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JAI Newsletter  •  March 2021
President’s letter

Dear JAI Members and Friends,

It is with great sadness that I share that our long time member Simone Gad passed away in late February. Her work was included in JAI's recent exhibition From a Narrow Place: Images of Resilience. Simone’s artwork was a reflection of her life which began in Belgium, the daughter of Holocaust survivors. She came to California in 1951 and made a life for herself as a young child actor and then artist. She will be missed.

Please join us for our next JAI Café on Monday, March 22nd to learn about the remarkable artwork of L. Aviva Diamond. In April we will hold an All Members gathering via Zoom to share what is new with JAI, future plans for JAI and it will also be an opportunity to honor the memory of Simone Gad. We look forward to having you join us on Monday, April 26th.

Wishing you all a Happy Passover. May you find creative inspiration as we celebrate Passover and in the Counting the Omer.


Simone Gad, z"l

(Belgium, 1947 – Los Angeles, 2021)

Simone Gad was a painter and assemblage/collage artist who rose to prominence in the Los Angeles art scene in the 1970s. After being introduced to the Fluxus movement in 1972 by Al Hansen, she began making collage and assemblage painting collages on vinyl.

An actor, Gad’s work focused on Hollywood, exploring ideas of celebrity and stardom while providing unique insight into the world of fame. Her career includes numerous exhibits throughout California, showing at Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art and Molly Barnes Gallery, both in Los Angeles, among others. At the time of her passing she was represented by Track 16.

Click the image below to view SIMONE GAD : CATS, THE HOLOCAUST AND CHINATOWN a film by Eric Minh Swenson

Exploring the Artistic Practice of L. Aviva Diamond

Monday, March 22, 2021 | 7:00 p.m.
- Click to Register for this Special Zoom Event -
My work encompasses both the outer world of street and nature photography and inner perceptions of a cosmos consisting of energy, light and movement. Much of my most recent work is a distillation of meditations exploring cosmic connections – delving into the nature of water and light, finding wonder and mystery in reflections and ripples – seeing the universe in a wave or the interconnectedness of a wet leaf and the night sky. I use digital techniques to blur photography and painting, matter and spirit. – L. AVIVA DIAMOND
April 26th
All Member Meeting – Save the Date...
You are invited to the All Member (Zoom) Meeting on Monday, April 26th.  Please join us for this special gathering to connect with other JAI members, meet new JAI members, hear about the next exhibition, how you can participate, and meet this year’s JAI board.  It is also an opportunity to hear from you.
Registration Details will Follow

JAI Featured Artists | March 2021

Where Have We Been – Where Are We Going, 2014, monoprint w/chine colle, 22″ x 30″
Artist Statement:

I primarily produce my prints with various Monotype and Monoprint techniques. This enables me to combine my Printmaking and Photography experiences into a new and expressive art form. I am influenced by the forms, shapes and colors in nature, and bring these elements into my work. Judaic images, and in particular the older and more ancient formations almost always find their way into my art. Sometimes one has to look hard to find them, but their influence is surely there. I am forever challenging myself with new ideas and images which I find all around me.


Image no. 1: Union Station, Los Angeles, 2017  |  Image no. 2: Bird Market, Hong Kong, 2017
Artist Statement:

In the often chaotic and overwhelming pace of life, I use my camera to create a visual diary of the places and experiences that have been imprinted on my psyche. In Extended Frame™, I look for singular moments that can be combined to convey the complexity of everyday life. These individual photographs – and the subjects within them – are placed in conversation with each other to explore dichotomies of public vs. private, unity vs. isolation, the collective vs. the individual. The resulting scenes transport the viewer to new, imagined environments even as visual inconsistencies disrupt the illusion where two frames meet. Simultaneously both distinct and interlinked, these images reveal unexpected connections, challenging our idea of what is real.


Instagram: @emfphoto59
Congratulations to Hillel Smith for winning Maker challenge number 3 and reaching the finals on Expedition Maker of the Great Jewish Craft-Off!

Final episode will air on Sunday, March 21 @ 9 a.m. Pacific, 12 p.m. Eastern

I hope you you've been watching my progress on a Jewish art reality show called Expedition Maker - The Great Jewish Craft Off, produced by Camp Nai Nai Nai and Moishe House, where I am one of ten artists creating art each week on a given theme in the hopes of being crowned The Great Jewish Makher. And I'm on my way to the finals!

Last week's prompt: make a ritual object for the new moon/new month. I made a Moon Cycle Perpetual Calendar. This calendar tracks the phases of the moon throughout the entire Jewish year, helps you match the lunar cycle with the secular year with an inset calendar, and has an accompanying travel moon-phase-on-the-go. It also has areas to write in intentions and wishes for the coming month, based on the traditional prayer for the new month.
- Learn More about Expedition Maker -

Art Competition Opportunity: The Shmita Prize

Sponsored by Hazon

For more information:

What is Shmita?  Commonly translated as the ‘Sabbatical Year,’ Shmita literally means ‘release.’ Of biblical origin, this is the final year of a shared calendar cycle, when land is left fallow, debts are forgiven, and a host of other agricultural and economic adjustments are made to ensure the maintenance of an equitable, just and healthy society.
JAI members are invited to apply in one of five juried categories.

Deadline to enter is May 19, 2021

Membership Dues and Donations
It is not too late to renew your membership or make a donation to JAI. Your membership dues and generous donations make it possible for JAI to continue to provide high quality programs and exhibitions. Thank you to everyone who has already renewed your membership or made a donation.
Posting Artists Announcements

Announcements can include exhibitions, new publications, panels or workshops in which you are participating. If you have something you want posted send it to no later than the 10th of the month in time for our upcoming newsletter.

Be sure to include good quality images and specifics about the event. JAI welcomes sharing your information with the community. 

Our JAI Facebook group is also glad to accept your announcements. Please request to join if you have not.

From: Renée Amitai
Two of my artworks including ET LA LUMIERE FUT were selected for inclusion in an international exhibition.

From cosmic darkness and submarine depths the light will emerge...   
etching, intaglio, collagraphy on hand made paper, 40" x 27"

From: Terry Braunstein

As many of you may know, the artist Victor Raphael and I have been collaborating on four series of photomontages over the past few years. The online publication Cultural Weekly will be featuring these pieces during the next few months, one image each week.

The first work, from our Climate Change series is House on Fire.
From: Gilah Yelin Hirsch

I am pleased to be participating in Hope/Esperanza – A call of Hope to Humanity through Art international online exhibition curated by Daniela Jauregui, Artistic Director KAM, dedicated to Mexican artist Ivan Villasenor who passed away recently from Covid-19.


Initiated and curated in Mexico City, international artists were invited to submit work evoking hope through creativity.

Video of artist Gilah Yelin Hirsch offering hope to all and discussing her art.
From: Hillel Smith

Mural Festival Update

I am excited to be spearheading a mini-mural festival for Pesach happening in Toronto, Charlotte, and New York. Dwelling in a Time of Plagues is a Jewish creative response to real-world plagues of our time, featuring ten art projects being staged around North America, each on a different contemporary plague.

The Jewish Street Art Festival is back for Passover under the Dwelling umbrella, coordinating new murals by four artists, including me. My pair of murals will be on the theme of food insecurity, with one being painted this week at Repair the World in Brooklyn, and a second installed at the Harlem JCC.
Click here to learn more, and come visit if you're in NYC!

Please join us on Facebook - click the logo above. We're a lively group with talented members from around the world - open to all JAI members and friends of JAI.


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