Ildiko Szarvas – Art

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Friday: the day of bubble Golem! 🙂

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Every day in Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School I start off the morning with a special engrossment time called Art Zman Kodesh.

In Art Zman Kodesh, I work with my excellent colleague Ben Tellie engaging students in the Golem dream project. To start out, I presented the story of Rabbi Loew from Prague. In the story, from the space of intuition, the Rabbi built a Golem to defend the Jewish community. From this point of view, I had the students think about dreams they have, intuition, and the concept of what it means to be awake and reflect on their weekdays.

The students thought about their interpretations about the Rabbi, the creature and relationships between them. Perhaps our everyday experience is our own creature, our reflection? To get into the process of the art project, the students made some folds on their drawing papers, and the subtle lines created a map, like a flat-land structure. On this structure, the students drew and wrote their impressions about themselves and the Golem story. After their drawing process, the students superimposed a variety of different papers, such as newspaper and construction paper over their drawings to explore the process of décollage. Their drawing disappears under some paper layers and the students use the décollage technique, like an archeologist, searching and removing some parts of their dream drawing. For some students, the décollage technique is hard and risky. Some students use transparent/tracing papers to add another relationship with their drawing layer.

The creative atmosphere in the art room is very sensitive, and the fluid contact with Ben Tellie and Jessie Nathan is excellent!

With the Beit and the Gimel 6th and 7th group we facilitated a spice image project with the students. In every Golem legend the mud figure is very similar to that of a human being, but he has a little disability: he can’t speak or he can’t blink. When we lose one of our senses, another sense emerges. We focused on the Golem’s sense of smell as a class and had students think about this concept as they worked. Students used a spice and glue technique as they worked in small groups, first drawing their own personal interpretations of the Golem on a larger piece of paper. They then divided their larger papers into four sections, each group working on their own separate sections of the larger portrait of the Golem creature. Students used Hungarian spices and plant powders such as sweet paprika; turmeric; camomile; nettle; mixed dry vegetables; black pepper and salt. They added an odorless glue paste to their drawings to outline their pencil drawing of the creature and used the spices to explore different smells and textures.  At the end of the project, we put together the parts, and the Golem portraits were born, and the smells. For the students this technique was new and amusing.

With the 8th grade Gimel class we initialized an experiential drawing in pairs. Two students shared a pencil. Attached to the each others intentions, they began to draw the Golem story and visualized the environment. We told the story very slowly and students drew attentively. The result was an abstract expressionistic vision with multiple layers. The students looked at their works as a sky with clouds, and made new minimalistic abstractions of their expressive structures. The creative process is connected to the Hungarian Jewish artist’s  method called “Vajda Lajos”.

In period 9, Graphic Design, a High School level class, we had students create a letter design using letters of students’ names, with Adobe Photoshop. Students used Hebrew script letters and we made students aware of the fact that each letter has a specific symbol and meaning. The students thought about how to merge the symbols of each letter of their name into a unique design using tools in Photoshop. The students are very creative and cute.

Great experience together!

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One gift of our time is: at morning we can be at Budapest and at the evening we can be in Washington.  The one bridge is the hetero-topic space of the airplane, that connect more space and time layers, and the other bridge is SOS International, our enthusiastic and devoted friends Glynis and Alan, and the Morim project.

Friendly welcome:  immediately we will be included in the home of Glynis’ family. We take an excellent togetherness with our teacher partners. Was very glad to be again together with my art teacher colleague Ben Tellie and with the all team of Morim project.

The first connection with the DC was amazing! My impression as that the city is an concept art work. Like an ideal city in the renaissance. Everywhere we go in the city is like a memories atlas and we are little figure who explore this past, present and future memories.  And we explore the american Jewish life at the same time.

The meetings with the representative persons of the local jewish community and the atmosphere of the JDS School was excellent ambiance for the deeper relationships.

This begins for me a new experienceful week! Thanks Morim project!

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