October 5–10, 2017
(San Francisco, CA) Sukkot, a Hebrew word meaning “booths” or “huts,” refers to the Jewish festival of giving thanks for the fall harvest. It also commemorates the forty years of Jewish wandering in the desert. It is marked by several distinct traditions, one of which—erecting a sukkah, a small, temporary booth or hut—takes the commandment to dwell in booths literally. Sukkot are commonly used during the seven-day festival for eating, entertaining, and even for sleeping.
Inspired by this tradition of a temporary space for gathering and welcoming guests, The Contemporary Jewish Museum (The CJM) is building a special sukkah in its lobby for congregating and community building and inviting six local artists to inhabit it as an open studio for a day each.
“With this artistic reinvention of the holiday, Sukkah Studio provides an inviting space for six local artists to occupy a temporary studio, share their practice with visitors, and work with interested folks to make something together,” says Fraidy Aber, Director of Education and Public Programs at The CJM.
Sukkah Studio will be in The Museum lobby and is free to visit, 11am–5pm daily. The schedule is as follows:
This participatory sewing circle culminates in a project inspired by Albrecht Durer’s 1515 woodblock, The Rhinoceros. Throughout the day, artists and participants will work together to create a large-scale embroidery of The Rhinoceros. The embroidery will later be used to create rhino-sized watermarks in handmade papers.
In this participatory fiber art project, visitors can be immersed in a sukkah cocoon of different yarns and help knit a row of stitches on a shared tapestry.
Visitors can explore the individual feel and sourcing stories of fibers such as Washington State alpaca, New Zealand sheep’s wool, and American recycled plastic bottle fiber. Then, they can work the yarn and help to create a community knitted fabric that convenes and joins individual experience.
The Pom Poms and Politics Project is a textile and writing art installation made by the community. Visitors of all ages are invited into the sukkah to make a pink pom pom and write a card in response to the question: “What are you for in your politics?” The handmade pom poms and cards are strung together to make a warm and playful mobile art installation designed to inspire continued thinking on positive politics.
Refuge of Leaves creates a space for reflection where people from many backgrounds can reflect on and share their personal experiences of refuge from “wildernesses,” whether physical or metaphorical. On a variety of beautifully handmade, hand-dyed papers from different places and times, participants can write responses to their choice of prompts on the subject of refuge.
Salomon will be installing his digital panorama-printing studio in the sukkah. He will guide visitors in the process of taking panoramic photos, editing them, and printing them on a large format printer. Visitors will be invited to explore the conceptual distortion of time and space that the panoramic format embodies and how that extends to other kinds of photomechanical reproduction.
Levy-Warren will draw visitors’ portraits, using a black wax crayon and vellum through a clear plexiglass canvas. People are invited to get comfortable on cushions and pillows as the artist draws portraits throughout the day.
Sunday, October 8, 2017; 10am–3pm
Admission is free for two adults when accompanied by a visitor 18 and under, or a transition youth 18–22
A daylong celebration accessible for all families, filled with art-making, musical puppet shows, storytelling, and an interactive sukkah. Make clay creatures and pop-up books, experience storytelling, decorate a sukkah, enjoy a musical puppet show, and much more!
With the opening of its new building on June 8, 2008, The Contemporary Jewish Museum ushered in a new chapter in its twenty-plus year history of engaging audiences and artists in exploring contemporary perspectives on Jewish culture, history, art, and ideas. The facility, designed by internationally renowned architect Daniel Libeskind, is a lively center where people of all ages and backgrounds can gather to experience art, share diverse perspectives, and engage in hands-on activities. Inspired by the Hebrew phrase L’Chaim (To Life), the building is a physical embodiment of The CJM’s mission to bring together tradition and innovation in an exploration of the Jewish experience in the twenty-first century.
Major support for The Contemporary Jewish Museum’s exhibitions and Jewish Peoplehood Programs comes from the Koret Foundation. The Museum also thanks the Jim Joseph Foundation for its major support of innovative strategies for educating and engaging audiences in Jewish learning. Additional major support is provided by an Anonymous donor; Alyse and Nathan Mason Brill; Carbon Five; the Helen Diller Family Foundation; Suzanne and Elliott Felson; Gaia Fund; the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation; Grants for the Arts/San Francisco Hotel Tax Fund; Walter and Elise Haas Fund; the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties; Wendy Kesser ; Maribelle and Stephen Leavitt; Nellie and Max Levchin; Millennium Partners, the Bernard Osher Jewish Philanthropies Foundation of the Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund; The Lisa and John Pritzker Family Fund; RayKo; Dorothy R. Saxe; Seiger Family Foundation; Taube Philanthropies for Jewish Life and Culture; and the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.