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Jewish-American Artists Panel

SPEAKER: Zac Banik & Jennifer Gwirtz

Wednesday, May 29, 2024
10:30 a.m.
Corvallis Museum
Corvallis Museum

Jewish-American Artists Panel

SPEAKER: Zac Banik & Jennifer Gwirtz

Wednesday, May 29, 2024
10:30 a.m.

In Celebration of Jewish-American Heritage Month…

Join contemporary Jewish-American artists, Zac Banik and Jennifer Gwirtz as they share about the astounding contributions of Jewish-Americans to American culture.

Zac Banik will share his work, In Jewish Time, where he shares a visual diary of the last few months and discusses the Hebrew calendar, excessive worry, and being Jewish enough. See more of his work at zacbanik.com.

Jennifer Gwirtz will share her new work, Onion People, an exploration of older Jewish women and their dances. She will share video and explanations and possibly perform a short excerpt from this new work. See more of her work at jennifergwirtz.org.

This lecture will be presented at the Corvallis Museum. Please email the Executive Director at jessica@bentoncountymuseums.org to reserve a limited quantity assistive listening device.

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Jennifer Gwirtz

Gwirtz is a dance artist, performer, director and educator living in Portland, Oregon, who has been making and directing performance for more than two decades.

The daughter of two Philadelphia area vocal music teachers who attended Jewish day school until her late teens, Jennifer rebelled and became a dancer. She earned her MFA from San Francisco Art Institute and became part of the Bay Area art and performance scene for two decades. In the 1990s she created theatrical, movement-based experiments that challenged assumptions about performance, performing nationally and internationally.

She co-founded/directed Right Brain Performancelab, a genre-straddling hybrid performance troupe that performed from 1999 until 2017. Since arriving in Portland in 2016 she has begun to reexamine her Jewish identity in her work. Her groundbreaking performance, “Kol b’Isha/Voice Within Woman,” premiered at Portland’s Performance Works Northwest in 2022.

See more of her work at jennifergwirtz.org.

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Kol b’Isha/Voice Within Woman

"'Kol b’Isha Erva,' means 'a woman’s voice equals her nakedness.' This second century custom forbids women to sing when men pray and has made an impact on who we are and how we enter into the wider culture.

Kol b’Isha/Voice Within Woman is a dance about the radical Jewish female sacred, a feminist rendering and re-owning of ancient lore while living in diaspora, the very Jewish idea of Creation as a “drawing out” from the mysterious deep and how the silences and sounds of a woman’s voice establishes her presence. It is also an exploration of elder Jewish female identity, with a cast of women over the age of fifty."

Jennifer Gwirtz

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Zac Banik

Zac ​​is a Slavic-American Jew who makes new things out of old things. He believes that difference is worth celebrating and tradition is worth remembering. He wants to bring people together, repair what is broken, and put a smudge on every clean surface.

Zac has been practicing art professionally for the past 8 years. He received a Bachelor's in Anthropology from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and a Masters of Fine Arts in Furniture Design from the Rhode Island School of Design.

Zac has worked as an educator at Pacific Northwest College of Art, Rhode Island School of Design and the Slovak Technical University in Bratislava. He has exhibited at home and abroad in venues such as Designblok in Czechia and Helsinki Design Week in Finland.

See more of his work at zacbanik.com.

18 Heshvan

A Diary of Symbols and Lines

"Drawing from my compositional explorations in the Excerpts From a Trip to Japan project, I built a visual diary of my day-to-day life. Each of these pieces are created from magazine pages featuring human bodies, overlaid with lines, shapes, symbols and text from the setting in which I am created the piece. Accompanying the composition is a short reflection on my immediate thoughts while working on the project. I hoped to gather an archive of moments from my life, of emotions in the qualities and life of the drawing, of place in the textual transfer and thought through the journal entries."

Zac Banik

 

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