Putting yourself out there

Caravan - Abbaye de Saint-Germain-des-Pre¦üs_46These kind people made up part of the audience during my last public speaking engagement in Paris’ Saint Germain des Pres as part of the opening ceremony of The Bridge exhibition. Considering that I spoke in French, I didn’t do too badly (so I’m told). The more one speaks in public about one’s art, the greater the understanding of one’s own work – the inspiration, motivation, and process leading up to the final piece. 

This past year has been filled with such opportunities. I would highly recommend that artists not shy away from speaking engagements or interviews if they get the chance. Sure, it takes a lot of preparation and time away from the studio, not to mention the stress and nerves that go along with public speaking. However, there are benefits:

  • Forces you to order your thoughts and take the time to think about your art
  • Gaining unexpected insight into your own work 
  • Engaging the public who are often receptive and interested in what the artist has to say 
  • The feedback is usually very positive and sheds new and often surprising light on your work
  • Making yourself known to the community
  • Speaking engagements often lead to further invitations and added interest in your art
  • Networking 
  • Boosts self-confidence

My upcoming talk ‘Can Art play a role in the ever growing divide between cultures and religions?‘ will cover general and specific examples of how art can be used as both a weapon and a tool for social justice.  Some of the topics covered will be the recent terror attacks on Charlie Hebdo, The Bridge exhibition, Nazi propaganda and the importance of art that bears witness. As for my list of benefits, the press release about my work and presentation caught the eye of Northern Virginia Magazine and that led to a feature article in today’s culture and entertainment section!

Full details about my talk on May 11th here: Lilianne Milgrom Artist Talk flier. Open to the public.

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Vive la liberté!

When freedom of expression is muzzled, Art withers and dies. We cannot allow our culture to be terrorized and blackmailed. We must stand together to defend our heritage of freedom and creative expression. In the wake of the tragic terrorist attacks in Paris, France, it is uncannily timely to announce the upcoming interfaith, peace-building art exhibition in which I will be participating and have played the role of co-curator. The exhibition is titled The Bridge (Le Pont) and will open in Paris at the historic Church of Saint Germain des Pres, the oldest church in Paris.

Bridge Poster-Final 040115

I will be traveling to Paris to help set up the show. The exhibition will act as an emissary of peace, traveling from Paris to Brussels, Rome, London, Cairo and the United States for 18 months. I am very honored to have played a key role and to be exhibiting my own painting alongside 46 artists of Arab, Persian and Jewish backgrounds. Below is the image of my painting entitled Narrow Bridge followed by my brief artist’s statement that explains how I found inspiration for this painting in the wise words of a hassidic mystic from the 18th century….

MILGROM Narrow bridge

ARTIST STATEMENT ON ‘NARROW BRIDGE’

“The whole world is a narrow bridge.

The main thing to remember is not to be afraid.”

Rabbi Nachman of Bratislav (1772-1810)

Within minutes of being invited to participate in The Bridge exhibition, the words of a popular Hebrew song began playing in my mind: Kol ha’olam kulo gesher tzar me’od, v’haikar lo lefached. (The whole world is a narrow bridge. The main thing to remember is not to be afraid). I was surprised to learn that these words are attributed to the rabbinical sage, Rabbi Nachman of Bratislav, born in Ukraine in the 18th century and the great-grandson of the founder of Hassidism, a mystical branch of Orthodox Judaism.

These few words have survived intact over the centuries yet they capture the essence of this exhibition. If ever there has was a time to reach across cultures, religions, borders and peoples in order to pull the world back from the brink, it is NOW. My painting ‘Narrow Bridge’ is a crude reminder that in order to bridge our differences we must conquer our fears and reach a hand across that narrow bridge without looking down.

Lilianne Milgrom

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IF YOU FIND YOURSELF IN PARIS IN THE MONTH OF FEBRUARY PLEASE JOIN US IN FORGING UNDERSTANDING AND PEACE THROUGH ART. MORE INFORMATION ON THE EXHIBITION HERE.

YOUR COMMENTS WELCOME AT THIS DIFFICULT TIME.

General Invite Paris -English