by Shelley Werner
(AJNews) – In the depth of winter comes an art show at TBT Gallery that brings the warmth of collaboration and the inspiration of partnership in a group show entitled “From Strength to Strength.” Three emerging artists present their diverse artistic orientations. Orianne Aviv features photography, Lauren Jacobson focuses on sculptural installations and Jules Schachter shows the integration of illustration with texture on tote bags.
All three artists are students, but their individual styles and raw talent is evident in the pieces on display.
Curator Jennifer Eiserman, commented “The photographic, sculptural and painted works explore themes of being present to experience (Aviv), what gives something its function (Jacobson) and how art functions in our daily lives (Schacter). They remind us that strength comes in many forms, from quiet presence in the world to active engagement with its challenges. We move from strength to strength as we navigate our lives.”
Orianne Aviv is a Calgary based photographer. She is currently a fourth year English student at the University of Calgary with the intent of becoming a teacher. She started photography as a hobby when she was sixteen and has slowly developed her skills over time. She is excited to share her work for the first time with the public.
“I think what inspires me the most in taking photos is seeing what’s around me, and capturing things that I’m seeing and sharing that with friends. An example is when walking along the beach in Tel Aviv I found it to be a good challenge for me to get a photo of the water spray, because I have to wait for it. I stood and I waited, and discovered that it was important to challenge myself in that way.” Waiting for the right moment is a lesson in patience that is rewarded by unique photos.
When in Tel Aviv she noticed that most of the life guard stands are painted with murals. She saw one that had the words “Tel Aviv Non-Stop City” which is a powerful image that is featured in the show. “What draws me the most to taking a photo is a view that I like to see. I capture it mostly for myself, but I’m very excited at getting to share my photography with others in this show.”
Lauren Jacobson describes herself as a “queer, Jewish artist living and making in Mohkinstis, colonially known as Calgary. They are in their final year of study at Alberta University of the Arts, pursuing a bachelor of fine arts in sculpture with a minor in printmaking.”
Regarding the group show, she believes that it’s important to think of leaning on other artists in the community as upholding each other, so all can be encouraged. “What I’m doing with my work in context of the title is taking an object that already has a defined use and shape, and changing its purpose or function which can be interpreted as giving it a new strength.”
In her work she slightly alters the materials to recontextualize the objects and give them a new function. A loofa, for example, which has a purpose that could be assumed by other materials. “I think they are very beautiful, very bright colors, intricately woven, so I built steel frames in order to contrast with the softness. It becomes something strangely beautiful. The metal appears very oppressive and very cold and structured, while the loofa begins to look more organic in comparison.”
The hammer head displayed in the show is cast from hard candy, which she makes from melted down sugar, and casts into the shape. She was thinking about the traditional uses of candy, which opens a discussion about not just objects and things but about the world at large.
“I think that’s the point of art in general: to understand that it’s open to interpretation. A lot of it is subjective. I’m very excited about the reactions that I get to see when people encounter my work.”
Jules Schacter is a Calgary artist who is completing her last semester of a concurrent fine art and education degree at the University of Calgary. After graduating she hopes to become an art teacher, while also continuing to pursue her own art practice.
She expressed that “From Strength to Strength” captures how all three artists are bringing different things to the table. She paints using tote bags as her canvas. The art is being displayed in a gallery, but also through the use of the bags themselves. Her topics include beauty and life and death. For example, much of her art includes a deer skull; taking photos of it and facing it directly allows her to get closer to death and cope with it.
Breaking free of the boundaries of a canvas allows her freedom to explore a new medium which reflects on sustainability, an area which is also important to her.
A meaningful reflection is the checkered bag which recalls her grandparent’s floor when she was growing up.
She uses the female body in her work because it is visually interesting. “I’m an art history nerd so I love to include bits of art history such as the Venus de Milo, where I can. I’m drawn to exploring femininity and bodies. What was the idea body back then is completely different from the ideal body now.”
From photography, to sculpture to small scale tote bags, “From Strength to Strength” demonstrates the diversity to be found in these emerging artist’s work. There is a richness in the show that demonstrates the depth of talent to be found in these young people. It is inspiring to see the contrasts and similarities in their fresh approach.
“From Strength to Strength” can be seen from Sunday, February 12, 2023 to Sunday March 26, 2023 at Temple B’nai Tikvah, 900 47 Ave SW, Calgary. Monday to Thursday 9:00 am to 4:00 pm/ Friday 9:00 am to 2:00 pm or by appointment with the artists:
Lauren Jacobson: Jacobson.email@example.com
Jules Schacter: Jules.firstname.lastname@example.org
Shelley Werner is the host of Art and Scroll Studio zoom series that celebrates the makers and creators of Judaica Art. Their upcoming episode is March 15, 2023 at 7:00 pm MST entitled “Flight and Freedom” featuring artists Ruth Weisberg, painter and Heather Stoltz, Fiber artist. Register for free tickets at https://bit.ly/WeisbergStoltzFreeTickets