by Lilach Schrag, Artist-in-Residence This summer I had the pleasure of working with groups from five different aidot. During our daily meetings throughout the second two weeks of camp, Kochavim, Garinim, and Solelim created plaster sculptures, and Shoafim and Bogrim put together a large papercut installation.
After discussing the concept and theme of each collaborative project, campers learned the technique and saw examples of artwork using the technique in both Jewish and general art. All the pieces created by campers were incorporated into large collaborative artworks or exhibit for camp.
Kochavim worked in pairs to make portraits of creatures created betzelem Elohim (in the image of God). After sculpting with plaster, paint, and fabric on molds, Kochavim named their creations just like the Biblical Adam who gave names to God’s creatures.
Garinim concentrated on the Havdallah service. Each camper created a flame sculpture using wire, plaster, and paint. All individual flames were then assembled on a painted wood base to form one collaborative flame sculpture.
Preparing for their summer musical Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, Solelim shared thoughts about what their personal “golden ticket” is, looking for a value that is precious in their lives. They embossed metal “tickets” with Hebrew words representing values such as friendship, family school, pets, love, and acceptance. Next, they used plaster bandages to each cast their own hand in plaster. Together, they decided to paint the hands in rainbow and gold colors and arrange them in a circle with their corresponding tickets.
Inspired by what they learned about paper cutting from traditional Jewish art to large contemporary art installations, Shoafim and Bogrim designed a large 19’ x 7’ x 9’ paper cut installation for the windows and ceiling above the main entrance of the front dining room. The work features Jewish imagery and Hebrew text depicting the seven species (Deuteronomy 8:8) and part of Birkat Hamazon (Deuteronomy 8:10). Large Tyvek sheets (industrial polyethylene fibers) were cut with x-acto knives, painted, and assembled into a collaborative artwork that enhances the spirit of the gathering in the room.
On your next visit to camp, be sure to look for these beautiful collaborative creations!