Bring a Jewish Artists Retreat to your community!
I attended The Jewish Artists and Writers Retreat in Santa Fe, NM in December, 2017. I was excited to attend, and must say that my experience far exceeded any expectations I had for a content rich, personally meaningful experience. Our group of 9 did amazing personal work together, and through Arlene’s leadership became committed to continuing this work collectively as well as individually. Arlene led us masterfully through envisioning sessions that were intended to help each of us “see” what we truly want in our creative lives, and how our creativity intersects with and is inflected by our personal relationships to being Jewish. As a result of the group process and techniques she used to facilitate this personal work, we became bonded with each other in lasting ways. Journaling and participating in group art projects throughout the 3-1/2 days of the retreat was a great way to insure that we each came away with a record of our thoughts, feelings, and the techniques Arlene used to guide us toward our personal and collective hopes, dreams, and creative vision.— Terri Cohn, Fine Art Consultant & Appraiser, Writer, Curator, Art Historian
The Jewish Artists Retreat is an immersive, invigorating, uplifting multi-day experience open to any artist—visual, performing, literary, multimedia, or your own definition—who identifies as Jewish, regardless of personal spiritual practice or level of Jewish knowledge. The approach is pleasure and purpose aligned: fun, stimulating, mind-opening, and meaningful at once. Each retreat features discussion and dialogue; lively, interactive group study; hands-on art-making; opportunities to connect and collaborate; and deep exploration of participants’ concerns and aspirations. The retreat is an opportunity to discard constricting ideas about art, Judaism, or oneself, to emerge with greater clarity about aims, intentions, and identity.
Each day of the retreat is aligned with a specific quality central to art-making: Gevurah/Might, exploring self-definition, facing obstacles and internalized challenges; Chesed/Lovingkindness, an expansive and generative vision of your own roles and possibilities as an artist; and Tiferet/Beauty, fulfilling your own creative potential and carrying your vision back home. The specifics of schedule, timing, setting, and curriculum are adaptable to each host organization’s needs and facilities, whether a retreat center, academic institution, camp, or hotel.
Jewish Artist Retreat participants, Santa Fe Art Institute, December 2017 [L to R]: Ann Ginsburgh Hofkin, Jonathan Herzl, Barbara Rockman, Meredith R.W. Dimon, Arlene Goldbard, Corinne Soikin Strauss, Marsha Pincus, Terri Cohn, Joseph Skibell.
The first Jewish Artists Retreat took place at the Santa Fe Art Institute—an artists’ residency with private accommodations, ample meeting and studio space, and a fully equipped kitchen—on 3-7 December 2017. The artists who took part came from California, New York, Minnesota, Illinois, and New Mexico. Their own words testify to the impact of this experience on their lives and work. Please contact me if you’d like to chat about possibilities.
My experience at Arlene’s Jewish Artist Retreat was incredible. We spanned four decades of life experience, varying degrees of religious observance (or inobservance), and varied mediums for our art. The mutual respect we arrived with grew with the intimacy of shared stories and experiences. I found these brief days together life-changing. I am grateful to have met this group of artists. I look forward to their continued presence in my life. I am excited about the journey this retreat has begun for me and my artwork. I am elated that we are already looking for how we may collaborate and reconnect in the future!—Meredith R.W. Dimon, visual artist and Director/Founder, Transit Residency NFP, Chicago
The Jewish Artists Workshop was a transformative and empowering experience. With Arlene‘s insightful guidance I developed a deeper and richer sense of self, one touched by a Jewish spirituality! With that, my path as an artist has become illuminated with a stronger determination and the clearer purpose to make art that expresses the Divine within me.—Jonathan Herzl, visual artist, Santa Fe
Arlene Goldbard is a brilliant and soulful facilitator, the epitome of integrity in that everything she does is in concert with her values of loving-kindness and tikkun olam. Arlene just doesn’t just talk the talk, she walks the walk as she forges the path toward ethical communal engagement and individual self-knowledge.—Marsha Pincus, writer, theater artist, and educator, Santa Fe
Arlene’s facilitation brought out the depth of what each one of us as artists have struggled with and pondered. Each exercise, visualization and challenge made us face our true selves. Perhaps this was the penultimate art therapy—but it worked! I am so grateful for the ideas and support I received. The retreat was planned to perfection but I never felt over-programmed. I’m going home exhilarated.
—Corinne Soikin Strauss, visual artist, East Hampton, NY
My experience far exceeded any expectations I had for a content-rich, personally meaningful experience. Our group of 9 did amazing personal work together, and through Arlene’s leadership became committed to continuing this work collectively as well as individually. Arlene led us masterfully through envisioning sessions that were intended to help each of us “see” what we truly want in our creative lives, and how our creativity intersects with and is inflected by our personal relationships to being Jewish.—Terri Cohn, Writer, Curator, Fine Art Consultant, San Francisco
At the Santa Fe Art Institute, Jewish Artists Retreat participants included some writers, some multimedia artists and performance artists, and a few visual ones. Because of Arlene’s incredible skills as a facilitator for self-exploration and discourse, we were urged and helped to delve into some of our deepest concerns as artists (not only individually but also as a collective, highly unusual). I would attribute to Arlene’s expertise the fact that we were relaxed enough to be able to share personal and poignant aspects of ourselves with little or no self-consciousness or guilt. We were encouraged from without as well as from within to pursue the goals that revealed themselves during our journaling and collective discussions. I will remain ever grateful to have been part of this organic whole.
—Ann Ginsburgh Hofkin, photographer, Long Lake, MN