From Ariela Foundation:
As Michal prepares to return to Israel in a few weeks, we have asked her to describe to us her some of the professional development / experiences she has gone through as a result of her studies in New York. It is clear that Michal has grown as an artist and as a person in a way that would not have been possible without this experience. We hope that she will share some of her experiences with other artists and use this knowledge to enhance the status of the Ethiopian community in Israel. This is the e-mail she has sent to us:
From Michal Avraham – June 2010
It's been five months since I've been in the city, the semester ended about two weeks ago and I am left with a lot of time to ponder about everything I've gone through. It's obvious my cultural world was fundamentally affected, the way I observe art has completely changed - from art as a predefined, material world to art which isn't necessarily material or object but words, movement, etc.
In my first month here I visited the Guggenheim Museum and participated in a performance piece by the artist Tino Segal, a leader in his field. In his piece, which was based on the museum's spiral form, I was welcomed by two small children, only 8 or 9 years old, who asked me about the meaning of the concept "process" - seemingly a simple question that was simply answered, but from that point on, everything became deeper and more interesting…At the end of the first part of the piece, just as I got to the second level of the museum, the kids introduced me to a teenager that discussed the same subject with me using examples. The fair conversation continued with a young woman and then later with a nice granny. As we advanced, physically and spiritually rising and trying to understand ourselves, to continue on and talk about the same subject but with a different partner - what does it mean to me? Am I also different? Is the question still the same?
In my End-of-year show I decided to combine these two trends. I curated a few selected objects that I created during the semester and presented them thoroughly, sharing my thoughts with the audience. Interestingly enough, the objects I created all dealt with the concept of conception and other philosophic questions. It was a difficult process, but it was very deep.
The first sculpture dealt with the diminution of time. I tried to break the concept of time, at least visually. The clock's hands were made up of three quarters, meaning, they have expanded and colorful. It became impossible to read the time - the hands were still moving but the areas of color mixed with each other, all within a clock that was set in a circular sketch constellation that was divided into one quarter and three quarters. The presentation tried to introduce a new form for something that is predefined in the world that has a set shape and function.
The second sculpture - a 50cm by 30cm tree trunk split in two, the bottom half was conceived and served as the base for the second half, which was a convex and charred. The two halves were united into a whole and while presenting the sculpture I placed my white t-shirt, the shirt I wear while working, as a separator between the two halves.
A series of 3 egg-tempera paintings based on a reproduction of Boticelli. The series displays a process of despair, as I try to imitate a master with the help and demonstrations of my current teacher at Cooper who is also the heir of a long line of Italian painters, and what is this technique even worth these days?
The first month at the Big Apple has already passed and I guess I had good start.
I enjoy the atmosphere at the School of Art at Cooper Union (located in the lower east side of Manhattan which is inspiring area and easy to get to). In terms of studies, the teachers and students are nice, understanding and full of patience. I have chosen a variety of classes such as sculpture, painting and photography.
The best part of my stay here are the multiple museums galleries and art events that are happening all the time. On weekends I have had the opportunity to learn about modern dancing (1970's choreography based on the school of Trisha Braun), mega artists such as Luis Borges, Bruce Newman and more.
As I said, I have had a good start and I am waiting to see what is next. Thanks again for allowing me this opportunity.
----- Original Message -----
From: michal avrham [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Tue, 29 Dec 2009 14:40:17 -0800 (PST)
Subject: thanks letter
I would like to thank you, for the wonderful help you have given me, your donation helps me achieve my dream.
A bit about me. I was born in 1984 in Or-Akiva, a small town in the north of Israel. My parents had immigrated to Israel that same year, from the north of Ethiopia. My father is a bus driver and my mother is a social worker. Much to their shock and amazement, I am trying to be an artist.
These days I am living in Jerusalem. I am at the third year of my studies at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, in the Fine Arts department.
I am mostly focusing on sculpture. Recently I have been involving myself in the spatial language of architecture. It is proving very useful in helping me create a sense of dissonance in my installations.
The issues of sculpture in space are of much interest to me, I am very happy with the results of my investigations so far.
Last year I have been chosen to study in one of the most prestigious schools in NY during the winter term, which is great opportunity for me to improve myself, I knew that I dont have the ability to deal with the high tuition fees but thanks to people like you I can make it !! and it's so exciting!
Your donation means so much and so necessary, these days when I'm about to live and study in NY and compensates for my family's inability to help me financially.
I wish the best for you, and especially that you will receive just as you give, and more.
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