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In The Press

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In The Press

Art show to focus on the Israeli-Canadian experience

Sheri Shefa, Staff Reporter, Thursday, February 28, 2008
Tags: News

TORONTO — Nineteen young Israelis who live in Ontario will display their artwork this coming Saturday night as part of Artsy, an arts and culture event in Toronto.

“We have 19 artists from various backgrounds, but what they all have in common is the fact that they lived in Israel and now reside in Canada. Their art reflects that,” said Orly Cohen, Hillel of Greater Toronto’s program associate, who organized the event through Fanan, a group affiliated with Hillel that works to foster a community for young Israeli-Canadians.

“It is a multimedia art show. A majority of the work is… photography and painting, but there are some audio installations, pottery and sculptures,” she said, adding that the theme of the artwork is the Israeli-Canadian experience.

She said the event, which is being held March 1 at Designers Walk, will also feature a DJ, a live drummer, and kosher Israeli-style food.

Artsy, a play on the Hebrew word that means “my homeland,” features artists ranging widely both in age and experience.

Some are high school and university students who have never dabbled in the arts before, and others are “consummate artists” who are well into their 30s, Cohen said.

One of the artists, Oranit Kedmy, will present works that feature mermaids.

“It’s quite interesting. She has tied in the theme to her strong female identity and feeling like a fish out of water,” Cohen said.

In a written description of her art, Kedmy said that most of her painting is a tribute to a deep connection she shares with her mother.

“The women I paint are also a homage to all women, especially Israeli ones, who are equal to Israeli men in every way, including service in the army,” she wrote.

She added that her artwork depicts “the heartbreak of leaving Israel and knowing that there is no place in the world quite like it, embedded with struggle and loss and endless beauty,” and also represents “the courage of the Israeli people, who live life to the fullest, with passion and an unbreakable spirit.”

Kedmy wrote that as a Canadian citizen, she does her best to present people with a different side of Israel through her work and to show others “how similar we are to every woman out there who has to find beauty amidst adversity, light through darkness.”

Although the event is free to attend, Cohen said she hopes that people will “pay what they can” so that the proceeds can go toward a Hillel initiative to raise money to buy computers for impoverished schools in Bat Yam, a suburb of Tel Aviv.

“This is our most exciting initiative this year for Fanan, in that it is really allowing people from the Israeli community to actively participate in both a Hillel initiative and a community initiative that is not exclusive to the Israeli community,” Cohen said.

“It’s allowing us to create a dialogue between Israelis and non-Israelis, and we hope to see that reflected in the crowd.”

 

An Article In Fusion Magazine, Clinton NY.