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Jewish Culture & IdeasContemporary Art

Tikkun: For the Cosmos, the Community, and Ourselves

Feb 17, 2022–Jan 8, 2023

Tikkun: For the Cosmos, the Community, and Ourselves presents works by thirty Bay Area–based contemporary artists reflecting on the Jewish concept of tikkun (Hebrew for “to repair”). In a moment of collective challenges and uncertainty, this exhibition re-examines the term tikkun as a phenomenon of care and interconnectedness that is grounded in personal action, environmental responsibility, and community, unfixed from its evolving meanings throughout history. Taken together, the works in this exhibition consider how the concept of tikkun can help us look critically both inward and outward, guide us through change, and build resilience for the ongoing work of repair.

Tikkun: For the Cosmos, the Community, and Ourselves is the twelfth iteration of The Dorothy Saxe Invitational, The Contemporary Jewish Museum’s longest-running exhibition commitment, endowed in Dorothy’s name by her late husband George Saxe z”l. Historically, The Dorothy Saxe Invitational has invited contemporary artists to contribute original works that respond to a specific Jewish ritual object. In recent years, it has broadened to explore themes related to Jewish ideas and cultural practices. 

Continuing the tradition of The Dorothy Saxe Invitational, all artworks on view in this exhibition are for sale. Proceeds will benefit the artists and The CJM’s mission and exhibition programming. View the price list here; please note that artwork sales are completed at the close of the exhibition after January 8, 2023.

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About the artists

Jose arias

Jose Arias is a first-generation Mexican-American, Queer, Veteran, artist living in San Francisco. He is currently producing a body of work that broadens the conversation around what it means to be an American. Through explorations of national iconography, material deconstruction, and intimate family portraiture, Arias is developing a photographic vernacular that explores our relationship to the land that we inhabit, inherit, and occupy.

Miguel Arzabe

Miguel Arzabe lives and works in Oakland, California. Arzabe’s work has been featured in such festivals as Hors Pistes (Centre Pompidou, Paris) and the Geumgang Nature Art Biennale (Gongju, South Korea); and in museums and galleries including MAC Lyon (France), MARS Milan (Italy), RM Projects (Auckland), FIFI Projects (Mexico City), Berkeley Art Museum, Albuquerque Museum of Art, the de Young Museum, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. 

Bonanza

Bonanza is the collaborative practice of Conrad Guevara, Lindsay Tully, and Lana Williams. Their singular name, Bonanza, acts as the persona under which they perform, and it is with this moniker that they challenge the notion of the singular, heroic artist. Bonanza’s diverse projects include installation, film, fashion, and performance. Their work strategically challenges the fixity of identity through different forms of signaling, posturing, flexibility, and resilience.

maria Guzmán capron

Maria A. Guzmán Capron was born in Italy to Colombian and Peruvian parents. She received her MFA from California College of the Arts, San Francisco, in 2015 and her BFA from the University of Houston, Texas in 2004. Her solo exhibitions have included Texas State Galleries, San Marcos; Premier Junior, San Francisco; Roll Up Project, Oakland; and Guerrero Gallery, San Francisco. 

Jillian Crochet

Jillian Crochet is an interdisciplinary artist based in the Bay Area working in sculpture, video, and performance to confront grief and disability. Her practice seeks to liberate the disabled body from normalized marginalization and oppression. She is a 2020–21 Artist in Residence at Art Beyond Sight’s Art & Disability program and was a 2020–21 Graduate Fellow at Headlands Center for the Arts. 

Ocean escalanti

Ocean Escalanti is an Indigenous poet and artist living in Oakland, California with a focus in illustration and textile. In proximity to nature, Escalanti forages for plants locally, pressing pigments into fibers through the process of bundle dyeing. She completed her BFA in 2016 at the San Francisco Art Institute majoring in Printmaking. Currently she is a Print Monitor at Max’s Garage Press in Berkeley.  

Nicole Phungrasamee Fein

Nicole Phungrasamee Fein (b. 1974, Evanston, Illinois) grew up in Santa Barbara, California. She attended Tufts University (BA), the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (BFA), and Mills College, Oakland, CA (MFA). Her work is represented by Nancy Hoffman Gallery in New York, Hosfelt Gallery in San Francisco, and Devin Borden Gallery in Houston. Fein has exhibited nationally and internationally including in Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Paris, London, Zurich, and Berlin. Her work has been reviewed in ArtForum, The Week, The Philadelphia Inquirer, the San Francisco Chronicle, Artweek, and ARTnews. Her work is included in permanent public collections including at the Achenbach Foundation at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco; Berkeley Art Museum; Blanton Museum; Fogg Museum; Hammer Museum; Menil Drawing Institute; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Whitney Museum of American Art, among others. She lives and works in San Francisco. 

Terri Friedman

After receiving her BA from Brown University and her MFA from the Claremont Graduate School, Terri Friedman exhibited her kinetic sculptures at such venues as the San Jose Museum of Art, MOCA’s Geffen Contemporary, Orange County Museum of Art, and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. She recently completed a large-scale installation for the entry of Facebook’s Virtual Reality Building and was a recipient of a San Francisco Artadia Award (2021).  

Nicki Green

Nicki Green is a transdisciplinary artist working primarily in clay. Her sculptures, ritual objects and various flat works explore topics of history preservation, conceptual ornamentation and the aesthetics of otherness. She has exhibited internationally, notably at the New Museum, New York; Musée d’Art Moderne, Paris, France; and The Contemporary Jewish Museum, San Francisco. Green was a 2020 ART MATTERS fellow, 2019 John Michael Kohler Art Center resident and SFMOMA SECA Award Finalist, among others. She received a BFA from San Francisco Art Institute (2009) and an MFA from UC Berkeley (2018). 

Beth Grossman

Beth Grossman is a social practice artist whose art and participatory performances are points of entry into the ongoing dialogue about interpretation of history and religion, our place in nature, and the power of social beliefs. Based in the Bay Area, she has collaborated internationally with individuals, communities, universities, corporations, local governments, non-profit organizations, and museums around the world. 

Angela Hennessy

Angela Hennessy is an Oakland-based artist and Associate Professor at California College of the Arts, where she teaches courses on visual and cultural narratives of death and textile theory. Through writing, studio work, and performance, her practice questions assumptions about death and the dead themselves. Hennessy creates ephemeral and celestial forms constructed with everyday gestures of domestic labor—washing, wrapping, stitching, weaving, brushing, and braiding. 

Liz Hernández

Liz Hernández is a Mexican artist based in Oakland, California. Her art practice—which includes painting, drawing, sculpture, and writing—is deeply influenced by her memories and surroundings of Mexico City. The subjects Hernández addresses are in a constant state of flux, but an element that is always present in her practice is the search for something that breaks the normalcy of the everyday. 

Leah King

Leah King is a curator, artist, musician, and educator born and raised in the Bay Area. Her work is deeply rooted in Afrofuturist aesthetics, joyful noises, and unabashed reclamations. She has been a YBCA Political Power Fellow, Converse Rubber Tracks Berlin Artist Resident, and was an inaugural artist-in-residence in the Artist Studios at The CJM program at The Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco. 

Lisa Kokin

Lisa Kokin lives and works in El Sobrante, California. The daughter of upholsterers, Kokin stitches everything she can get her hands on, including discarded books which she rescues from the local recycling center. Kokin brings a fiber sensibility and a conceptual approach to a diverse array of materials. Her work is often a commentary on the world around her, often incorporating the age-old Jewish response to adversity: humor. 

Geralyn Montano

Geralyn Montano was born in Colorado to a Dineh (Navajo) father and mother of French, Spanish, Comanche, and Pueblo ancestry. She received her formal art education from the San Francisco Art Institute, where she studied interdisciplinary arts including, drawing, painting, and sculpture. Her art practice is informed by exploration in Native American culture, history, mythology, and contemporary social issues related to colonization. 

Ramekon O'Arwisters

Growing up in the Jim Crow South during the Civil Rights Movement, Ramekon O’Arwisters had a safe haven: quilting with his grandmother, where he was “embraced, important, and special.” Employing ordinary household or decorative pottery, broken and discarded, O’Arwisters combined traditional crafts into a dimensional woven tapestry, stripping both cloth and ceramic of their intended function.   

Yétúndé Olagbaju

Yétúndé Olagbaju is an artist, organizer, cultural strategist, educator, and maker currently residing in Oakland, California. They utilize video, sculpture, action, gesture, and performance as through-lines for inquiries regarding Black labor, legacy, and processes of healing. They have shown work with the Oakland Museum of California, Portland Institute of Contemporary Art, Pt. 2 Gallery, Southern Exposure, SOMArts Cultural Center, Untitled Art Fair, Art Basel, and more.

Woody De othello

Woody De Othello is a Bay Area–based artist whose works merge the figurative and anthropomorphic elements of everyday objects to build a presence of material just outside our understanding of scale and gravity. Working in multiple mediums, De Othello’s work is included in the collections of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the San Jose Museum of Art, and the Rennie Collection in Vancouver.

Gay Outlaw

Gay Outlaw is a San Francisco-based artist working primarily in sculpture, photography, and printmaking and is known for her "rigorous and unexpected explorations of material." When asked the meaning of her work, Outlaw says, "The message is no message. I call it formal free association". She continually explores duality in the different aspects of her work; for example, illusion vs. reality, mundane vs. cosmic, and temporary vs. permanent. Outlaw has worked in San Francisco since the early 1990s and has presented her work in solo exhibitions at venues such as the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; California State University, Long Beach; and the Mills College Art Museum in Oakland. 

Maria Paz

Maria Paz is a self-taught ceramic sculptor based in Oakland, California. Paz’s work has been exhibited at Di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art (Napa), Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (San Francisco), San Jose Institute of Contemporary Arts (San Jose), and Pt. 2 Gallery (Oakland). Her ceramic sculptures explore themes of immigration, ancestral reparations, and community healing. 

Carissa Potter

Carissa Potter is an artist and mother in Oakland, California. She is a founding member of Colpa Press, the founder of People I’ve Loved, and co-founder of If You Were Here Now. Recent awards include 2021 50 Most Inspiring People by AdAge and 24 People Making the World A Better Place by Cosmopolitan.  

Rachelle Reichert

Rachelle Reichert is a visual artist and art educator based in the San Francisco Bay Area, California (Chochenyo Muwekma Ohlone territory). She creates drawings and sculptures to explore ecological concerns caused by technology. Her artwork is included in many public and private collections, including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Archive and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago Library.

Clare Rojas

Clare Rojas currently works in the San Francisco Bay Area and is an integral member of the Mission School. She works between many artistic disciplines, including painting, drawing, sculpture, video, and music. Her work addresses gender roles and female sexuality, the relationship between humans and nature, and the universality of forms found in our environment. Her work has been reviewed in The Huffington Post, Artforum, Art in America, the New York Times, and Art Review.

Leah Rosenberg

Leah Rosenberg works across artistic media to spark new experiences of color. Using painting, installation, printmaking, sculpture, performance, and video, she invites viewers to consider how color can be perceived both multi-sensorially and multi-dimensionally. Based in San Francisco, Rosenberg has shown work, participated in artist residency programs, and been awarded fellowships locally, nationally, and internationally. 

William Scott

William Scott has practiced at Creative Growth Art Center since 1992. While deeply rooted in personal history, Scott’s paintings address wider questions of citizenship, community, and cultural memory. His work is included in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art and The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; LACMA, Los Angeles; Oakland Museum of California; and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. 

Tosha Stimage

Tosha Stimage is a multidisciplinary artist living and working in Berkeley, California. She holds an MFA from California College of the Arts, and a BFA from Columbus College of Art and Design. Stimage’s work centers language and examines its modality in relation to our human systems. Her installations involve painting, drawing, print, and collage work that reassign historical visual forms, their transmission, and context for the here and now.  

Lava Thomas

Born in Los Angeles, California, Lava Thomas studied at UCLA’s School of Art Practice and received a BFA from California College of the Arts. Thomas tackles issues of race, gender, representation, and memorialization through a multidisciplinary practice that spans drawing, painting, photography, sculpture, and site-specific installations. Thomas is a recipient of the 2021 Academy of Arts and Letters Purchase Prize and the 2020 San Francisco Artadia Award. 

Connie Zheng

Connie Zheng is a Chinese-born artist, writer, and filmmaker based out of Oakland, California. Her work examines diasporic memory, ecological elegy, and divergent articulations of hope from an environmental justice perspective, with particular attention to speculative fictions and nonlinear temporalities.

Supporters

Lead Sponsorship of The Dorothy Saxe Invitational is generously provided by an endowed gift from George Saxe, z”l, in honor of Dorothy R. Saxe. Generous support is also provided by Grants for the Arts.

Image Credit

Header image: Terri Friedman, You don’t get to know (detail), 2021. Friedman Benda Gallery, A New Realism, curated by Glenn Adamson, June 2021. Photo: Josef Jacques.