Professor Andrea Pappas, Art Historian Ph. D., inspired and encouraged me to talk about my research on Jewish Art. I was hesitant and, quite frankly, did not expect much reception to my subject of study. Robert Beiser and the staff at the University of Washington’s Hillel were very receptive, however, to my lecture proposal for the summer of 2012. And so a three-year lecture series based on my thesis research began.
On June 16, 2015 I presented the last lecture.
My research on Jewish art iconography started in 2006 and continued for five more years. During that time I traveled a lot and learned from many people in the Jewish community, art history professors, scholars, experts, and artists, about the development of Jewish art, its foundations and future. It was very exciting and, many times, very new. Taking advantage of a nascent topic within the history of art, I developed original ideas and learned to respect artists’ input and perspective. They do not have everything figured out, nor pretend to, but they can be very wise. In the intensity that their work requires, they develop the humbleness that scholars, many times, do not have.
Everything I learned, like, and look forward to in art history, has changed since 2006… as it should. My lecture series was a passion project and now it’s time to move onto other things. Even though I have enjoyed working with the Jewish community and will continue, in one way or another, working on art & culture programs that serve it, I am very interested in cultural fusion contemporary art. Identity issues and cultural hybridity are subjects explored quite often, but more so now with pressing societal changes in terms of race, socio-economic equality, gender, and self-definition.
Thanks to all of you who followed these lectures and engaged me in conversation.
"If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading." Laozi