September 2009

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Illuminated Letters:Threads of Connection is a new way to enter Jewish study through a visual and textual lens.

Living Judaism

The New Jewish Art
Stunning Quality with Themes that Teach and Touch the Soul

-- Rabbi Goldie Milgram

"Illuminated Letters: Threads of Connection" is the theme of a new body of Jewish art by Portland, Oregon artist Sara Harwin. She has invented a new process for her works that focuses on teaching multiple meanings of core Hebrew words through "fabric construction" images that allow the soul to soar. Her vision is for each large stand-alone work to appear on the wall surrounded by contemporary commentary from Jewish scholars, teachers, and leaders across the spectrum of Jewish life.

Harwin developed her “fabric construction” style in which she mixes fabrics and textures to produce the effect she wants. As she explains in the first video clip, for Illuminated Letters: Threads of Connection “…ultrasuede, which is rich and luscious and textural, is mixed with metallic silks, which are brilliant and reflective…” to create the glittering effect of her triptych.

The process and impact of Harwin’s work is so visual that a written interview could not capture the fullness of the art. My interview, therefore, is available on video, in four segments. Each video clip covers a unique dimension of her process as a Jew and as an artist in the development of her remarkable art. The links are below.

Clip 1: Sara Harwin introduces us to the first piece in Illuminated Letters: Threads of Connection and her concept for the full project.

Clip 2: Sara Harwin shows us her body of multi-dimensional smaller works that led up to this piece.

Clip 3: Learn about the Harwin method for integration of computer technology into the creation of Jewish art.

Clip 4: Learn how to document a new work of Jewish art.

To view previous editions of "Living Judaism", please click here.

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