The 2011 NYU Emerging Jewish Artist Fellowship Year-End Showcase at the Edgar M. Bronfman Center for Jewish Student Life was a cultural exploration in finding oneself in this world we live in.
Each year, the Emerging Jewish Artist Fellowship provides student artists with the means to create a project of their choice through a Jewish lens, taking the broadest approach possible to what defines a Jewish theme or idea. Stipends are awarded for any medium a student chooses. This year, students from undergraduate and graduate programs at NYU and the New School were awarded the fellowship including Sara Blechman, Scott Kaplan, Jess Lewis, Aimee Mosseri, Sophia LaVonne Smith, Jacob Goldman, Robert Kornstein, Seth Hamlin, Mira Stroika, and Rebecca Joslow. The year-end showcase brought together the final works by these student artists including an “exformance” by Seth Hamlin and a performance by the talented Mira Stroika.
Among the many paintings and digital works, one of the most powerful works about Jewish identity came from Parsons School of Design student, Rebecca Joslow. Her work entitled, Intersection of Religion and Philosophy, made up of pencil drawings, collage, and nail polish explored what it was to be a Jewish woman going through the rituals – both religious and social. The works on paper followed a narrative based on religious and philosophical views and their various implications. To me, this work exposes the struggle that women have; being constrained by their bodies.
All in all, it was an interesting look at some new and culturally focused work from young artists.