Ritual has the power to create community, encourage the expression of joy, connect with self and planet, and bring people together to celebrate our humanity. Many important memories and events are “woven” into personally treasured objects.

Bet Ha'am: House of the People

Sustainably harvested applewood, maple, red dogwood,
archival 140lb. paper, purchased reed, wood dyes, pigment inks, thread
52"L x 40"W x 22"D
2015

In Jewish Tradition we kiss the Torah, prayer shawls, and some ceremonial objects to show love, respect and remembering. Members of Reform Congregation Bet Ha'am in South Portland, Maine were invited to kiss a triangle of paper while thinking about what they love about their congregation. These were sewn together into stars and then sewn together end to end, colored, and placed in a wall hung vessel evoking the Burning Bush and the ner tamid: eternal flame. More than 200 people participated in this project, which was part of a Maine Jewish Museum invitational exhibition of art inspired by Maine's Synagogues.

Photo by Jay York


Dwelling Place Too

mixed hardwoods and fiber
9' wide x 9' long x 8.5' high
Oregon Jewish Museum Sukkah PDX 2014

Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education:
Sukkah PDX 2014 International Exhibition

How Beautiful are Thy Tents: wedding canopy

mixed hardwoods, dye, mixed fiber
7.5' H x 7' W x 6.5' D
2012

COMMISSIONS WELCOME
 
wedding canopy
photo by Aaron Flacke
 

Ready for wedding ceremony at Etz Chaim Synagogue, Portland, Maine 2013

Dwelling Place : Sukkah  2011 - 2012

Dwelling Place
Co-sponsored by University of New England 2012
 

Sukkot is a Jewish Fall Festival intended to joyfully reconnect people with the spirit of nature and forces larger than ourselves. It is a reminder that Jews wandered for 40 years in the desert with no permanent home. All are welcome: nature does not recognize religious or national boundaries. As we rejoice in our blessings we also remember that there are still people in our own communities who do not have a permanent home, whose experience of nature is often harsh and dangerous.

Co-sponsored by the University of Southern Maine 2011

 

Traditional Jews eat, sleep and live in the Sukkah for a week, as weather permits. The roof, made of natural materials only, is required to be somewhat open to the sky, enough to see the stars. I have used local branches and saplings along with recycled plastic to create a space for celebration, community, contemplation, and prayer.

 

For more information, see Portland Press Herald article.

Project sponsored by Southern Maine Hillel and colleges and universities in the region. Funded in part by the 2011 Linda and Joel Abromson Award.

photos by Rosalba Breazeale

More photographs and history of the process and installation of this project.

Mezuzah Cover
Congregation Bet Ha'am, Portland, Maine

plexiglas with standard size Kosher scroll.
2009

In creating this mezuzah cover for the Congregation’s new building, I considered the power of words and prayer to inspire and focus us. Hebrew calligraphy has the ability to connect us to a history, a people, and a source of identity. This ancient text seemed too beautiful to be completely hidden, yet too complex in its intent to be left completely visible at first glance. The curves of the sanctuary roof and the simplicity of the contemporary building design led to the shape and material I used. Plexiglass is warm and, when sanded, silken to the touch. I wanted the person touching it to look forward to touching/seeing it again. I wanted the text under our fingers to be the focus of attention.

The Queen of Duplicate Bridge

An ode to my mother, utilizing her mementos. 2004
collage: paper, fiber, ink, acrylic, found objects
h 18" w 14.6"
photo by Jay York
Full size Giclee Print available for purchase.

punctuation series

terra cotta, stains, underglaze, glazes, raku
dimensions: h 3" x w 4" each

Ceremonial objects for the transition to womanhood. Created for a collaborative project with letters, each made by a different artist. So much about our society and the English language is called “generic”, yet is actually male. It seemed that a “woman’s touch” might be useful, as well as fun. This literal interpretation led to an exploration of the material as well as the concept. 2005

Hebrew Blessing

terra cotta, stains
h 8-12" w 9" each

Wall hung two-part blessing for the Fruit of the Tree 2003