Friday, July 31, 2009

A Joy to Behold

We're in the Jewish Review again! Our very own Laura Joy Fendel is featured in this week's edition of the Portland Jewish paper. A lovely article, written by ORA member Julie Hockley, highlights Laura Joy and her magnificent fabric artworks.

Laura, an accomplished teacher and published author, is now enjoying a second career as an interior designer and fiber artist. Her works are alive with vibrance and creativity.

You can read the article online, or check out page 15 of the actual paper to read about Laura Joy, and see her smiling face!

Of course Laura's beautiful and unique fabric vases, mosaics, and more will be featured in our Celebration of Art on Sunday, October 25th at Mittleman JCC. Come and experience the Joy!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Review the Review

Check out this week's Jewish Review for a great article about our very own Rosana Berdichevsky! It's a nice piece about Rosana's journey through life and art, and the quest to hold on to your artistic longings despite the challenges of life. Sabina Wohlfeiler did a lovely job writing this one.

We hope to have a number of our artists featured in the Review during the coming months, leading up to our Celebration of Art on October 25th. It's great to get this support from our local Jewish paper!

Celebration of Art!
Sunday, October 25, 2009
at Mittleman JCC
free admission

Monday, July 13, 2009

A Match Made in... Norway!

Somehow I never did post this, but it's never too late to share good news! Eddy Shuldman's magnificent Torah Breastplate has found a permanent home... in Oslo, Norway!

Early this year, Rabbi Leila Berner came to town. Among other things, she was raising funds to purchase a Torah to be sent to Oslo, Norway where a small Jewish community had been making due without a Torah of their own.

The purchased Torah is actually a "rescued" Torah that was repaired by a Sofer in Maryland! A number of Torahs were hidden away during the holocaust to protect them from the Nazis. Several of these Torahs have been discovered and lovingly repaired.

Rabbi Leila saw Eddy's Sh'mot-themed Torah adornment and asked to purchase it as an accompaniment to the Oslo Torah.

Eddy says: "This is an honor beyond words. My father was a holocasut survivor and he spoke occasionally of his efforts to hide a Torah. In Pirke Avot we read: 'You are not required to complete the task but you are also not free to withdraw from it.' My father understood that. He couldn't complete the rescue of his Torah but he did teach me Torah."

For more details about this wonderful 'shiddach' and the fused-glass breastplate itself, go to Eddy's blog at and click on "older posts."

Friday, July 10, 2009

Plein Air Painting

Leslie Elder writes:

This Summer I have been enjoying getting outside doing a bit of plein air painting. Plein air means fresh air (or something like that) in French. It started with a workshop with oil painter Aimee Erickson (Multnomah Art Center) doing plein air oil painting for 3 days in Multnomah Village.

I used my portable french easel and set up in the village to paint with oil for the first time. About ten artists scattered across the village to record the scene, much to the delight (or amusement, in some cases) of passersby. Oil paint is great to use for plein air painting because it is slow to dry. Although I am mainly a watercolor painter, I was eager to try out my oils in this setting. Watercolors dry so quickly out in the open air, they are more of a challenge to use outside, especially in warm weather.

It's hard to go back into my studio with the weather continuing to be so fine. Yesterday, I went with my Watercolor Society of Oregon critique group to paint up in the Columbia Gorge. They didn't seem to mind that I painted with oils.

One of my favorite painters, Eric Wiegardt, said at a workshop once, that painting plein air is a good way to fill up your creative well. If you paint from photos too much, after awhile your 'well' can become dry because you have to work to create excitement in your your painting. When you paint from life, the excitement flows naturally from your subject matter.