This ketubah was created for a couple who love to surf. The ketubah includes images of the boardwalk in their home town, Asbury Park, New Jersey. There are flamboyan trees, representing the groom’s childhood home in Puerto Rico. A stylized skyline of Chicago, the bride’s home town, is in the upper left corner. Overall, the ketubah represents the couple’s vitality, dynamism and love of their families and hopes for the future.
oncidium orchid, orchid show, Chicago Botanic Garden
Tiny room at Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures, Tucson, Arizona
Tucson, Arizona, seen on my daily walk from my parents’ house
“Peh”, woodcut print by me, in “Explorations” exhibit at Newberry Library
Japanese-style golden application I learned in Chicago Calligraphy Collective workshop with David McGrail
Bill Reid’s monumental sculpture of the Raven, at the Museum of Anthropology, Vancouver, B.C., Canada
View near Santa Margarita, California
“Yellow” panel, collaborative work I did with students of Westmoor Elementary School, Northbrook, IL.
Late afternoon sunlight, Chicago Botanic Garden.
Sunset, Chicago Botanic Garden.
Seen on my daily walk, not far from my house.
Marsh, Boulder Junction, Wisconsin
View from Villa Terrace, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Calligraphy/ gold leaf on vellum by Christopher Gausby, collection Newberry Library, Chicago
Contemporary calligraphy, gold leaf, from “Gates of the Lord” exhibit, Art Institute of Chicago
My sample sheet of various hues of gold leaf, embossed and embellished, techniques I learned from Georgia Angelopoulos, in Chicago Calligraphy Collective workshop
Yoruba herbalist’s staff, Nigeria, seen at the National Museum of African Art, Washington, DC
Sunlight on river, Lynn Canyon, British Columbia, Canada
gold foil stamping and embossing tools, traditional book-binding, Ireland: Crossroads of Art and Design, 1690–1840, Art Institute of Chicago
Latkes I made with Dani, for Hanukah
“Make new friends, but keep the old,
One is silver and the other gold.”
My friend, Mark, had a gold mine. As a parting gift, he handed me a large hunk of rock, laced with the unmistakable gleam of gold ore. Until I saw that rock, I never understood gold fever. The gold gleamed, so pure and sparkling: a treasure from the earth, just waiting to be found.
Mark was on his way out with terminal cancer, we had come to say goodbye. In giving me the rock, Mark acknowledged what we often hear, that “you can’t take it with you.” The gold was his magnificent obsession, but his passion was digging for treasure, not the wealth he found. He never got around to refining most of it.
The sparkle of the gold, sitting on a shelf in my kitchen with crystals and obsidian he had given me over the years, reminds me of Mark’s intellect, his eccentricity, his house nestled in the golden hills around Santa Margarita, California.
I share with you a selection of things golden that dazzled my eyes in 2015.
In Memory of Mark Wolff.
Ketubah: Washington Square Park, Chicago (with Detroit and Chicago skylines), 2015, Judith Joseph
My latest ketubah shows Washington Square Park, the oldest existing small park in Chicago. It was the most celebrated open air free-speech center in the country. It was also known as “Bughouse Square”, because of the nuttiness of some of the speakers. Young Studs Terkel hung out there, listening to soap-box orators, in the 20’s and 30’s. When he died, he requested that his ashes be scattered there.
The Chicago Jewish News has a nice feature article (p. 1 and p. 2) about The Color of Spirituality, a group exhibit I curated for the Artists’ Beit Midrash class I taught with Jane Shapiro at NSS Beth El. The exhibit is at Arthur Feldman Gallery in Highland Park through the end of December, 2015.
I’m happy to share that I have been accepted into the Midwest Jewish Artists Lab at the Spertus Museum. A group of 12 artists will study together, share ideas and generate new work, which will be exhibited at the museum.