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Jewish Artists Fellowship

Jewish Artists Fellowship

Thursday, May 17, 2018 to Sunday, August 12, 2018

Spertus Institute announces its first Chicago Jewish Artists Fellowship. Nine accomplished artists were selected, each interested in conducting individual and collective research into the Jewish aspects of their identity and artistic practice.

The artists, all of whom live and work in the Chicago area, are: Nelly Agassi, Leslie Baum, Iris Bernblum, Dianna Frid , Matthew Girson, Jesse Malmed, Geof Oppenheimer, Roni Packer, and Rana Siegel.

The Fellowship program is co-directed by Spertus Institute’s Curator of Collections and Exhibitions Ionit Behar and curator, artist, and writer Ruslana Lichtzier. It begins in September 2017 with opportunities for the artists to learn from leading scholars, visit artists’ studios, and work closely with objects from Spertus Institute’s collections and archives. Through monthly meetings, the Fellows will engage and collaborate with each other, exploring topics from the complexities of Jewish heritage to how Jewish ethics and rituals intersect with contemporary politics. An exhibition of the Fellow’s new work will open at Spertus Institute in May 2018.

About the program, Ionit Behar said: “It is exciting to bring this talented group of artists together. We hope to provide a unique setting conducive to meaningful conversations and collaborations around issues relating to Jewish identity. The resulting body of work will be shared with the broader Chicago community though the final exhibition and accompanying events.”

Ruslana Lichtzier added: “The program will provide a nourishing environment for transformation. In this time of political and cultural divisions, the Fellowships provides a time and place for open and curious engagements, encouraging the coexistence of multiple opinions.”

The selected artists work in a range of mediums, including film, photography, performance, drawing, painting, and sculpture. Collectively, they have exhibited and presented in prestigious venues nationally and around the world.

Exhibitions at Spertus Institute are made possible in part by the Harry and Sadie Lasky and Charles & M.R. Shapiro Foundations.

Image at left

Jesse Malmed, Sketch, Marker on index cards on bulletin board (with tacks), 2016.