I am a realist. I highly doubt that Art can heal the world.
But I am also a citizen of the world and an artist. If I don’t try to make a difference in the only way I know how, then I may as well raise my arms in defeat. Despite the constant barrage of tragic news coming from all corners of the globe, I still cling to the hope and belief in the common thread of humanity that connects us all. That’s why I am delighted to be participating in AMEN – A Prayer for the World, an interfaith, intercultural exhibition organized by the CARAVAN NGO, bringing together Egyptian and Western artists of all faiths and creeds.
AMEN: A Prayer for the World is opening to the public tomorrow at the National Cathedral in Washington, DC and then moving onto the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine in NYC in October. The 48 artists were provided with a life sized fiberglass form of a figure in prayer to do with as we saw fit. I transformed my figure into a receptacle for accepting digital prayers to send to the Cloud. Prayer, after all, is a universal dialogue and I wanted to provide the viewer with a chance to send his or her prayer out to the world. It certainly can’t hurt.
I URGE YOU TO TAKE 10 SECONDS TO SCAN THE QR CODE OR GO TO VIRTUALANGEL.WEEBLY.COM TO PARTICIPATE IN MY INTERACTIVE INSTALLATION. And if you can come to DC or NY to see this meaningful exhibition, you will be fascinated by the different ways in which artists interpret prayer.
I will be present at the National Cathedral in Washington DC on SEPTEMBER 20, 2014 BETWEEN 1-3 PM. I hope to see you there. Have a Blessed Day!
I have only been a fellow at the VCCA artist colony for four days, but it has been equivalent to 4 weeks in terms of the work that one is able to accomplish here. Having such places like VCCA dedicated to the creative arts is truly the mark of civilized societies. Luck of the draw had me installed in the largest, brightest, most coveted studio. It was overwhelming at first to see my three little boxes of art paraphernalia and a half dozen canvases taking up so little space in the huge studio.
I am working on a few different ideas but will share my first piece inspired by my surroundings. The studio faces a wall of green – a riotous nature party. Bushes, grasses, climbing vines, trees, scrub, you name it. I almost immediately felt the encroachment of the green living flora into my space. In a good way: My normal news junkie mode receded and I was able to experience being in the moment. So here’s a look at the piece I completed on my first day:
I am soaking up the atmosphere, the uninterrupted time and the company of talented artists, brilliant authors and poets and composers from all over the world. In short, I am in seventh Heaven.
PS. NEWS FLASH!!! Just found out my work has been included in a group exhibition of Israeli artists working under the confines of the current hostilities. It is called The Iron Dome &Tear.
Although I am not currently in Israel, I produced work there during the Intifada and sadly, the work is still relevant. It features a projection of my open mouth screaming STOP!! The word STOP! is etched at the base of my throat as if stuck in the bog of my helplessness and powerlessness.
So many people regard artists enviously, wishing they could have the life they believe artists lead. But let me tell you, creating is damn hard work. It is often defeating, unrewarding, even soul-destroying. But it can also be enormously satisfying – ecstatically so. The thing is, it’s hard to be creative when your attention is divided between the demands of family, pets, piling laundry, car inspections, food shopping and social engagements.
That’s why so many artists, writers, poets and musicians compete to apply for coveted artist residencies. These residencies, offered by numerous foundations, artist colonies, academic institutions and retreats, provide creative professionals a physical and mental space conducive to, and focused on, pure artistic creation with no disruptions. I am thrilled to announce that I have been offered a residency at the prestigious Virginia Center for the Creative Arts (VCCA) starting on August 21st.
Past residents and fellows of VCCA have garnered esteemed prizes such as the MacArthur Genius Grant, Guggenheim fellowships and Pulitzer Prizes. I am both excited and cowed by the prospect of working in an environment amidst such talented peers. I don’t really have a set idea of what I will be working on but I have to keep in mind VCCA’s motto: BECAUSE A CREATIVE SPACE IS A CREATIVE EDGE.
It is the process and not the result that is important. I look forward to new beginnings and intend to share my insights on this blog.