As part of a communications and design job I held from 2016-2018, I created illustrations inspired by the weekly Torah portion, or parsha. Each Shabbat (the Jewish Sabbath), the artwork appeared on the cover of Congregation Beth Sholom’s service pamphlet, along with an expository note about the image and its inspiration. In all, I created over 112 illustrations, beginning with Parashat Beshalach (13 Shevat 5776 / January 23, 2016) and concluding with Parashat Vayikra (1 Nisan 5778 / March 17, 2018).
My artwork and writing generally wrestle with contemporary constructions of nature and the human relationship to non-human animal species. That’s my wheelhouse. My projects rarely draw on my Jewish identity, practice, or knowledge base in obvious ways. It was a privilege, therefore, to spend two years closely reading and visually interpreting Torah, a text that’s familiar to so many, but earnestly read by too few. Because I created each parsha illustration with its destination - a pamphlet cover – in mind, I felt the illustrations should *not* be displayed on their own; they are meant to appear framed by text. This preference gave rise to the poster format, which best reflects the project’s constituent parts: interpretation, illustration, and design.
Here, four of the posters that were selected by the Jewish Community Library (San Francisco) to be included in “The Parsha Project,” on view now through November 14. Maybe I’ll see you at the opening reception on Thursday, September 26, 6:30pm.
Details about the exhibition can be found here.