The Rashi Effect: The Artist as Commentator

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Life , 2010 Collage 23" X 20" © Courtesy of the Artist and Platt/Borstein Galleries at American Jewish University
The Rashi Effect: The Artist as Commentator

15600 Mulholland Drive
Bel Air, CA 90077
December 12th, 2010 - April 10th, 2011
Opening: December 12th, 2010 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM

san fernando valley
310.476.9777 ext. 201
September – Mid-May: Sun-Thu 10-4; Fri 10-2 / Mid-May – August: Mon-Thu 10-7
collage, photography, installation


Amazing and eclectic art will be on display at American Jewish University’s The Rashi Effect; Artist as Commentator Exhibit, opening on Sunday, December 12.  Meet the artists at a free reception being held from 1PM-3PM at AJU’s Platt and Borstein Galleries at 15600 Mulholland Drive , Bel Air. All exhibitors are members of the Jewish Artists Initiative, an organization based at USC whose mission is to inspire art and address concerns with the hopes of transforming the LA Jewish community.

Kate Alkarni has worked in many different artistic areas, including technical illustrating, film writing, sculpting, wardrobe styling, and fine art, with shows in the US and London. She is now working on an autobiography.

Bill Aron began taking pictures to try and connect his past to his present and figure out what his future might hold. His trip to Russia inspired his work documenting the Jews of many world areas, titled From The Corners of the Earth.

Madeleine Avirov’s oil paintings span different art genres - realism, surrealism, and expressionism. Her work has been exhibited in galleries in both California and Illinois and she has received many awards for her work, including magazine cover illustrations.

Melinda Smith Altshuler is an artist of many forms, including photography, collage, tea bag painting and sculpture. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally and she has been published in several periodicals, including LA Weekly, the LA Times, and the Coagula Art Journal.

Elizabeth Bloom’s work Lamentation/Jubilation is inspired by nature and the human face and how light can change the way that things and people appear. She also teaches a ‘Studio and Landscape’ class at AJU and curates the Platt Gallery.

Bruria Finkel, born in Israel , works with many different types of media and uses geometric language, symbolic imagery and both abstract and familiar content. Her work has been exhibited in Germany , England and the US and has also been curating shows for many years.

Shelley Gazin, an award-winning artist and photojournalist, focuses on 20th and 21st Century social, political, entrepreneurial and spiritual landscape in her commissioned work. She has received awards from the California Council for the Humanities, among many others.

Susan Gesundheit’s work includes paintings, collages, and prints deeply ingrained with color and texture. She received her BA in Art from UCLA before starting art classes, which she now teaches at AJU. Her work is exhibited in galleries in Sherman Oaks and at LACMA and has participated in workshops in Italy and at USC.

Marcie Kaufman examines the Israeli landscape, specifically Tel Aviv, which she juxtaposes with images of Los Angeles . She is an artist, educator and consultant and has MFA from Claremont Graduate University and her BA from USC.

Nancy Goodman Lawrence’s work has been exhibited in many galleries across the US and has received several awards including the Sandra Goldman Memorial Award from the Collage Artists of America. She creates personal collages from pictures and drawings of loved ones, maps, and other creative resources.

Eileen Levinson’s work is a mix of illustration, installations, and poster art. For her thesis work at CalArts, she created a public space on Abbot Kinney as a way to visit Venice as it expands online.  She has also worked on bus stop campaigns in both CA and NY to promote community awareness.

Laurel Paley works on many pieces of art over long periods of time, whether it is sculptures, paintings, or photography and she uses materials such as vegetable peels, socks, and other discarded objects. Her work has been exhibited in galleries throughout the US and she is the recipient of many awards and honors, including the Jeanne Ward Foundation Travel Grant.

Doni Silver Simons’ work consists of painting, installations and performance art. Her work has been exhibited throughout the US , including many private collections such as the Detroit Institute of Arts, the  University of Michigan Art Museum and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center .

Debra Sokolow, inspired by many aspects of nature, focuses on portraying movement of the wind, air, water and light on two-dimensional surfaces. She is currently the Art Director at Milken Community High School and her work is exhibited throughout southern California .

Ruth Weisberg works with oil on canvas in her painting, Harbor. She was made dean of the USC Roski School of Fine Arts in 1995 and works mostly in painting, drawing and printmaking. Her work has been exhibited worldwide.

The exhibition runs through Sunday, April 10, 2011. For more information, please contact Shelley Lavender at 310-476-9777 ext. 201 or