On the afternoon of November 18, 2010, on the Island of Facebook, history was made...in response to the Fat Free Elotera post:Ian Weaver: I take ALL the credit for this (and future) collaborations between these two exceptional artists....! [just needed to make sure I put in that legal boilerplate stuff, just a formality]Andria Morales: No doubt! We are eternally grateful to the prolific genius of Ian Weaver for the inspired notion of pairing us together.Maya Escobar: YES!!! So true- we are Are You My Other? because of this Fine Man. We keep trying to figure out just how to pay homage... Latina Black Bottom promo girls? Just saying :)Ian Weaver: By commenting on my post you have in effect given me the legal authority to profit in part from any future performances, lectures, presentations, and sales of related merchandise. I will work out the percentages later with my BB lawyer, but for conversation sake, let's just say if you perform jointly at, say, the Mattress Factory or the Renaissance Society that I will net 33.33% of profits from said performance.Again, I will get my BB lawyer to draw up the papersAndria Morales: Did we just get served??? So much for the We ♥ BB Knights campaign...Ian Weaver: Nooooo! You haven't been served! I can't do that online; you will be formally served in person presently (I think someone is at your door; delivery guy??? Flowers By Irene???)Maya Escobar: I think a cut of all "BB profits" is totally fair and should be required.. LOL.. "profit" what an interesting concept... "to make money from art"... am I dreaming? But hey Ian if you can work us in to an of the aforementioned "performances, lectures, presentations, and sales of related merchandise" and oh "performances at, say, the Mattress Factory or the Renaissance Society" Are You My Other? would be eternally grateful.Ian Weaver: Done! I am on the phone with Hamza was we speak. I will work the Pittsburgh angle after the holidays.And seriously, fantastic work by both of you! I got on the blog; really interesting! I am having Maya present in my spring Research class for artists, and if I had the dough I would fly you out Andria and have you guys co-present. But, that would blow my transfer student's minds!Andria Morales: I think Maya and I meeting each other in person would blow OUR minds. Lets start a fundraiser!Maya Escobar: Wow, wow, wow!!! Is it okay with the two of you if I screen-shot this convo and re-post? Ian, I am going to try to see if there are any opps to lecture in other SAIC departments that week so that we could get funding for Andria to come in.Andria Morales: Summon your internet powersIan Weaver: GO FOR IT! I AM OPEN TO IT!!
Maya Escobar is a conceptual identity artist.
Bio for About Page 2010:Maya Escobar is a performance artist, Internet curator, and editor. She uses the web as a platform for engaging in critical community dialogues that concern processes by which identities are socially and culturally constructed. She performs multiple identities, sampling widely from online representations of existing cultural discourses. Her identifications as a Latina-Jewish artist, dyslexic blogger, activist and educator are indexed by the blogs she keeps, the visual and textual links she posts, the books, articles, and blog posts she cites, the public comments she leaves, and the groups she joins.Escobar received her MFA from the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts, Washington University in St. Louis, and her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She has exhibited work in Spain, Guatemala, United States, Germany, Venezuela, and Chile.Twitter Bio for @Maya_Ate_This 2010:I am a 2nd generation Latina artist, nutrition buff, and fitness enthusiast. Here, I'll be tweeting what I am eating as well as sharing beauty and fitness tips.Artista Disléxica Del Internet pt 1 of audition video for Reality TV Show on Discovery En Español 2010:[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6T_8KzV8kLw]Short Bio for Acciones Plásticasプリクラ 2009:Maya Escobar is a Guatemalan-Jewish digital media and performance artist, currently living in St. Louis. Her work addresses issues of cultural hybridity, gender, placelessness, and the construction of identity.Bio for Conney Conference on Jewish Identity 2009:Maya Escobar is a Guatemalan Jewish digital media and performance artist. She received a BFA with an emphasis in Art Education from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and is currently completing her MFA at Washington University in St. Louis. She can usually be found on the web blogging, tweeting, or youtubing. Escobar also serves as the online art editor for Zeek: A Journal of Jewish Thought and Culture. She has taught, performed and exhibited work in Germany, Spain, Guatemala, Puerto Rico and the United States.About Me for Maya E. on Jewish Wedding Network (2009):I have always lived between multiple worlds, I come from a Guatemalan Jewish American family of activists and educators. The planning of my wedding is like most things other things we do, a familiar and communal affair. In addition to the Bosa Nova band that will perform, my fiancee's band rock band Cavalry will be covering various Jewish tunes such as hava negilah and more.Breaking Down the Elephant Blog Post 2009:Some people think that I am the true representation of the elephant.It is true I am an elephant, but not the only elephant.I try to break up the conception of being the only elephant.Some people see a small portion of my work and think it is the whole- the representative elephant.Others understand that each piece connects to another piece and that individually they are only fragments.When breaking the elephant up into pieces, information slips in through the cracks.People also respond to this new information- creating a bigger more amorphous elephant.The amorphous elephant is broken up again and again, so that it is relevant to new individuals new experiences…Manifesto for MFA Thesis Exhibition Catalog 2009:As an artist and an individual, I am in constant conversation with the values transposed through multiculturalism. I seek to challenge notions of sameness, unity, and political correctness with pieces that affirm a sense of community for some, while paradoxically alienating others.Major influxes in international travel, technological advances, immigration, adoption, and intermarriage are causing the borders and boundaries between countries to merge together at an increasingly rapid pace. The imagined spaces of individual cultures are no longer autonomous.Therefore it is with a conscious move that I, and many colleagues and contemporaries, unapologetically go forward, breaking through traditional conceptions of art and artistic practice. No longer tied down to medium-specific practices, we produce work derivative of a multitude of discourses. The works that we produce, however, are distinct from those in the fields that our work represents. We are concerned with the past, but we will not allow the past to solely delineate the future. We hope to form a new definition of artistic practice that will include our constantly shifting environment.Short Web Bio for Stumble Upon 2008:MFA Candidate at Washington University in St. Louis. Current art/research centers around mental constructions of space and the social and political implications that result from these imagined boundaries. On this blog I share my random thoughts on hybridity, transnational and transcultural identities, liberal multiculturalism, critical pedagogy, feminist theory, latinidad, jewish life in america, youth culture...Bio for Acciones Plásticas at the Bruno David Gallery 2007:Maya Escobar is a Guatemalan Jewish interdisciplinary artist and educator. She is a recent graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she received a BFA with an emphasis in Art Education. She has taught, performed and exhibited work in Spain, Guatemala, Puerto Rico and the United States. Currently, Escobar is pursuing a MFA in Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis.Bio for Camp JRF 2007:Maya Escobar is a Guatemalan Jewish interdisciplinary artist and educator. She is currently completing her degree in Art Education at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Sharing her non-traditional approach to exploring Jewish identity, Maya will expose campers to a wide variety of contemporary artists, artistic mediums and processes. Campers will have the opportunity to work both independently and as a collective, to produce work that inspires and participates in ongoing personal and communal dialogue.Artist Statement 2006:Through the performance of actual and fictitious moments of my life, I explore my personal identity as the daughter of a Guatemalan father and Jewish mother. I compare the complexities of projected societal, cultural, and gender-determined roles to the lived experiences of Latina and Jewish women in our contemporary American culture. My work translates ongoing anthropological and sociological investigation into accessible narrative forms, incorporating technical skills in multiple mediums. As a commentary to the objectification and exoticization of otherness that I have personally experienced, I reclaim ownership of myself; I transform my body as well my “self” into an object used within the performed ritual, which is then documented through analog and digital photo, video and collage.
I met Ben Schachter at the 2009 Conney Conference on Jewish Art: Performing Histories, Inscribing Jewishness, where coincidentally, we both presented Eruv themed works.In addition to making humorous Jewish themed conceptual art, Ben is a curator and is the man behind Tzit Tzit: Fiber Art and Jewish Identity. I have a few pieces from Hiddur Mitzvah included in the show.A special exhibit assembled by guest curator Ben Schachter, “Tzit Tzit: Fiber Art and Jewish Identity,” will open with a reception at The Saint Vincent Gallery in the Robert S. Carey Student Center at Saint Vincent College from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, January 28. Admission is free and open to the public.The exhibit will continue from Friday, January 29 through Sunday, February 21 during regular Gallery hours: 12 noon to 3 p.m. and 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays; 12 noon to 3 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. The Gallery is closed on Mondays.Participating artists include Maya Escobar, Melanie Dankowicz, Carol Es, Leslie Golomb, Louise Silk and Shirah Apple.Ms. Silk will present a lecture, “Quilting and Spirituality,” at 6 p.m. Monday, February 9 in room 100 of Prep Hall.Mr. Schachter, associate professor of fine arts, will give a Gallery tour of the exhibition at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, February 9.The exhibit was developed by Mr. Schachter. “I have been studying various aspects of Jewish art for the past three years and this exhibit is an outgrowth of that interest,” Mr. Schachter said. “The artists hail from Los Angeles, New York City, Kansas City, Illinois and Pittsburgh.”“Fiber art refers to any use of a cloth such as stitching or weaving,” he explained. “The title, Tzit Tzit, refers to the fringe on a prayer shawl, or tallis, worn by many Jews during prayer. While using thread, cloth, pattern making, stitching and other craft materials, each artists’ process creates a language derived from craft techniques that reinterprets the Old Testament, the oral law as written in the Talmud and personal histories. In so doing, both craft theory and Jewish Art are reinvigorated. I learned of these artists through Jewish art conferences I have attended, through exhibitions and through national awards. I think our students and our friends in the region will really enjoy seeing their work.”Ben Schachter is an artist whose work integrates conceptual art and Jewish law. He sees a connection between the rules artists have created to guide and limit their work and Jewish traditions. His work has been shown nationally and will be on exhibition at the Westmoreland Museum of Art in Greensburg concurrent with this exhibition. He holds an M.F.A. and M.S. degree from Pratt Institute and lives in Pittsburgh with his wife and two children.Carol Es paints images that powerfully scream of a life of hard labor. As a child she worked endless hours in a sweatshop with her family. Ms. Es' works are featured in numerous private and public collections, including the Getty Museum, Brooklyn Museum, UCLA Special Collections, the Jaffe Collection and Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris. She is also a two-time recipient of the ARC Grant from the Durfee Foundation and was recently awarded the prestigious Pollock-Krasner Fellowship.Maya Escobar’s work directly challenges gender roles and illustrates how Jewish tradition empowers women. Ms. Escobar received her master of fine arts degree from the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts, Washington University in St. Louis, and her bachelor of fine arts degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She has exhibited work in Spain, Guatemala, United States, Germany and Venezuela.Melanie Dankowicz creates intricate papercut sculptures, marriage contracts, and wall art. An expansion of the medium, Dankowicz's three-dimensional forms are ephemeral lace-like paper structures, of elegant tracery that has inspired her recent metalwork. She draws inspiration from the countryside of Illinois, where she resides with Harry and their three children.Leslie Golomb exhibits her work nationally and internationally and is the recipient of numerous awards, including recognition from the National Endowment for the Arts, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Individual Artists Fellowship Award and a State of the Art Award from the State Museum of Pennsylvania. Her work was recently included in the Three Rivers Arts Festival and Best of Pittsburgh Invitational. Ms. Golomb holds a bachelor in fine arts from Carnegie-Mellon University and a master of fine arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She served as founder and director of the American Jewish Museum of the Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh for nine years. She has returned to the studio producing prints and artists books.Louise Silk began her quest to acquire skills as a quilter after being inspired by an article in Ms. Magazine in 1971 about quilt making as a woman's art form. Over the past 30 years, her work has been included in Quilt National Biennial Exhibition of Contemporary Quilts as well as many private corporate collections such as USAirways, Paine Webber and PNC Bank. She is a certified Integrated Kabbalistic Healer. She is currently living and working from her loft in the South Side of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.Ms. Golumb and Ms. Silk collaborate and join their printmaking and fiber art into multilayered quilts, runners and tallisim. The images and techniques bring together American folk traditions and Jewish history in surprising ways. Ultimately the perspective of these five artists reinvigorates what Jewish Art is and can become.Shirah Apple received a master of fine arts degree from the Rinehart School of Sculpture at the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2006. She is a graduate of MICA’s post-baccalaureate certificate program and of Miami University, where she received a bachelor of science degree in business administration.Further information about the exhibition is available by contacting the Gallery at 724 805-2107, www.stvincent.edu/gallery.