Murals on canvas tell stories — and more — in myriad ways. The murals I create most often exist in the public sphere and therefore must live to rouse curiosities, questions, emotions and conversations about the subjects they portray. The process of creating a mural begins with a deep understanding of the project vision; and then conceiving of the images, symbols, patterns, colors, media and themes that will powerfully reveal this destination. In addition to the murals I design myself, I also lead workshops and collaborate with students or local groups to create community murals.
This residency will coincide with the remodeling of the lunchroom at the Hasten Hebrew Academy. I have been commissioned to design several large murals for the new space; one for each of the seven species — fruits and grains that symbolize the close relationship between the Jewish People and the Land of Israel. Students will paint the murals of wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives and dates.
I am often privileged to lead illustration workshops with children. These workshops are designed to provide children with ways to express — through their art — feelings about strong emotional themes often depicted in popular culture or in secular or religious literature. These are issues children encounter from time to time in the course of their own daily lives. Together, a book is read aloud, and some time is spent discussing it with the group. Then, each child illustrates a page of the book. Their drawings work to convey how they feel about the emotions portrayed in the story. The process of committing these feelings to paper or canvas can often become a therapeutic pathway for young people struggling to understand their increasingly complex worlds. These illustrations reveal important insights about how children react to emotional events, providing parents and teachers with more vivid barometers of their children’s emotional well-being.