Ruby Re-Usable and Second-hand Sid visited several art galleries in Seattle’s Pioneer Square this past weekend, including Howard House, where the theme tikkun olam is explored in an exhibit entitled Tikkunim: Jewish roots/Ecological Art
We were particularly excited to see work by Mierle Laderman Ukeles, who has been creating conceptual art about NYC waste since the 1970’s. She is represented here with photographs of her most recent work in Israel. These photos just do not convey the magnitude of Mierle’s importance in the eco-art movement, nor her intense way of involving the public in her art. Learn more about Mierle Laderman Ukeles HERE and HERE
Our favorite pieces were Ilene Sunshine‘s 3-D drawings made from discarded Christmas tree branches. More ephemeral idea than object, the combination of ironic materials, delicate designs and exquisite craftsmanship kept us intrigued.
We also appreciated the plastic bottles turned precious vases and goblets by Shari Mendelson; we were surprised, though, that none of Shari’s pieces made any direct references to Jewish ceremonial cups, especially since it is Passover and we thought an Elijah’s cup would be de rigueur in such a display.
The models for George Ostrow‘s salvaged materials sukkahs were nice, but the actual sukkah that was installed in the gallery was a box-like structure constructed out of dark wooden slats reminiscent of cattle cars; this temporary dwelling usually designed to celebrate the fall harvest was devoid of festive decorations. It felt lonely and depressing, but we doubt this was the artist’s intention.
Curated by Tamar Benzikry-Stern and co-sponsored by AJC Seattle Jewish Film Festival, other artists featured are Jackie Brookner, Manya Fox, Beverly Naidus, Ann T. Rosenthal, Sharon Siskin, and Ruth Wallen
Todah Rabah to Howard House for hosting this show; we look forward to seeing more art exhibits combining ecological/environmental/sustainable/green issues with Jewish themes in the future, and hope that they continue to include Northwest Jewish artists (2 out of the 10 artists in this show currently live in Seattle).