Artists from Within: Creations in Quarantine
This all medium exhibition is a collaborative initiative with our Museum community members to showcase artwork created during their time spent at home during the COVID-19 Stay Home, Stay Safe executive order quarantine.
Bella Scharf Zelingher
“Tree of Life Tzedaka Box”
“When the quarantine started I immediately turned to my hobbies. One of my hobbies is woodworking, in fact, a special type of technique called ‘marquetry.’ This involves the cutting of different colors of very thin pieces of natural wood veneer and attaching them together like a jigsaw into a beautiful design. I started several different Tzedaka (charity) boxes, both very large and small. The Tree of Life theme seemed very appropriate for this deadly Corona time. It signifies a reaffirmation of LIFE!”
Bella Scharf Zelingher
“After six weeks of woodworking, I was inspired by the health situation to focus my energies on sewing masks. I left the woodworking for another time. For the last two months I have been designing and creating fitted, adjustable cloth masks that I am selling as a fundraiser for three different local Jewish organizations, the Jewish Heritage Museum included. I have already raised close to $600 for the Museum, and my work with the masks continues.”
"In My Head"
"For me, the pandemic is happening outside my house/my studio. The studio is the place where everything is unchanged. Like the daffodils in my garden that continue to grow, I continue to work as I have always worked. I’m thinking, has COVID-19 changed my work?”
Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
"Transitions" was painted during the COVID-19 pandemic. I started this painting in March and it went through many changes as new information about the pandemic became known. The painting evolved over several months mirroring the shifts inside me as we all adjusted to a new normal.
Medium: Oil and cold wax medium on panel
"Potato Eaters, Waiting for Ketchup"
"I took a picture of a couple sitting in a restaurant on a stop on my way home from Florida in February. When we began lockdown in March I happened upon it and decided to paint them in my unlimited expanse of time with little to do. ”
Medium: Acrylics on Canvas
•“I found myself with a great deal of time on my hands due to the Corona virus. I began folding magazines into different shapes, something I used to do, then it dawned on me that I could combine this with my painting...so this was my first attempt at combining folding and painting.”
Medium: Folded magazine vase with flowers-acrylic paint
Medium: Oil on Canvas
“Nowhere to Run”
“Within this painting, I express the suffocating reality of being trapped, surrounded with no escape. I translate the new feeling of being hunted as prey and the fear of uncertainty.”
“Prayers for Pandemics and Refugees”
“Using a digital interpretation of Bojagi (Korean patchworking), I sewed face mask
“prayer-flags.” I hung the “flags” on my window, placing the last flag (surgical mask) nearby. The imagery, patchworks of stone walls, translucent eyes, and tiny makeshift houses, emerged from my immigration activism. I often integrate spiritual and social justice aspects, visually representing cultural plights, such as refugeeism. I added this blue mask, found on an early-pandemic nature walk; it was emblematic – a COVID-19 talisman. The close-up frames a flag with motifs of my heritage, as I literally seek to frame art-making and social issues in my voice.”
Medium: Silk, ink, dye, digital painting, photography, etc.
"Book of Heroines"
“Before quarantine, I had planned to study Congregation Agudath
Israel's library of Eastern European, 18-19th century books, including folklore, illustrations, and religious art/Judaica –primarily investigating social justice-probing stories. Based on those, I would execute drawings, especially portraits, highlighting inspiring moments or people. From these sketches, I'd next produce mixed-media artworks, in paper/fiber, to become the content of a proposed artist's book. Since that research stopped abruptly, due to the synagogue's shut-down, I've discovered online substitutes, and begun my suite of portrait mono-prints with an unwavering intensity! Such historical/political research becomes so important in times like these.”
Medium: Paper, found/vintage fabrics, ink, dye, digital painting, photography, ornamentation
“Filmmaker Federico Fellini said, ‘All art is autobiographical. The pearl is the autobiography of the oyster.’ we are the summation of all of our experiences and all of our thinking. We live what we know. I know that art is a transformative force. Give a child a crayon and a sheet of paper. When a child asks ‘Did I do this right?’ Keep in mind that making art is not ‘Math and potatoes.’ It might not look like the stereotypical house on the farm but, the appreciation and experimental process is as important as the final product. During our time of quarantine, time was our gift and motivation was our necessity. We were given an opportunity to redesign our worlds. As the ‘apocalyptic veil’ hovered above, I was motivated and challenged to hunt for and catch ‘the pretty.’’’
Medium: Pencil and watercolor on 140 lb. Arches cold press watercolor paper
"Blind Contour Drawings"
“One of the things I’ve done to ‘challenge’ and amuse myself during these ‘shelter at home’ days is to use my sketchbook to do quick BLIND CONTOUR DRAWINGS every day. These are about 3’ high and were done with a Sharpie marker while watching TV. To do a blind contour drawing you look at your subject but not at your paper, and you draw the entire picture without lifting the pen or pencil. Since you don’t look at the drawing, or lift your pen you can’t be responsible for the results which are usually surprising and fun."
Medium: Pen and Paper
"Sunflowers and Pink Posies"
“Flowers always cheer me up. Drawing and painting them in my sketchbook is a lot easier for me than trying to grow them. One of the problems with sketchbooks is sometimes you come up with a page that you wish had been on canvas. This sunflower, done with pen ink, watercolor, and colored pencil is one of those. A child's stamp, ink, and watercolors gave me a garden of pink posies that I've used to make cards and postcards to send to friends and relatives who I haven't been able to visit during the pandemic.”
Medium: A child's stamp, ink, colored pencils, and watercolors.
" I needed something to do after my retirement followed by the pandemic. I live by the water and have always loved to collect driftwood and other gifts from the sea. It has been a meditative experience for me to find ways to express myself like this."
At 11 years old, Arabella took these pictures during quarantine because “I like to take pictures normally and I especially like to take contortion and dance photos.”