which—erecting a sukkah, a small, temporary booth or hut—takes the commandment to dwell in booths literally. The holiday is one of celebration for the abundance of nature shared with family and guests (uspizim).
Inspired by this tradition, The CJM has built its own sukkah for gathering and community building by inviting six local artists to inhabit the sukkah as an open studio. The Sukkah Studio provides an inviting space for the artists to share their practice with visitors and even work with interested folks to make something together.
Each artist will inhabit the Sukkah Studio for one day. Visiting the Sukkah Studio is free and it can be found in The Museum lobby common area. Stop by for one day—or all—and celebrate with us!
Michelle Wilson is a printmaker, papermaking, book, installation, and social practice artist. Her practice includes frequent collaborations with other artists, in particular her ongoing projects Book Bombs (with Mary Tasillo) and the Rhinoceros Project (with Anne Beck). Her practice explores interconnections between environmental issues, colonialism, natural history, migration, and the loss of diversity. She is a past recipient of grants from the Puffin Foundation, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, the Artist-Investigator Project of the Triangle Arts Lab, and the Small Plates Imprint program from the San Francisco Center for the Book. Her works of art are in various collections, including Yale University (New Haven, CT), the National Museum of Women in the Arts (Washington, DC), and the Mediatheque Andre Malraux (Strasbourg, France). Wilson currently teaches printmaking at San Jose State University and Stanford University.
Anne Beck works collaboratively and independently in a variety of media from painting to print and bookmaking to public intervention. Broadly, she explores the roles of amateur naturalist and lay surveyor of the current landscape—collecting specimens and recording data, cataloging that which seems useful, and investigating further that which seems impermeable. This is all in the context of envisioning a sustainable path forward for herself and the planet, which is often a playful exercise in the face of absurd and complex circumstance. Beck’s works of art have been featured in In the Make, Studio Visits with West Coast Artists, Works & Days Quarterly, Hyperallergic, and Dublin’s The Visual Artists News Sheet. She has received residency awards from the Virginia Center of Creative Arts, Can Serrat in El Bruc, Spain, Oberpfälzer Künstlerhaus in Schwandorf, Germany, and was Barstow Artist-in-Residence at Central Michigan University. She is a 2015 recipient of the Fath Scholarship for Artists and Artisans of the Book from the Rare Book School in Charlottesville, Virginia, and received a project grant from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts. Beck lives and works in Northern California.
Britt-Marie Alm is owner and Chief String Slinger of Love Fest Fibers, a San Francisco-based yarn and fiber goods company. She has spent much of the past two decades living and working on the Tibetan Plateau and founded Love Fest with the aim of creating opportunities that keep pastoral livelihoods relevant and viable. Today she designs yarn and home goods through carefully nurtured partnerships in Tibet, Nepal, and at home on the West Coast. She holds an MA in Environment and Development from King’s College London, and a BA in Environmental Studies and Anthropology from Pitzer College.
Streetcolor has yarnbombed all over the Bay Area, California and Paris, France with knitting, crocheting, and handmade felt. She has done numerous museum installations and was an artist-in-residence at the de Young Museum in 2014. Her work has been in Time, Oakland, and Diablo magazines, in Ukrainian and Chinese fashion magazines, and on NPR and Good Morning Sacramento. After the November election, she was inspired by the pink pussycat hats to create a more political and interactive art project, and began to work with galleries and community groups to make the Pom Poms and Politics Project. She writes at streetcolor.org.
Mary Corey March was born in Los Angeles to a cultural anthropologist and a sociologist in 1977. After living and traveling all over the world she made San Francisco her home 15 years ago. With undergraduate degrees in both History of Religions and Art, and MA degrees in both Education and Fine Art, she brings a varied perspective on human experience to her work. March’s work has been shown in galleries, museums, colleges, and cultural spaces in many parts of the country (including Los Angeles, Brooklyn, and San Francisco), and also recently in Switzerland. She has also organized and participated in projects with other artists internationally and created participatory works of art which people from anywhere in the world can contribute to.
Her participatory installations have been described as using attractive colors and textures as a “lure” which draws participants in. Once participants have decided to interact, they may find themselves able to dive deeper into more intense subject matter than they were expecting. March’s participatory works of art invite rather than dictate, creating frameworks for participants to explore ideas and emotions. The works of art create spaces and situations which enable people to share something of themselves and their own experience and perspective in ways which enable them to think more deeply about the experience and contextualize it with the experience of others.
March works in many mediums, from textural, handmade, craft-based materials to high tech collaborations. She often works in fiber and fiber techniques because of their metaphorical richness and because those techniques span the earliest human crafts to the basis of modern computing. She uses a very wide range of mediums because the experience and the expression of the concept and feel of a piece is the primary focus, and each idea will call for different materials and processes to express it.
Conceptually her work explores liminal spaces—edges, intersections, and connections between people, concepts, and systems—how we define ourselves and each other; where those definitions break down; how we explain our experiences; and what mediates, expresses, and influences them. She creates situations where these ideas can be explored and examined, inviting the revelations and transformations often encountered in liminal space.
Her installations create sculptural objects and spaces that serve as physical and metaphorical frameworks for the interactive portion of the work, which often involves text or symbols. Her text is chosen with the extreme care of poetry (and research questions) in the certain knowledge that how one asks a question or makes a statement can be as important as the content itself. Her installations invite certain kinds of physical interaction, with every aspect carefully thought out in impact—from the texture of materials to their weight in the hand—in the understanding that how people interact and feel physically impacts our thoughts and how we interact emotionally and mentally.
Ari Salomon was born in Israel, raised in San Diego, and is now based in San Francisco. He received a BA from University of California, Santa Cruz in 1993 in Art History, with a focus on contemporary art theory and studio photography. He has exhibited across the US as well as internationally in Tokyo, Paris, and Lodz, Poland. His work is rooted in reinterpreting the tradition of street photography. He takes the performative process of discovering candid people and places and gives it a twist. He is also interested in how photography can reveal the nature and limitations of human perception.
Jon Levy-Warren grew up on the Upper West Side of Manhattan surrounded by people. He has spent his life allowing himself to be transported into other people’s little worlds. He studied visual and cultural anthropology as an undergraduate at Princeton University and has been making figurative paintings ever since. Levy-Warren lived in Brooklyn, New York, and Stockholm, Sweden before moving to San Francisco in 2012. He continues to be inspired primarily by people and their environs. He has shown extensively at galleries in San Francisco.
The wood for this sukkah was donated in part by SapphirePine.
SapphirePine transforms some of the 100 million California trees killed by drought and tiny mountain beetles into beautiful furniture and durable lumber. The beetles that kill the trees also bring a blue-stain fungus that give the wood its stunning blue, green, and orange highlights. Sapphire Pine gives this wood a new life.
For more information, please visit www.sapphirepine.com.