Monday, September 29, 2008

Leslie Does It Again!

Our wonderful painter Leslie Elder let it slip that her watercolor painting
"Tea with Iris" has been juried into the Fall Watercolor Society of Oregon show. The show will be at the Events Center in Florence, Oregon and will open October 4th from 4:30-5:30pm. The show will hang until October 29th.

For further info about the show and the Watercolor Society, visit their website:

Of course, if you can't get out to Florence, you can come see lots of Leslie's beautiful paintings at our CELEBRATION OF ART on October 12th!! As you know by now, it will be held at from 10 am - 4 pm at MJCC. See you there!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Broken Thread

I'm in a fight-to-the-finish struggle with my latest beading project. It became apparent early in the process that this one would be a test. First, the thread kept breaking and tangling. Then, one of the beads broke, which meant I had to re-do a whole section of the project. It was tempting to give up at that point. But I've come to recognize that this is a challenge to my determination. And I am VERY determined: this project will be completed, and it will be exhibited. So I bit the bullet, and re-did that whole section.

Finally the beadwork was completed, and it was time to fit it over the glass candle holder. Guess what? It didn't fit! The beading was so tight (yes, that's what broke the bead), it actually broke the glass!! I'll tell you... the sight of all that broken glass in my hands was very powerful, especially since this is a Holocaust Yizkor candle!

So, what does one do at that point? How can it work as a Yizkor candle cover if it won't fit over the glass? Well, first I sulked for a few days. Then I sat down with a whole box of yizkor candle glasses, and tried every single one, till I found one that fits! It turns out that different brands are slightly different sizes, and the weird brand from Israel fits just fine. Heh-heh! Point for Esther.

But this thing doesn't give up! It turned out that the glass I chose was cracked. Sigh, back to the box. I found another that would work, but the candle is very firmly melted into the glass, and I'm having a surprisingly hard time getting it out. Fear not, though, I will prevail. The candle will come out, the label will come off, and the candle will go back in properly. And this piece WILL be exhibited at our Art Show on October 12th.

It's a Holocaust piece, it's important, and it's been an amazing challenge. But I am determined to have my artistic voice be heard. After the show, I will post a picture of the finished piece here. But I hope everyone will come and see it in person.

Celebration of Art
Sunday, October 12, 2008
10 am - 4 pm
6651 SW Capitol Hwy, Portland

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Benefit of Playing Mah Jongg

I had a great time yesterday, playing Mah Jongg at a luncheon to benefit the Oregon Jewish Museum. We had wonderful Asian food, played a lot of Mah Jongg, and had a chance to schmooze with the Museum director, Judith Margles.

As you may recall, Judith and OJM have been very supportive of our group, so it was a double pleasure for me to participate in this event.

As for YOU, you'll want to check out the current and upcoming exhibits at the museum. Great things are in store for you!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Look Ma - We're Famous!

We've got a lovely article in this week's Jewish Review, all about our upcoming Celebration of Art, and the journey which has led us to holding it at the Mittleman Jewish Community Center. The Review was very generous with their space for us this year, and even included 4 color pictures! We're tickled pink - and blue and green and yellow and....

Sabina Wohlfeiler did a great job of making the contact with the Jewish Review, getting them the information, and following up to make sure everything worked out. Kudos Sabina! And thanks to Paul Haist at the Review for guiding the process along to fruition. This means a lot to us! We're also very grateful to a certain journalist who helped us get this article started. Not sure if he wants his name listed, so for now I'll just wink and say thank you!

To see the whole article, check this week's Jewish Review (the High Holidays edition), or read it online at:

Or you can see it on the "articles" page of our ORA website:

Note: Several artists' names were accidentally cut off in the printed version of the paper. But they are all included in both of these online versions.


Friday, September 19, 2008

The Artists are Coming!!

We had a pre-show meeting this week, and got our booth assignments. WE also got to meet a lot of our guest artists, some for the first time. It was great to match some faces to the names and the artwork! I'm getting excited about this show. There's going to be such beauty, and such wonderful variety! We have a great team running the show, and a beautiful facility to house it. There will be artists to meet, and lots of art to CELEBRATE!!

Keep an eye on the "Artists" page of our website. Soon there will be a new page added, featuring this year's Guest Artists. I think you're going to like it!!!

And be sure to mark your calendar:

Celebration of Art
Sunday, October 12, 2008
10 am - 4 pm
6651 SW Capitol Highway
Portland 97219

See you there!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

23 Vessels of Love

Eddy Shuldman writes:
A little over a week ago I completed my largest commission to date. In late May a friend asked me to make 20 blue wedding bowls that could be used as table centerpieces for her daughter’s wedding. The bowls are 15” in diameter and have the Hebrew word for love “Ahavah” in the center using dichroic glass letters. Her plan was to fill them with water and float candles in them. It became clear that given the size of my kiln and owning only one large bowl mold, I’d have to make a second shaped vessel and we agreed on an 11” square origami dish.

Then I broke my leg! I had plans to go to Europe and so I went. Upon my return I moved into production mode although my leg created a few obstacles in the process.

So what did I learn?
• It is possible to travel in Europe on crutches!
• Crutches force one to become more creative
• I am no longer excited by blue glass. I’m sure that will pass!
• Production work is NOT what I want to do.
• Variations on a theme allow you some sanity and provoke creativity.
• Mass production requires planning, organization and a commitment to get the job done.
• It probably sounds a little “woo-woo” but the glass really seems to flow when I stay focused on the spiritual side of my work. I think about the recipient, I try to “feel” the movement in the glass and suddenly the work just “comes.”

Best of all, I learned how to apply this last skill to being more efficient and economical in my work as I now prepare for our Celebration of Art show in October.
Oh yeah....and no more more crutches!!!!!! yay!

Eddy Shuldman

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Fabric Vase?!!

Tell the truth: when Laurie said she's working on Fabric Vases, didn't you wonder what in the world that was? Well, she revealed them yesterday! Check this out... it's so beautiful! And you put a jar of water inside for the flowers. How cool is that??

(Okay, I will admit that I might actually have to use it as a purse, but don't tell Laurie, okay?)

Come see more of these incredible creations at our Celebration of Art on October 12th at MJCC.

Meanwhile, see Laurie's web page:

Saturday, September 6, 2008

A Day of Art

It was a wonderful day, full of art, music, and celebration. First we all attended the Bat Mitzvah of Diane's daughter, Emma. What an experience! The congregation does almost the whole service in song, and the "regulars" do all sorts of beautiful harmonies. I loved it! And then the visual... they meet in a church, but have all sorts of cool textile hangings to bring about a Jewish environment. Of course, there were some very recognizable hand-painted silk items!! And then there was Emma... what an impressive girl! Most kids don't take on that much material in their drash, nor at such a serious level. But she took it on, and handled it well! I was very impressed. That girl is gonna go places!

After the service, there was a lovely lunch reception, and we had a great time playing Jewish Geography with people at our table.

Then the ORA women piled into Eddy's van, and headed over to Art In The Pearl. We weren't there to shop, but just to look. It was fun to analyze how various artists had set up their displays, and also to watch the reactions of the crowds to some of them. Of course, I tend to reach overload pretty quickly, but still got some good ideas. And they have a full weekend of live music there too. I even got to listen to some Balkan music... have I ever mentioned how much I like Balkan music?

But I digress. If you didn't get to Art In The Pearl this year, definitely go next year. It's always on Labor day. These are high-class artists, and it's fascinating to see both the art and the people. Here's their website:

And if you DID go this year, click on Comments, and share your observations!